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Top Secret! (1984)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 40,959

My Rating

Movie Info

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




Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Martyn Burke

Jul 16, 2002

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (8) | DVD (17)

The plot combines the rock musical with the spy thriller (not to mention assorted other genres), and the comic invention is fairly constant.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This time, though, the creative group has neglected to build to the kind of giddy, everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink climax that made Airplane! such a memorable exercise in anarchy.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Secret! shares the same wonderful wacky attitude that allows just about any kind of gag to come flowing in and out of the picture at the strangest times.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Signs of desperation have begun to creep in some time before the end.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie will cheerfully go for a laugh wherever one is even remotely likely to be found.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Top Secret! comes nowhere near Airplane! but in its own cheerful, low-pressure way, it's about as amiable an entertainment as you will find this summer.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker present a narrative that is hopelessly convoluted, but that, of course, is exactly their intention as they pile joke upon joke, filling their film with inventive sight gags.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Featuring cows wearing boots, a scene involving skeet surfin' (filmed in Cornwall of all places), and French characters named 'Déjà Vu' and 'Avant Garde', this is an absurd comedy that hits far more times than it misses.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

Jokes so stupid as to seem almost surreal, an amazing range of cultural referents and a smattering of genuinely witty conceits.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The story has almost no momentum and runs out of gas, ending abruptly, but how can you knock a movie with so many gut-busting jokes?

September 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

I found its spirited irreverence to be refreshing.

April 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Memorable both for its spoofing of a wacky combination of Elvis movies, spy movies and Second World War intrigue films and for the fact that it's Val Kilmer's film debut.

February 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

I could never figure out why this comedy-packed gem bombed during its day until I saw it again and realized how juvenile it is. Nevertheless, my memories of it helped me enjoy it once again.

September 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Serves up a veritable smorgasbord of comic bits.

August 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

One of the funnier post-Airplane! free-for-alls

July 18, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

Another piece of loony bin entertainment from the Abrahams-Zucker chuckle factory...inspired in its wickedly silly-minded skin

May 29, 2003

Used to be very funny but doesn't hold up.

May 2, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Intermittenly funny, but no Airplane!

December 19, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

The people making it seem to have enjoyed it more than I did.

December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

There are no good white basketball players, my friend. Just this inspired two-for-one send-up of WWII pictures and Elvis movies.

August 1, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Audience Reviews for Top Secret!

If you are aware of the Zucker brothers' particular oeuvre, then you already know that this film is immature, hilarious, and is definitely worth watching. That is not to say that this film is immature in the sense that it remains juvenile, but instead is so by making fun of the odd and unordinary, and therefore has jokes that are questionable when it comes to their surreal quality, but always make you laugh. This film makes fun of both espionage films; especially those that were set in foreign countries at the height of the Second World War. This film also, weirdly enough, makes fun of Elvis Presley's musicals of the sixties by having lead actor Val Kilmer play a bodacious singer who can really dance, tapped to sing for the leader of East Germany, who, along with all the citizens of the country, are depicted as Nazis. There is a complete disregard for time, so this film comes off as very anachronistic and strange. That being said, there are a lot of specific choices in the depiction of language, including rewinding dialogue and pretending it's Swedish, and then having actors speak, and signs say, things in Yiddish that are represented as German. This film feels fresh thanks to it being the ZAZ's second theatrical release, and takes a lot of chances that always seem to pay off. They chose Val Kilmer as their lead, in his first movie role. He is an expert at dancing, sings rather well, and delivers a very interesting and funny performance that really astounded me. Other great cameos include Omar Sharif as Cedric in a rare onscreen appearance, Peter Cushing as a Swedish bookstore owner in a rewound scene that has since become infamous, and Michael Gough as the German romantic interest's father. This film is chock full of some classic and insanely funny sight gags, references, and parodies of classic films, and in itself wins every time.
May 1, 2013

Super Reviewer

Top Secret! Is a pretty funny comedy from the directors of Airplane! The film successfully parodies many espionage films, and has plenty of laughs. The film starts off slow, but as it progresses, it becomes funnier. The cast do a fine job at delivering the laughs. This was made back when spoof films were great. Although not as funny as Airplane, this film still has enough good moments to make it a comedy worth seeing. The cast do a fine job here, and they each bring something funny to the screen. Directors Jim Abrahams and David Zucker direction is good and they are able to keep the jokes consistent and spontaneous, Top Secret is a good film, one that is memorable and lots of fun from start to finish. This is one of the funnier films with Val Kilmer, and it's so much better than his recent role in McGruber. Top Secret is a well crafted comedy that is a must see for spoof film fans. This was made back when spoofs were great, and actually funny. Not unlike today where spoofs go gross-out humor and popular culture references just for the sake of trying to create something funny, this one is witty and comical and it gets better as the films plot unwinds. Though not as good as Airplane, this is nonetheless a worthwhile comedy worth watching. Top Secret is a hilarious film, one that has a few flaws, but for the most part succeeds at being a worthy film to watch. Top Secret is definitely one of the best spoof films that I have seen, and with a great cast and directors who have a great script, it's definitely worth checking out.
June 10, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Wow I dont believe I was so bored with a Movie which was directed by Zucker/Abrahams. There was only one and really one scene that I laughed my socks off, but I saw it coming. I think they were on Pot when the script for the Movie was written.
September 28, 2011
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

Another spoof movie from the makers of Airplane, but this one is no where near as good. It's okay, but unfunny for the most part.
January 17, 2011

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Top Secret (DE)
  • Top Secret (1984) (UK)
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