Top Secret! (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Top Secret! (1984)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 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.more
Rating: PG (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: , , ,
Written By: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Martyn Burke
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 16, 2002
Runtime:
Paramount Home Video

Cast

Peter Cushing
as Bookstore Owner
Warren Clarke
as Col. Von Horst
Tristram Jellinek
as Maj. Crumpler
Richard Mayes
as Biletnikov
Vyvyan Lorrayne
as Mme. Bergerone
Ian McNeice
as Blindman
John Sharp
as Maitre D'
Marcus Powell
as Little German
Nancy Abrahams
as Pregnant Woman
Louise Yaffe
as Cafe Diner
Charlotte Zucker
as Cafe Diner
Susan Breslau
as Cafe Diner
O.T.
as Bruno
Michael Gough
as Dr. Flammond
Sara Montague
as Crying Girl
Mandy Nunn
as Young Hillary
Lee Sheward
as Young Nigel
Janos Kurucz
as Wagon Driver
Sydney Arnold
as Albert Potato
Harry Ditson
as Du Quois
Jim Carter
as Deja Vu
Eddie Tagoe
as Chocolate Mousse
Michelle Martin
as Pizzahaus Girl
Nicola Wright
as Pizzahaus Girl
Lisa Gruenberg
as Pizzahaus Girl
Gerry Paris
as Back-Up Singer
David Adams
as Back-Up Singer
Geoff Wayne
as Back-Up Singer
Steve Ubels
as German Soldier
Chas Bryer
as German Soldier
Mac MacDonald
as German Soldier
David Adams
as Back-Up Singer
Mac McDonald
as German Soldier
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News & Interviews for Top Secret!

Critic Reviews for Top Secret!

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6)

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

Full Review… | October 18, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | October 18, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

FrizzDrop
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

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.

TheDudeLebowski65
Alex roy

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.

ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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