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Top Secret! (1984)

Val Kilmer , Omar Sharif , David Zucker , Jerry Zucker  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)

Price: $24.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Val Kilmer, Omar Sharif, Jeremy Kemp, Warren Clarke, Tristram Jellinek
  • Directors: David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams
  • Writers: David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Martyn Burke
  • Producers: David Zucker
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: July 16, 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066C6Z
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,713 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Top Secret!" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Four alternate scenes
  • Storyboards

Editorial Reviews

The second of Zucker-Abraham-Zucker's theatrical-feature spoofs (Airplane was the first, discounting the patchwork Kentucky Fried Movie), Top Secret! lampoons practically every film genre. Specifically, however, this is a hybrid of an "Elvis" movie and a World War II "underground resistance" thriller. In his film debut, Val Kilmer plays Nick Rivers, a Presley-like American rock idol sent behind the Iron Curtain on a goodwill tour. Before long, he is involved in a complex espionage scheme thanks to beautiful Lucy Gutteridge, the daughter of a scientist (Michael Gough) held captive by the Communists. Also essential to the action is flamboyant resistance leader Christopher Villiers, who behaves like Victor Mature in Betrayed (1954) and talks like James Mason. Adhering to Z-A-Z's cheerful disregard for people, places and events, the East Germans are depicted as Nazis, while the Underground is comprised of Frenchmen. The plot is mainly an excuse for the Z-A-Z team's fondness for joke-a-minute lampoonery, skewering cinematic targets ranging from The Blue Lagoon (1980) to The Wizard of Oz (1939). As in Z-A-Z's other efforts, Top Secret! scores its biggest yocks when invoking cliches that we never realized were cliches-and falls on its face whenever attempting a too-obvious gag (the biggest clinker: that pigeon statue in the park). Everyone has his or her favorite bits in this film: our faves include the resistance fighter named Deja Vu ("Haven't we met somewhere before?"), Kilmer's horrible nightmare while being tortured (he arrives too late to take final exams), the army-booted cow, the sensitive Pinto, and the East German National Anthem, sung to the tune of the Shorewood (Wisconsin) High School marching song. But let's say no more: comedy of this nature is designed to be seen, not written or read about.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Deserved Exclamation Point June 2, 2004
Format:DVD
Top Secret! - the Jim Abrahams/Zucker Bros.' follow-up to Airplane! - does for (or is that *to*) Elvis movies and WWII espionage films what the earlier feature did for/to the airborne disaster genre. The gags are slightly more immature (not necessarily a bad thing, but in some cases may have been better had they been allowed to age a little before being put into production), but some, like the forced-perspective oversize phone or saying farewell to the Scarecrow, rival anything the ZAZ team has ever done.
The music is a mixed bag. "Skeet Surfing" and the Macy's jingle are great. "Tutti-Fruitti" and "Straighten the Rug" are less so (not that every song in an Elvis movie was worthy of screen time, either). Kudos to Val Kilmer, though; even when he's camping it up, the musical numbers remain watch- and listenable.
The only thing I don't care for on the disc is the audio commentary. The production team really rips the movie apart as if they had tried to make a "serious" film that fell apart. In that case, learning why/how it failed would be interesting and instructive. To shred a spoof film, especially a sophomore and sophomoric effort like Top Secret!, is entirely unwarranted. Sure there are plot holes. Sure it makes no sense that submarine would crash into a prison dungeon. Sure some things are only mildly amusing. Drawing undue attention to them is doubly pointless. Sheesh! If you're a big fan, skip the commentary.
I really enjoyed this movie and really (mostly) enjoyed its presentation on the DVD. There aren't a lot of extras, but be sure to hunt for the Easter Egg - it's definitely worth finding.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest slapstick comedy ever made! February 15, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Just barely nudging out their own "Airplane!," I think Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker's "Top Secret" is the best slapstick comedy ever. It's got all a film should have: action, comedy, romance, great songs. This is unquestionably Val Kilmer's best movie, and he is perfect as Nick Rivers, the Elvis-like troubadour who is so famous that not even Frank Sinatra fits on the bill. The sight gags and puns are horrendously funny. I could spend hours recalling my favorite scenes. The film is a postmodern masterpiece, successfully intertwining and spoofing cliches from just about every film in the genre (most notably James Bond films and Elvis movies). The film openly points outs its flaws ("it's like the plot to some bad movie"), and celebrates film flubs. It breaks all the rules of "classic" cinema, and has made other spoof films basically impossible to be funny (films like "Spy Hard" and "Loaded Weapon").
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Then - Funny Now December 29, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The ZAZ team (Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker) doesn't disappoint in the laugh department with this movie. This is mainly slapstick and visual gags, but it's the best of them. If you want some stupid, no-brain, sexual innuendo, parody comedy then this is the greatest!
This movie made me laugh like no other movie has. Val Kilmer has a wonderful performance as a rock-star and foreign dignitary. The parodies of popular Beach Boys and Elvis songs are hilarious. The best scene and most creative I thought would have to be in the bookstore. You HAVE to see it to believe it. It made me laugh incredibly hard. You may have to pause the movie every once in a while so you can breathe. Although that may be exaggerating a bit it isn't far off.
This movie is well worth the money you pay for it. The laughs it delivers are tremendous and timeless. Have fun and don't laugh too hard!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Greatly Underrated Film April 20, 2002
Format:DVD
This film was done by the same people who made "Airplane" and the "Police Squad" movies. I enjoy this film more. It is just as silly as the others, if not more so. I think the jokes work better in this film.
The film takes place in some unnamed East German-like country. The time is something between today, the 50s, the 40s and somewhere in between. It parodies teen rock-and-roll movies, french resistance films, Blue Lagoon and a bunch of other stuff thrown in for good measure. Val Kilmer plays a rock-and-roll teen idol named Nick Rivers. He gets involved with a bunch of resistance fighters in a represive soviet block country that plans on taking over the world. Funnier than it sounds. Surreal comedy at its best. (The guard falling off the castle wall is one of my favorite gags.)
How can you argue with a movie that starts with a Beach Boys parody called "Skeet Surfing"? ...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Souvenirs...novelties...party tricks." September 17, 2003
Format:DVD
"Airplane" spoofed airplane disaster flicks. "The Naked Gun" spoofed the Dragnet-type cop movie. "Top Secret!", lesser known, but just as funny, if not funnier, actually spoofs two genres--the Elvis musical and World War II movies. Somehow, in the absurd universe of Zucker/Abahams/Zucker, these two go hand in hand. The sight gags are nonstop and relentlessly ... hilarious. Val Kilmer has a great knack for the delivery this kind of comedy requires. He also does all his own singing on classics like "Straighten the Rug", "Skeet Surfin'", and the hauntingly romantic Macy's Semi-Annual Lincoln's Day Sale jingle, "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" Other highlights include the long-awaited clarification of the lyrics to the German national anthem, a dedicated band of French resistance fighters, Omar Sharif's brutal initiation into the world of physical comedy, and two of the Zucker Brothers' most inspired set-pieces--one in a Swedish bookstore and the other in an underwater saloon. Just watch.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars When Val was young
I can remember the first time that I saw this movie...it was so intriguing to watch. Subtle humor...well done. Thanks
Published 2 days ago by William Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
One of the best movies I have ever seen. Very very very funny. It will always keep you guessing on what they will do next to make you laugh some more. Great and worth watching.
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Silly Movie
This is a movie I had on VHS and since those are no longer being used, I ordered the DVD. DVD was in good condition and the movie is still funny and still today as it was 30 years... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Robbin Rice
5.0 out of 5 stars a hillarious romp
funny silly its all here a fake after /during WWII romp through east germany wth all the stereotypes you can and would never ask for
Published 3 days ago by Bob W
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware
Unfortunately this is one of the handful of "80's" movies that are rated PG, but that you would not want your children watching. Read more
Published 10 days ago by LivintheDream
5.0 out of 5 stars The FIRST Val Kilmer movie
Yeah, it's corny - like "Airplane," but it's hilarious. It's also a good showcase of Kilmer's multiple talents. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Henry Graves
4.0 out of 5 stars one of the better spoofs
Hadn't seen this for many years but still holds up. In the category of Airplane! and Blazing Saddles. Always good to lampoon cultural phenomena and take a good look at ourselves.
Published 12 days ago by stevek
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker
If you're familiar with Airplane! movies, or Kentucky Fried Movie, then you'll already know what Top Secret! is like. Read more
Published 23 days ago by J. McAllister
5.0 out of 5 stars #1 Most Underrated
I believe this is a work by the "Airplane" guys that is seriously overlooked and under appreciated. The absurdity factor in this film is off the charts. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Terry L. De Pew
2.0 out of 5 stars Slapstick
It was about as corny as yoiu can get. We did watch it all the way though. Seems very teenage humor
Published 1 month ago by Susan Marks
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