That Scene From ‘Top Secret’ (1984)

“Hey, have you seen this movie? What did you think about THAT SCENE?!” We have all used that phrase at one point during our discussions of movies with the other person’s eyebrows raising, “Oh yea, THAT SCENE!” You go on to pick that memorable scene apart by listing what you loved or didn’t like, how it made you feel and the impression it left on you. 

In this series, we will do just that. We will take a scene from a movie and discuss its impact on us. Some of these scenes may be frightening, weird, iconic, controversial, hilarious and everything in between. Let us know your impression of the scene and the impact it left on you the first time you watched it down below in the comments. Enjoy!

 *Warning: May Contain Spoilers*

Movie: Top Secret (1984)

Scene: Bar Room Brawl


Director: Jim Abrahams, David, and Jerry Zucker

Characters: Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) and The Torch (Christopher Villiers)


After the success of Airplane!, ZAZ (Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker) continued to keep with the slapstick comedy by making a parody of various film styles such as musicals starring Elvis Presley, spy films of the Cold War era and World War II films. Nick Rivers is an American rock star that travels to East Germany to perform at a cultural festival. While there he meets a member of the local resistance movement who is trying to thwart the devious plan of the East Germany government who is trying to reunite Germany under their rule.

Nick saves the lovely rebel from the local police but is arrested because they believe him to a part of the resistance. After surviving torture and being able to escape, Nick is introduced to the resistance leader Nigel” The Torch”. Nick begins working with the Resistance while starting to fall for Hillary who just so happened to have an old flame for The Torch from when they were stranded on an island together in their younger years.

During one of the Resistance’s operations, it is found out that there is a traitor amongst them. They believe it to be Nick until it is revealed that it was The Torch all along. He kidnaps Hillary and makes a break fro it with Nick right on his heels. That brings us to our scene.



I just couldn’t stop laughing at this scene. This movie usually gets looked over for films like Airplane! and Hot Shots but Val Kilmer is at his coolest and the gags are nonstop. The climactic standoff begins as a simple chase and dives into something much sillier. I mean it’s nothing more than your typical barroom brawl with chairs and bottles being broken over someone’s head while the bartender, well, tends to the bar. The simple fact that all this takes place underwater is side-splitting. Something so genric and cliched turned up to 11 by having all unfold at the bottom of a river is just hilarious. ZAZ really outdid themselves here by making one of the wackiest fight scenes of all time.

What do you think of this underwater barroom brawl? Do you even remember Top Secret!?

Author: Vincent Kane

I hate things.