Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


GET SMART Season 1. 1965.

This silly but often very funny series about a bumbling spy who somehow manages to outwit and defeat his foes every week was certainly bolstered by great casting. Don Adams as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart; Barbara Feldon as Agent 99; and Ed Platt as The Chief of spy group Control could not have been bettered. Adams expertly handles the slapstick, while Feldon -- with great aplomb -- watches in loving exasperation, and Platt's deadpan delivery of his lines just makes them even funnier. The show gave birth to the catchphrases "would you believe?" and "And ... loving it!," among others. Some of the episodes, such as "Ship of Spies," had actual plots and managed to be suspenseful along with the laughs. One of the most hilarious devices was the Cone of Silence [the portable version is pictured] which is supposed to keep others from overhearing a secret conversation but which never works. Some scripts were written by Buck Henry and Mel Brooks. Much better than the 2008 theatrical remake. Adams also played Smart in the amusing theatrical feature The Nude Bomb.

Verdict: Memorable action comedy. ***

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