View Full Version : Top Secret!

01-04-2004, 06:47 PM
Maybe this belongs in the guilty pleasures thread, but in any case this Zuck/Ab comedy is one of my all-time faves.

I saw it when it came out with my younger sister and we pestered our parents to buy the Beta tape. How's that for dating myself...

Val Kilmer was fresh out of Julliard when he was cast as Nick Rivers- the American singing sensation. I love how we learn how Nick got his name: "My father thought of it while he was shaving".

Kilmer is a damn good singer- he sings "Tutti Frutti", "How Silly Can You Get" and "Skeet Surfin'", and I actually tried to locate the soundtrack to this crazy movie. It exists, but I'm not paying collector prices for it. I just have to watch the movie I suppose...

The film? Insanely ridiculous. George Carlin said "a joke must have one thing way out of proportion" in order to be truly funny.
There are too many things out of proportion to count in Top Secret!.
Nick goes to Germany to put on a concert. Trouble is Germany is still Nazi Germany circa 1940- complete with stormtrooper helmets and SS uniforms. Nothing makes sense here, but then again, in a bizarro way it does.

The concert basically starts a war, and Nick and his leading lady Lucy Gutteridge (Hillary) are on the run for the last half of the movie. My sister and I spent hours in front of the TV watching Top Secret. We never got tired of it- The Incredible Shrinking Woman tape collected dust. We laughed so hard at this cornball flick.
(I still do- it still holds up!)

If anybody's seen it, I'm willing to discuss!
Some mindless chatter about a cheezy film sounds like it might be fun. So many great scenes...

01-11-2004, 05:38 PM
<I love how we learn how Nick got his name: "My father thought of it while he was shaving".>

Whoa, I read your post a couple of days ago, and literally, a few hours later I heard someone at work quote this line. I had never heard it before, and I don't remember it from the movie. Pretty strange timing.

This was one of my early "favorites". I remember renting it on VHS (or was it Beta?) back in the early '80's when I was about 7 years old and our VHS machine was this bulky, awkward contraption that had to be loaded from the top.

I loved the humor of the movie, but much of its plot escaped me, probably because I was so young. Or, on second thought, maybe the plot's confusing to everyone, I don't know. Regardless, it's still a very funny movie, and a good one to go with the pair of "Airplane" movies and the trio of "Naked Gun" movies (even with O.J.).

01-12-2004, 04:20 PM
Freaky, man.

Yes, I remember those top-loading machines! Our Beta was one such contraption.

It's still a hilarious movie. I bought the recently released DVD for nostalgia's sake. The underwater saloon fight has no equals!

04-12-2004, 08:34 AM
I still love this film...its so silly and hilarious.
And in some ways in ages better than Naked Gun and it's inferior sequels. I love what Leslie Nielsen can do, but he's done so many wannabes since Airplane and Gun that it's more cliche and familiar now.

Top Secret was different....Val Kilmer was fresh and funny (and maybe not an asshole back then!), and the whole thing just cracks me up.

Favorite moments...
The moving trainstation...the map of Germany that turns into a Pac Man game...the backwards scene...

Favorite line (from Lucy Gutteridge): "I know a little German. He's standing over there!" CLASSIC!

I seriously have to get the DVD...my tape copy is nearly as dead as Molly Ringwald's career...

04-13-2004, 05:33 AM
Another great line:

Nick is in a jail cell, held captive by the Germans, his manager Martin visits him:

Martin: Nick, I've tried everything. The embassy, the US Consulate. I just can't bring my wife to orgasm.

Nick: That's a shame, Martin.

04-14-2004, 10:49 AM
I can't, for the life of me, think of why you are talking about this film. But I am so glad you are. This is one of my favorite "silly" movies of all time. There are so many jokes that it's almost impossible to zero in on one but I have my faves:

The backward scene - (when I was finally able to look at it backward in regular motion on DVD, I see how it was all done.) It must have take them a long time to set it up... walking backward, catching the books. Peter Cushing did a great cameo.

The whole train station scene - from the dogs finding dog bones, to the blurry painting and the "fake" German (I have sauerkraut in my leiderhosen).

The book reading/fireplace scene - The sexy narration that turns out to be reading from a book, the parody of "Elvis" (Are you lonely tonight) Shop at Macy's, and the cut-away to the fireplace...twice!

The woman answering the call to stop the execution using a walker

The dream sequence during the interrogation (being late for a school exam) and the priest using all the phoney latin expressions

The guys twirling the dummies over their heads in the pizza place during the song

The underwater fight scene (filmed in the original MGM tank used for the Ester Williams movies by the way)

The hair from the motorcycle (and the glowing breasts)

The use of the miniature to demonstrate how they will "storm" the castle

The goose-stepping soldiers who's boots come flying off

The girl on the beach who left a "big impression"

Skeet Surfing!

The phoney French names... Latrine! Chocolate Mousse, croissant, souffle, Deja Vu, etc.

The running feet that turn into a tap dance

The flaming hog's balls

And all the quotes:

"I know a little German"

"He's just a little horse"

"Yes, I'm Albert Potato"

"It took us two hours to wipe the smile off his face"

"Leave no marks"

"The men took advantage of me in ways I could never descibe"

"Just shut up and give me the back half (alright, be an asshole)"

"Goodbye Du Quois, I'll miss you, Goodbye Deja Vu, I'll miss you, too, and I'll miss you most of all Scarecrow"

So many laughs crammed into one little space. As many times as I've seen this film, I always laugh everytime I see it again. Thanks Johann for mentioning it. You made me smile today.