Week five is time for one of the big categories: comedy. I'm hoping for some good nominations.
Don't tell anyone.
Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.
Part Six of Preparing (As Much As Humanly Possible) For Inherent Vice
Top Secret! is both a mischievous spoof and an entertaining spy picture in its own right, rambunctiously toying with cliches and tropes until it emerges as one of the great works of surrealism ever made by the Zucker Bros. It may not match the fluidity and iconic stature of Airplane! or the modern revitalization of The Naked Gun, but it is a film that was made to entertain and to bring out constant belly laughs.
Val Kilmer absolutely owns the character of Nick Rivers, and his physicality and dedication to the film is commendable to say the least. The direction is incredibly visual, with key areas of the frame revealing unexpected but hilarious bits of humor that is timed to perfection. The jokes come at a nonstop pace, and by the end, you're either utterly exhausted or ready to jump right back into the lunacy.
If you want your stomach and your jaw to hurt for the entire day, watch Airplane! and Top Secret! back to back.
Every scene is absolutely hilarious. Zucker-Abraham-Zucker is the best directing trio. Nobody will ever make movies like they did. The plot is almost nonexistent, but it doesn't matter. Val Kilmer is really good and his musical numbers are brilliant.
Can somebody recommend me any movies like this, Airplane, Hot Shots and The Naked Gun Trilogy? I would really love to see more movies that will make me burst into laughter every 10 seconds.
The Zucker-Abraham-Zucker projects were like hyperactive children running loose on the street with no parents looking after them, and the best of all is: nothing wrong ever happened to them! Top Secret! is my third favorite spoof from the hyperactive trio, moving from gag to gag mercilessly, and with a sufficiently exaggerated attention to detail to guarantee rewatchability and catch those hidden visual jokes or audible lines that you missed in your first watch. It also embraces its era properly and makes an insanely effective multicultural collage, which comes as quite absurd if you think about it: a WWII East Germany featuring Elvis spoofs, Pac-Man, the 80s dress and hair arrangement codes, and pizza parlors. All jokes and gags are…
FILM#4-DECEMBER CHALLENGE 2
Anyone looking to see how to make a spoof/parody movie should look no further than this. My wife has waxed lyrically about this film for years as when she was a child her best friends brother worked on this an Pinewood. Take a bow Mr David Allday, a man who even got his name into Tim Burton's "Batman". There's a scene in it where a nameplate on a table bears his name during a press conference with Commissioner Gordon, trivial I know but the girls still talk about it.
Val Kilmer has never been funnier. He's also never been thinner, boy is he thin here. A crazy plot that involves an evil East Germany attempting to sink…
A flat out comedy masterpiece, and staggeringly, one that remains the ZAZ team's undiscovered feature for many. It is my life's mission to get more people to see it.
Whilst it’s fairly understandable that some things will get lost in the shuffle when your back catalogue includes the likes of the Naked Gun films and Airplane!, I can’t understand how little praise I’ve seen for this film over the years. It does lack a real stand out or oft quoted gag such as the “I am serious... and don't call me Shirley” line from Airplane! or a character as strongly defined as the Naked Gun’s Frank Drebin, but it does have just as high a hit rate of stupidly puerile humour, great sight gags, clever wordplay and inventive shots to mean that it should be included in any discussion of the best spoof comedies.
It also has a great…
Holy cow, man.
How do you follow up one of the best comedies of all time ('Airplane!'), and one of the best cancelled TV shows ever made ('Police Squad!')?
You make another exclamatorily punctuated movie, this time involving the combined spoofery of Elvis Presley musicals, and World War Two spy thrillers.
THAT is 'Top Secret!'.
For sure, it's not quite as classic as 'Airplane!', which is one of my all-time favourite films in existence. But that doesn't make it any less fucking absurd and insane and weird and stupid and hysterically awesome.
Let's go through just a handful of the great stuff in 'Top Secret!':
This is Val Kilmer's first movie. Can you believe it?
No me cansaré de darle las gracias a diocito por los 80.
¡Qué maravilla de oligofrenia gratuita!
“I know a little German, he's sitting over there”
To be honest, Top Secret! isn't exactly the movie for me, I've never been a big fan of parodies and even if this is obviously a hundred times better than Scary Movie I'm not really in love with it. With that said, I can definitely see why people would love it and surely, I was rolling with laughter a bunch of times throughout.
I do like that there's actually plenty of jokes here that doesn't get as in-your-face-overblown and absurd as they tend to get in movies of this kind, instead there's a ton of really funny jokes that go more for the verbal and sometimes even subtle. A further thing…
This film is a goddamn masterpiece - maybe even better than Airplane, if only on sheer technical merit (the backwards scene and the underwater fight aren't just great jokes, they're great jokes which must have required a lot of hard work and imagination to pull off). And let's not forget the star-making turn from Val Kilmer - he does things with his hips here which make Elvis look like a middle-aged accountant. On balance I think the Tutti Frutti number might be my favourite moment in the film just for the way that Kilmer's acting, perfectly wooden up to that point, gives way to such a wildly charismatic performance, in the process elevating a series of disconnected gags to a level of infectious, joyous delirium most other comedies can only dream of attaining. Yeah!
After rewatching this ZAZ spoof for this L Magazine capsule, I'm not so sure I prefer this as a whole to Airplane! as much as I used to, if only because I don't recall that 1980 classic exuding the musty time-capsule air that Top Secret!—which is squarely of its 1980s time with its many East-German jokes—occasionally does. And yet, their purely cinematic jokes are arguably even more daring here. In the end, I'm glad to have both, and I'm eternally grateful to Jim Abrahams and David & Jerry Zucker for the raucous belly laughs they brought to my budding cinephilia when I discovered these comedies as a teenager.
Too scattershot and unfocused to be up there with the Airplane movies, but there are still flashes of brilliance ("Is this the potato farm?" "Yes, I'm Albert Potato").
This is one of the old classic comedies. Ridiculous humor and with French freedom fighters named Chocolate Mousse and Deja Vu, this movie is hilarious. It's from the same guys who did the airplane series so you know the kind of humor you're getting. This a funny movie and definitely good for laughs if you haven't seen it before.
Cracked me right up. I love the time and effort that went into certain sequences...backwards bookshop, moving train station, giant bird statue, underwater bar fight! Sad to think if it were made now it would all be cgi.
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