Top Secret! (1984)

top secret

PG  |  90 min

Directed by: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker

Stars: Val Kilmer, Omar Sharif, Jeremy Kemp

by Jason Koenigsberg

You have all seen Airplane! (1980) and I am sure you have all seen The Naked Gun (1988), two of the funniest comedy classics of all time. However, sandwiched between those two iconic films the team of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker wrote and directed another great comedy that has sort of become a lost treasure in terms of nostalgic, zany comedies, Top Secret! (1984). 

This is an irreverent and hilariously self aware parody of spy movies and a very ham-fisted commentary about the Cold War. The ludicrous plot involves an Elvis Presley type of heart throb, international rock and roll star named Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer in his motion picture debut) who is working undercover for the US government to rescue an imprisoned scientist in East Germany. There are plenty of jokes throughout the entire film and they come at you very fast as they do in Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Like those films you really need to see Top Secret! more than once because as you are laughing you are probably missing some very fast sight gags and one liners. Plus, while watching all of these Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker comedies you have to have a keen eye and observe the entire screen, not just the main characters in the foreground, so many jokes are happening all over the frame that it is easy to miss them. Kilmer is great as the slightly clueless hero but its supporting roles are just as strong with surprisingly funny performances from Omar Sharif, Michael Gough and Peter Cushing. 

In the end you will be doing yourself a favor and laugh a lot by checking out Top Secret!, a film that is as much a product of its time as it is a timeless gem of a picture. 

Click below to see some of the funniest scenes of this outrageous comedy and stream the entire movie on Netflix. 

“Sunday? That’s Simchas Torah!”

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