IMDb > Top Secret! (1984)
Top Secret!
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Top Secret! (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   41,481 votes »
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Up 29% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Jim Abrahams (written by) &
David Zucker (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Top Secret! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 June 1984 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Movie? What movie? See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Hilarious From A like Abrahams to Z like Zucker ... See more (156 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Omar Sharif ... Agent Cedric

Jeremy Kemp ... General Streck

Warren Clarke ... Colonel von Horst
Tristram Jellinek ... Major Crumpler

Val Kilmer ... Nick Rivers
Billy J. Mitchell ... Martin
Major Wiley ... Porter
Gertan Klauber ... Mayor
Richard Mayes ... Biletnikov
Vyvyan Lorrayne ... Madam Bergerone
Nancy Abrahams ... Pregnant Woman

Ian McNeice ... Blind Souvenir Vendor
John Sharp ... Maitre D'
Lucy Gutteridge ... Hillary Flammond
Michael Burlington ... Waiter
Marcus Powell ... Little German
Louise Yaffe ... Cafe Diner
Charlotte Zucker ... Cafe Diner
Susan Breslau ... Cafe Diner
Helen Kahan ... Cafe Diner
Burton Zucker ... Chef
Richard Pescud ... Priest
John J. Carney ... Klaus (as John Carney)
O.T. ... Bruno
Russell Sommers ... Student

Michael Gough ... Dr. Paul Flammond
Sara Montague ... Crying Girl
Gerry Paris ... Back-Up Singer
David Adams ... Back-Up Singer
Geoff Wayne ... Back-Up Singer
Steve Ubels ... German Soldier
Chas Bryer ... German Soldier
Mac McDonald ... German Soldier

Peter Cushing ... Bookstore Proprietor
Mandy Nunn ... Young Hillary

Lee Sheward ... Young Nigel
Janos Kurucz ... Wagon Driver
Sydney Arnold ... Albert Potato
Harry Ditson ... Du Quois

Christopher Villiers ... Nigel

Jim Carter ... Déjà Vu
Eddie Tagoe ... Chocolate Mousse
Dimitri Andreas ... Latrine
Michelle Martin ... Der Pizzahaus Girl
Nicola Wright ... Der Pizzahaus Girl
Lisa Gruenberg ... Der Pizzahaus Girl
Daisy ... Cow
Andrew Hawkins ... Pilot

Richard Bonehill ... Scarecrow
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jim Abrahams ... German Soldier in Prop Room (uncredited)
Jack Cooper ... Sergeant Kruger (uncredited)
Harry Fielder ... German Guard (uncredited)

Frank Jakeman ... German Soldier (uncredited)

Derek Lyons ... German Soldier (uncredited)

David Zucker ... German Soldier in Prop Room (uncredited)

Jerry Zucker ... German Soldier in Prop Room (uncredited)

Directed by
Jim Abrahams 
David Zucker 
Jerry Zucker 
 
Writing credits
Jim Abrahams (written by) &
David Zucker (written by) &
Jerry Zucker (written by) and
Martyn Burke (written by)

Produced by
Jim Abrahams .... executive producer
Jon Davison .... producer
Tom Jacobson .... associate producer
Hunt Lowry .... producer
David Zucker .... executive producer
Jerry Zucker .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
 
Cinematography by
Christopher Challis 
 
Film Editing by
Françoise Bonnot 
Bernard Gribble 
 
Casting by
Susan Arnold 
Lucy Boulting 
Mary Selway 
 
Production Design by
Michael Lamont 
Peter Lamont 
 
Art Direction by
John Fenner 
Michael Lamont 
 
Set Decoration by
Crispian Sallis 
 
Costume Design by
Emma Porteous 
 
Makeup Department
Joan Carpenter .... supervising hairdresser
Kay Freeborn .... makeup artist
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup supervisor
Betty Glasow .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Eric Rattray .... in charge of production
Donald Toms .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jerry Daly .... second second assistant director
Gerry Gavigan .... assistant director: second unit
Mike Higgins .... second assistant director
Barry Langley .... assistant director
Jack Lowin .... second unit director
Joe Powell .... second unit director
Trevor Puckle .... third assistant director
Andrew Warren .... assistant director: second unit
 
Art Department
David Allday .... draughtsman (as Dave Allday)
Michael Boone .... draughtsman
Jille Brown .... art department assistant (as Jillie Brown)
Jeff Clark .... sign writer
Roger W. Deer .... sketch artist (as Roger Deer)
Dennis Griffin .... production buyer
Mark Hedges .... stand-by prop
Wally Hill .... props chargehand
Carol Lay .... sketch artist
Joe Monks .... painter
Jim Morahan .... assistant art director
Trevor Nicol .... carpenter
Brian Payne .... property master
Michael Redding .... construction manager
Ernest Smith .... scenic artist
Jacqueline Stears .... scenic artist
Paul Taggart .... plasterer
Peter Voysey .... sculptor
John Whitby .... carpenter
 
Sound Department
Derek Ball .... sound recordist
Peter Best .... sound editor: UK
David Campling .... supervising sound editor
Ron Davis .... sound editor: UK
Robert Gavin .... sound editor: UK (as Bob Gavin)
Gerry Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer
Ken Nightingall .... boom operator
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound re-recording mixer
Guido Reidy .... sound maintenance
 
Special Effects by
Nick Allder .... special effects supervisor
Nick Dudman .... animatronic technician
Joe Fitt .... special effects technician
Verner Gresty .... animatronic technician
John McGoldrick .... special effects technician
Sue Oakes .... animatronic technician
Terry Schubert .... special effects technician
 
Visual Effects by
Martin Body .... rostrum cameraman
 
Stunts
Jack Cooper .... stunts (as Jackie Cooper)
Clive Curtis .... stunts
Martin Grace .... stunts
Frank Henson .... stunts
Eddie Kidd .... stunts
Gareth Milne .... stunts
Valentino Musetti .... stunts (as Val Musetti)
Eddie Powell .... stunts
Joe Powell .... stunt arranger
Doug Robinson .... stunts
Paul Weston .... stunts
Dickey Beer .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Claydon .... focus puller: second unit
Freddie Cooper .... camera operator
Allen Daviau .... director of photography: additional photography
Joe Finn .... gaffer
John Fletcher .... clapper loader
W.C. 'Chunky' Huse .... grip (as Chunky Huse)
Peter James .... clapper loader: second unit
Laurie Ridley .... still photographer
Randall Robinson .... first assistant camera: additional photography
Tony Strachan .... focus puller
 
Animation Department
Sally Cruikshank .... animation sequence
Jeff Goldner .... animation sequence
 
Casting Department
Gretchen Rennell .... casting: New York
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tiny Nicholls .... wardrobe master
 
Editorial Department
Elizabeth Barnard .... assistant editor: USA
Michael John Bateman .... first assistant editor
Dina Eaton .... assistant editor: UK
 
Music Department
Robert Hathaway .... music editor: UK (as Bob Hathaway)
Bones Howe .... music consultant: u.s.a.
Maurice Jarre .... conductor
Richard Stone .... music editor: USA
Eric Tomlinson .... score mixer
Kevin Townend .... orchestrator: songs
Bruce Welch .... music consultant: u.k.
 
Transportation Department
Les Austin .... unit driver
Tony Bradley .... unit driver
Billy Willmott .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Sidney G. Barnsby .... production accountant (as Sid Barnsby)
Joy Bayley .... production assistant: UK
Marilyn Clarke .... continuity: second unit
Pamela Davies .... continuity
Brian Doyle .... publicist
Norma Garment .... production assistant: UK
Gillian Gregory .... choreographer
Nick Heckstall-Smith .... production runner
Allan James .... location manager
Derek Lyons .... double: Val Kilmer
Betty Moos .... assistant to producer
Christopher Palmer .... assistant: Maurice Jarre
Robert Parker .... production assistant: los angeles
Vic Smith .... location manager
Margaret Sysiak .... secretary
Tony Wathen .... diving master
Simon J. Williamson .... puppeteer (as Simon Williamson)
 
Thanks
Howard Kaylan .... special thanks
Rich Markey .... special thanks
Danny Opatoshu .... special thanks
Mark Volman .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In her autobiography "The Varnished Untruth", Pamela Stephenson recalls she auditioned for the part of Hillary Flammond but then heard through her casting agent that Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker were looking for an actual French actress. Stephenson then asked CAA casting agent Todd Smith to get her a second audition, this time posing as made up French actress "Danielle Bergeronette". At the end of the meeting she removed her wig and had a good laugh about it with the three directors, but she still didn't get the part.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: When Dr. Flammond tells Nick that the weapon has to be completed by September 24, Nick replies "That's Simchat Torah!" Simchat Torah is a festive Jewish holiday in which the liturgy includes reading the last portion of Deuterotomy, final book of Moses, and then beginning the cycle again with the book of Genesis. In 1984 Simchat Torah fell on October 18.See more »
Quotes:
Nick Rivers:Are you in some kind of trouble with the police?
Hillary Flammond:Some things are much better left unsaid.
Nick Rivers:Like what?
Hillary Flammond:Well, you know... sometimes when you blow your nose into a tissue and you put it in your purse, then a little while later you have to reach in there for your lipstick or something, and your hand gushes into it, and it goes all over...
Nick Rivers:Okay, okay, you're right, you're right. Some things are better left unsaid.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofs Loving You (1957)See more »
Soundtrack:
ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT?See more »

FAQ

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Hilarious From A like Abrahams to Z like Zucker ..., 13 February 2012
Author: ElMaruecan82 from France

Following the popular success of "Airplane!" and its less acclaimed sequel, the ZAZ trio was back to what I believe to be the funniest comedy ever: "Top Secret!" a hilarious parody of the WWII spy films and the 50-60's rock-themed movies. Speaking of rock'n'roll, one of the most defining songs of the film performed by Val Kilmer aka Nick Rivers is titled "How Silly Can you Get?" which sounds like a self-reflexive motto.

"Top Secret!" probably features the highest laughs-out-loud-per-minute ratio from any movie, as there is not one single moment where the action isn't punctuated by a gag, and that this very gag doesn't work. Everything in "Top Secret!" is both hilarious on an anarchic and cathartic level in the way it plunges you into a never-ending positive mindset. You may say that this is the very principle of a comedy, what's more a spoof movie, but it seems like "Top Secret!" has been specially concocted for pure and genuine amusement, and while the much more respected "Airplane!" has its slower moments, especially during the flash-back parts, "Top Secret!" was hilarious from A like Abrahams to Z like Zucker brothers.

There are two kinds of gags in "Top Secret!", the direct and the indirect one. The direct is immediate, mostly visual and slapstick, like a "find him and kill him" stamp or a sunbathing girl leaving boob-holes in the sand. The best gags are extended and feature a lot of dancing like the ball scene, the outrageous ballet sequence or a feet-view panic scene. Anyway, whether it's an offensive national anthem, a singing horse, a little German, an over-hilarious moment when Nick is about to be executed and an old lady slowly approaches to pick up the phone, any attempt to list the audio-visual gags of the film is as ludicrous as trying to define which is the funniest. The indirect gag is the elaborated one, already funny by itself but leading to a much more delightful punch-line.

The first one involves a weird shot illustrating the road taken by Nick Rivers and his manager, the map looks more and more familiar until Pac-Man makes his appearance, the very gag that sets the tone of the film. When Omar Sharif as Agent Cedric meets a colleague disguised as a party tricks vendor, the whole interaction is funny enough but the icing on the cake comes with the "You dropped your phony dog pooh", an item which obviously is not sold. The gag works even more because we expect it, like when Nick is introduced to the French Resistance, what would you expect from a man named "Déjà Vu" apart from "Have we not met before?" It could have concluded here yet the French sounding names punch-line was with the black guy named 'Chocolate Mousse", which says a lot about an era where anything was acceptable in the name of pure comedy.

I don't mean to be too analytical, but my regard for "Top Secret!" is due to one of the two funniest and creative gags from any film, starting with the Swedish bookstore sequence, a cinematic achievement that would have made Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin proud. During that part, there is a gradual suspicion that we're not watching a normal scene, even for a spoof movie, there is something weird in the walking and the talking that gets funnier as it is more noticeable, the scene becomes hilarious when we get the point and yet it goes on and on, a book getting in the right place immediately, dust from ear to mouth, and finally Nick and Hillary 'sliding up' a pole. The sequence goes from funny to not funny anymore until it becomes funny again with the throw away gag of the puppy going backwards leaving the Swedish bookstore owner in a priceless doubted expression.

The other and maybe more memorable one, as it made it in the poster involves a clever cow disguise that looks like a real cow from our point of view, it's simple but someone should have thought about that. Now, it became a comedic landmark used in many comedies when a guy disguise as an animal, inopportunely choosing the female one, and invites a male on heat to come on him, but back then it was new that even pushed the outrageousness by involving a little veal thirsty for milk, the villain's reaction (in the disguise) is a laugh-riot. That's the secret of "Top Secret!", a comedy that doesn't take itself seriously except for its genuine desire to make us laugh. The rest of the gags are as good as it gets, and features many fourth-wall breaking, like when Nick and Hillary feels that the romance "makes it's like a bad movie" and then they look at us, and many film references are made, notably one hilarious climax in a sub-aquatic Western bar, and a clever farewell a la "Wizard of Oz".

"Top Secret!" is made in such a way, that we either enjoy a gag or wait for one to come, so there's no time break. The only little pauses are provided by these moments when we can enjoy Val Kilmer's musical performances but the humor is never away. But my enjoyment of the film is proportional to my sadness to see it so often overlooked by the peers and movie viewers, playing on anagrams, I want to say that "TOP SECRET!" is a comedy "TO RESPECT!". Indeed, when I checked the list of AFI's Top 100 Laughs, I was surprised not to see "Top Secret!" listed while "Fargo" and "Jerry Maguire" and less 'lol'ling comedies were, I'm even surprised that the film is hardly mentioned among the greatest parodies or that it didn't have any nominations for the Golden Globes.

Seriously, I can't see, regarding "Top Secret!", how funnier can a movie get.

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