Val Kilmer is known as one of the great actors in the 80’s and 90’s, he would go on to star in some of the biggest films of the decades including Tombstone, The Doors, True Romance, and even a stint as Batman himself, but every major star has to start somewhere, so why not a comedy in the form of a parody of WWII Spy films?   That is what today’s film is about, and, it also happens to be Val Kilmer’s debut film!

Todays Key Movie:

Top Secret 3

By the producers of Airplane!, The story revolves around a young pop singer named Nick Rivers (Kilmer) who has been invited to East Germany to be the performer at a Cultural Festival.  He soon finds himself caught up in a resistance group who are trying to usurp the Nazi-esque regime that is in charge of the country.   He soon finds himself caught up in an absurd world of espionage attempting to rescue the father of the girl of his dreams from the clutches of the evil East German Regime.

Why this movie?

When I first saw this film, it was likely on a Showtime free preview weekend or on VHS.   At the time I had very little clue as to who Val Kilmer was, or even who he would become, but it didn’t matter, we found this film hilarious.  Although not by him, the film plays like one of Mel Brooks finest films.   It is full of clever humor, puns and subtle jokes through and through. With both my father and I being fans of the absurd, it would only make sense for this to be one that we would enjoy.

Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?

Top Secret 5
There are some great self referential bits as well.

As mentioned before, this is Val Kilmer’s first feature film and his talent was already more than apparent.  For someone who would go on to become an amazing dramatic actor, this one really shows his ability to wrangle humor while maintaining his strong dramatic presence.  The man was certainly a talent to behold from the very beginning.

Sadly this film is not very well known even though it could be considered one of the best comedies of 1984 were it not for the plethora of comedies released that year.  When I first saw it, many of the jokes would go over my head, but over the years I have discovered more and more in the film that keeps me laughing. Subtle visual jokes and word play fill this film and each viewing will result in additional discoveries time and again.

Top Secret 4

Everyone in the film is spot on and plays their roles brilliantly. In addition to Val, the film also has a rather robust cast including Peter Cushing, Jeremy Kemp, Michael Gough, Omar Sharif and many others.

Even though it is a comedy, the Special Effects in this film are superb and done in such a subtle way, you will find yourself spotting fun and crazy things every time you see it.  Every time I watch it I find more and more subtle bits that I missed the multiple times I had seen it before.  It is films like this that just keep giving and giving.

OK, where do I get this movie?

This one is a little hard to find in physical format these days but you can get it digitally for around $10 via your favorite streaming service.  I picked up a copy on Vudu but I am sure you can find it just about anywhere else digital movies are sold.

Whether you are a fan of 80’s comedies or just a fan of Val Kilmer himself, this is one you should watch.  It is a fun film from the moment it begins.  Trust me, you wont regret it.

and of course, the trailer:

Late To The Game 11/29/2018

If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.

For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here. and, If you dig Music, I have a semi regular series called Stand Out Albums that covers some of my favorite records I have come across in life.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

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