Required Reading: The Goofy History of ‘Top Secret!’ Revealed!

By  · Published on June 19th, 2014

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“How Silly Can You Get? The Tumultuous Making of Top Secret!” – Mike Ryan at Screen Crush does God’s work by delivering a definitive oral history from Val Kilmer, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker on their flop/cult hit espionage spoof.

David Zucker: In ‘Top Secret!,’ there are so many of them. You know what I love? The jokes that are so easy to do – like when Val is leading the resistance guys and they’re crunching the leaves, and then he turns back and says, “Shhh.” And they nod and they go on. We just took the sound out. It was like so stupid.

Jim Abrahams: There are three in a row right there. Somebody checks his watch and there’s a close-up of the watch, the “shhhhh,” then they cut through the fence and the boots.

David Zucker: Some of the puns are great, “I know a little German, he’s sitting over there.”

“The Books of Orange is the New Black: An Annotated Guide” – When watching the latest season, it occurred to me that cataloging all the literary entertainment the ladies enjoy at Litchfield would be 1) incredibly worthwhile and 2) insanely time-consuming. Fortunately, Jarita Lee at Vulture has taken the plunge and delivered an excellent, trivial guide. There’s still time to add these titles to your summer prison reading.

“Wily Indies Succeed on Digital Channels Where Majors Struggle” – Cynthia Littleton at Variety recounts the age-old tale of the nimble rebel surviving in a new system while the lumbering giant scratches its head.

“Head of WGA West on Why Hollywood Needs Net Neutrality” – Also at Variety, Chris Keyser (the aforementioned president of the headline) pens an excellent, insider view on what the future of the storytelling business would look like if the gate is closed. These two stories make for great companion reading.

“The Reality of the Mirror” – Speaking of which, Roderick Heath at To Be Cont’d continues (appropriately) the discussion on movies as puzzles to be solved, reveling in an adolescence that came on the Usual Suspects cusp of the modern era of blurred lies.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector [email protected] | Writing short stories at Adventitious.