136 of 147 people found the following review helpful
"The old spy in the spoof trick!",
Smart. Maxwell Smart. The dumbest spy in the world, who fights on behalf of the forces of goodness and niceness, and succeeded in making democracy vs. communism a lot more entertaining. With the comic trio of Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and Edward Platt, this hilarious spy spoof is still funny today.
Don Adams is Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, a not-so-bright spy with an endless arsenal of strange devices and odd sayings. The bumbling spy at a top-secret government agency called Control, which is responsible for keeping the free world free. Backing him up is his beautiful partner/love interest Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) and his long-suffering Chief (Eward Platt) who puts up with Smart's constant mistakes.
Together with 99 (whom he marries late in the series), and the Chief (and his faithful dog Fang), Max battles the forces of badness and rottenness -- namely, the anti-Control called KAOS. They battle against their archnemesis Siegfried and a bunch of other KAOS agents, with explosive paintings, lovable robots, explosive pianos, evil hippies, and much more.
"Missed it by that much!" Maxwell Smart's catchphrases and goofy confidence made him the perfect antidote to the suave James Bond. Unlike Bond and similar movie spies, Max succeeds out of luck and bumbling more often than skill... but somehow, he still succeeds.
The comic timing is a little awkward at the very beginning, but rapidly gets its footing. What's really funny is the endless spoofery -- Max is given all sorts of weird gadgets, including the legendary "shoe-phone," and he faces off against all sorts of cartoonish villains. And it has dozens and dozens of movie spoofs -- "The Great Escape," "The Most Dangerous Game," "Maltese Falcon," "King Kong," and even the Bond movie "Goldfinger."
The political clime of the mid 1960s is all over the series, especially in the form of KAOS. But fortunately they don't get preachy -- KAOS is merely a big evil organization, no more. Some references are dated, and this definitely debuted before the era of political correctness (there's a bizarre episode about American Indians threatening the US government, and the Claw is funny if un-PC).
Don Adams MAKES this series, with his quirky facial expressions, nasal voice and odd body language. His Max overestimates his own skill and believes himself to be a sexy, karate-chopping Bondian treasure, though he survives mostly by luck ("Missed it by that much!").
Barbara Feldon is the least quirky of the cast, serving as the "straight woman" for Max, as well as the brains for his adventures. Edward Platt is just wonderful as the long-suffering, stressed-out Chief, who always looks slightly frayed, and Bernie Kopell is hysterical as the stiff-backed, volatile Siegfried.
It should be noted that right now, the entire series is only available directly from Time Life, with a big price tag (I was lucky enough to watch a relative's copy). Wait until Fall 2007, and it will be widely available at a lower price. They're also exquisitely remastered, with all that sixties colour, and they've reinserted little bits that were cut for commercials. It actually improves the flow.
It's been decades since "Get Smart" was first aired, but it is still gutsplittingly funny. You'll roll around on the floor, laughing yourself sick... and... loving it.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 1, 2007 6:28:30 PM PST
Robert Nodge says:
I know that TimeLife has this set for $199.96. Why does one of Amazon's sponsor companies sell it for over $200? I only herd that TimeLife is also just now selling season 1 for $39.99. I am not sure if I want to wait a bit more for the price to drop, wait til amazon starts carrying them seasonally, buy the whole set or season 1.
Posted on Feb 18, 2007 9:43:05 PM PST
Nicely done review. I think you captured the light-hearted essence of the show.
Posted on Apr 5, 2007 7:27:26 AM PDT
Excellent review, E.A. !! Very well done!! I too noticed the price range and it is a bit hard to think about spending so much $$$, but since you mentioned the Fall 2007 date, we can wait for it just a little longer. (The same thing happened with "The Odd Couple" series DVD; I jumped too soon and bought it from Time-Life and paid dearly). Keep reviewing and writing!!! Peace!!
Posted on Feb 3, 2008 9:19:40 AM PST
Great Review! Starting it off with "and succeeded in making democracy vs. communism a lot more entertaining." cracked me up.
Posted on Feb 10, 2008 3:24:10 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 27, 2011 5:00:27 PM PDT]
Posted on May 9, 2010 7:47:24 PM PDT
Wrong review...missed it by this much!
This is for the old 60s episodes, not the 1995 series. Amazon needs to remove it from the newer series ratings.
Posted on Sep 10, 2010 12:40:31 PM PDT
This is a review for the wrong series. Please remove it as it will lead to confusion. Max and 99 are supporting players in the 1995 reboot, which is the series you plunked you review down into.
The 1995 series has as much to do with your review as THE NUDE BOMB.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 8:14:53 PM PDT
Neville A. Ross says:
It wasn't 'democracy vs. communism' so much as is really was U.N.C.L.E. vs THRUSH.
Posted on Dec 10, 2012 2:06:42 PM PST
Coltbear NJ says:
You should have put a warning "spoiler alert" (or edit your review to do the same), before you inform readers that Agent 86 (Smart), and Agent 99 get married later on in the series. Otherwise, your excellent review "missed it by that much!"
Posted on May 23, 2013 12:09:54 PM PDT
hello, could you please me I could indicate if other languages brings to DVDs, I thank
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