The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.
Jacob's feet are so turned out that he walks like Charlie Chaplin. He is different because of that and decides to emigrate from Palestine to Canada, where "everyone is equal". There ... See full summary »
Izidore K. Musallam
This time Zucker and Abrams are spoofing, most notably, Elvis films and WWII spy movies. Val Kilmer stars as Nick Rivers, a handsome American 50s-style rock and roll singer. While performing in East Germany, he falls in love with a beautiful heroine and becomes involved with the French Resistance. Written by
The scene where Hillary and Nick go into the Swedish bookstore was staged, shot and then run backwards to make the dialog sound "unique." If you record the scene and play it backwards, you will find all of the dialogue to be exactly what is shown in the subtitles except for the title of the book Hillary asks for. The title she actually asks for is "Europe On 5 Quaaludes A Day." See more »
When the magnet picks up the car in the junk yard, the driver's window is halfway open. In the following shot of the car being placed into the crusher, the window is completely closed. See more »
In between their most successful films Airplane, Naked Gun and Hot Shots the ZAZ team modestly spoofed the espionage and conspiracy theory thrillers in Top Secret! The film involves American teen idol Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer in his first big screen role) attending a culture festival in Nazified East Germany. The festival merely is a cover-up for the sinister and evil practices of the Nazis who kidnapped an eminent scientist. Nick quickly interferes in all this and ends up as member of a resistance-party, existing of French dudes with funny-sounding names and weird comical habits (like drinking gasoline ) . Remaining loyal to the ZAZ trademarks, 'Top Secret!' is one giant running gag and a spitfire of chuckles in which absolutely NOTHING has to be taken seriously. The European-minded character of this film provided the writers with the occasion to make fun of the typical French, German and Swedish stereotypes and that forms a perfect contrast with the American surf-generation. As usual in this type of films, the widely elaborated jokes miss their target (sometimes they even are painfully unfunny) but the smaller background slapstick is hilarious and almost causes you a stomach pain from laughing. The open assaults to immensely successful cinema classics like 'the Great Escape', 'Wizard of Oz' or 'The Blue Lagoon' is something you either love or hate, but it perfectly reflects the type of over-the-top humor these writers want to bring. Val Kilmer does well in his first major role and his youthful charm helps increasing his teen-popstar credibility. Furthermore, there are a few delightful small roles for authentic cinema veterans such as Omar Shariff, Michael Gough and my personal favorite Peter Cushing. Top Secret isn't Abraham's and the Zucker brother's best work, but it's still great entertainment and the quality balances somewhere between 'The Kentucky Fried Movie' and 'Airplane'.
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