Yes, it's true; Don Adams's Maxwell Smart act is little more than shtick, but marvelous shtick it is, and on Get Smart!
with its half-hour doses of high-tech hooliganism, straight Bond parody, and uproarious slapstick, he made his mark as one of the more memorable comic figures of 1960s television. You wouldn't necessarily bet that Adams's trademark moves--deadpan mock-seriousness, smart-alecky catchphrases, and elastic faces--would translate well to the big screen; truth is, though, he's no more irritating than Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, or any of the other comic leads of the early 1980s. In The Nude Bomb
, the first (and only) Maxwell Smart movie, our secret agent 86 battles a mad KAOS scientist who possesses a fiendish weapon: one which will destroy the world's supply of clothing. Joined by several attractive compatriots (not, alas, Barbara Feldon, whose ultra-hip Agent 99--the crucial foil for the hyperactive Smart--is sorely missed), the hapless spy has 48 hours to confound the evil plot. Several hilarious premises, including a plan to render the weapon ineffective by wearing food, are adeptly exploited through winning and well-timed sight gags. Recommended not only to fans of Get Smart!
but to those who appreciate high-spirited '80s comedy as well. --Miles Bethany