Top Secret! DVD Menu
Film,  Podcast

Hops and Box Office Flops: TOP SECRET! – We Know a Little German

Top Secret! was the team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker’s follow up to their incredibly successful Airplane! It, like its predecessor, is an indescribably goofy movie—full of off the wall gags, jokes, and non-sequiturs.

If you have seen Airplane!, you will understand what kind of humor it is. These guys were the kings of this style of comedy, and Top Secret! certainly lives up to that pedigree. It also introduced moviegoers to Val Kilmer. This was his big screen debut, and it’s clear why he went on to become a household name.

Val Kilmer performs as Nick Rivers in Top Secret!

Where this movie suffers is a lack of clear narrative focus and a truly defined world. It is set in immediate post-World War II East Germany, but features wisecracks from several decades proceeding it—not to mention that the antagonists are Nazis. 

Really, though, the plot is a big whatever. You come to a film like this to laugh, and you definitely will. As much as theater patrons ignored it in 1984 (it grossed $20 million compared to Airplane!‘s $158), it has become a cult hit over time. Deservedly so.

Now, sit back, catch a heavy with a Boom Dynamite IPA from OHSO Brewery, and introduce us to the little German! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are riding waves and blasting pigeons—Skeet Surfin’!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – The plots for spoof movies are generally lacking and Top Secret! is no exception. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions – Are we surprised this couldn’t replicate the success of Airplane!? (39:30)
  • Trivia Challenge – I challenge the field to a host of Top Secret!-related trivia. (54:08)
  • Recommendations – After a word from our pals at Hop Nation USA, we offer our picks for the week; and next up: We suit up for the start our “Hops and Heroic Flops,” series with Green Lantern! (1:07:24)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the oral history and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadioVurbl, and Amazon Music!

Thomas Kelly

Writer, Superman aficionado, lover of odd and underperforming sports teams, and co-host of the film adoring podcast, Hops and Box Office Flops