MovieChat Forums > Top Secret! (1984) Discussion > What makes this so special are the mind ...

What makes this so special are the mind tricks on our perception

I'm German and am a big fan of this movie. Never ever have I wondered about the plot, and I wouldn't be able to explain it to anyone. That's of no importance to this movie.

And as a ZAZ movie it's silly and funny. No news there, either.

But what makes this movie stand out is its play with our perception.

Think about it - many many of the jokes are about fooling us about what we expect to see, much more than in any other ZAZ movie:
- the moving train
- the huge telephone
- the cows seen thru the binculars
- the hands all over the beach scene
- the little gang member looking out of the top window of the door
- the boots in front of Nick when he's crawling thru the fence

And there's probably more. All great jokes I will never forget because of how greatly they fooled me.

Don't you agree that this movie has this kind of gag going as a major theme? I say this because I'm surprised that I found no review that did point this out.
And I think that other ZAZ movies didn't do that to this extent.


I've never thought about it before, but you're absolutely right. There's also the kind of similar gag where they go into the bookshop and the entire scene plays backwards, which some people take a while to pick up on. Of course, most jokes are about confounding expectations, but the ZAZ team did seem to be very experimental and creative with some of the visual gags in this movie.

If I have to tell you again, we're gonna take it outside and I'm gonna show you what it's like!


I absolutely love the intro joke with the german soldier and the bridge. Also the slightly subtle ones like tbe east german natiobal
Anthem starting with heil heil deutschland, Poor taste, yes. Funny, yes!


Need more of that today


Don't think it will happen, filmmakers have to think about political repercussions too much. A lot of the pre-9/11 films had big fictional terror attacks on the US as their plot, but that is completely different now.

Top Secret! is one of my favourite films and I suggest it to everyone who likes comedy, and most of those people don't know it!


Hollyweird really went to shit...They have politicised everything.

Biggest bunch of over payed losers ever....