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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 (260 customer reviews)

Price: $20.00 & 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: Multiple Formats, 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 (260 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066C6Z
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,053 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
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Deserved Exclamation Point June 2, 2004
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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22 of 22 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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25 of 27 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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Greatly Underrated Film April 20, 2002
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect... July 22, 2002
Definitely a great DVD to own... I've been waiting forever to have this hilarious movie in my DVD collection.
The downside is the commentary. For one thing, it's extremely spotty. (i.e. three-minute gaps between comments.) For another, starting about halfway through the film, the directors begin to badmouth it relentlessly. I mean, I bought your freakin' DVD! Couldn't you at least say some nice things? Among their comments are: "Do we have to watch the rest of this?" and "I think you could make a really solid 25 minute movie out of this material." It's awful, frustrating commentary.
That said, I've loved the movie for a long time. Audio is great, transfer is nice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A suprising laugh fest August 13, 2005
I did not know what to expect when watching this for the first time. I had seen this video around for sale before, but I had no idea it was by the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abraham. And upon inspection of the credits etc.. and saw it was made in 1984! The cover made it look like a modern day movie, but i'm glad i finally go tto see it.

Top secret is typical Zucker/Abraham humour like there other films, Airplane(flying high), Naked Gun & Kentucky Fried Movie. This one however may not be the funniest movie they have done, but it is the funniest movie about a rocker from America who goes to Germany to be the first ever rocker allowed to perform in the country, but ends up tangled up with a woman who is the head of the underground rebellion and there misshap adventures continue from there.

What I really liked about the film was how it was shot in 84, yet it looks like a huge hollywood blockbuster from the 50's or 60's. Huge stages and looks very 'classic' in it's appearence. It really is a wonderull job in shooting it and the scenery and backgrounds are very nice... and thats coming from someone who never gives a s#!~ abou tthat kind of stuff!!!! IMO it deserves an award for it, you just dont see those kind of things anymore these days.

Overall, the comedy is definitly there. It is funny, whacky and crazy as you expect from the Z-Z-A trio. But what really suprises me is how the 3 of them dont seem to like the film very much from there audio commentary. They said the movie did nothing when it was released but has done well in the rental market! They say it's 'cause you can fast forward the slow bits and get to the interesting part and watch a 30 minute movie... nah, i thought it paced ok, so i dunno what there on about it. it probably just went up against something else that took all the focus off this one.

Overall, it's a great film for what it is. Garenteed to make the Airplane/naked gun/KFM fans laugh.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie when you need a "pick me up"
Classic. Best movie when you need a "pick me up".
Published 11 days ago by GNeric
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!!
An iconic parody of epic proportions. Great movie!!!
Published 25 days ago by Chris Talbot
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!
Published 1 month ago by Michael R. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must watch
Published 1 month ago by Mohammad Alhassani
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure that should be in anyone's library
A wonderful take on the cold war, spoofing many James Bond scenes as well as employing an endless list of comic moments reminiscent of the Pink Panther series, so dumb that you... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Colin Glinsman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always a funny matter how amny times I have seen it.
Published 1 month ago by Julie E Neff
4.0 out of 5 stars it's still as bad as I remember it when I went to the ...
Yep, it's still as bad as I remember it when I went to the movies and watched it there. Had to buy it.
Published 2 months ago by Robert A. Hadley
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a bit like an acquired taste
this is a bit like an acquired taste. i caught a bit of this movie on tv and got pulled in. checked out amazon and there it was. Read more
Published 2 months ago by SEEKER
5.0 out of 5 stars Funnier than "Airplane"
A longtime family favorite. Funny from beginning to end if you're in the mood for absurdist humor.
Published 2 months ago by James Bass
3.0 out of 5 stars Val Kilmer Sings
An early Val Kilmer effort. Silly, very comic bookish. A fun movie with over the top good guys and bad guys. If you like this type of thing, it's worth a watch.
Published 2 months ago by Rw Scolari
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