Fast approaching Earth is a cloudlike alien entity that has destroys all that approaches its nebulous form. The not-quite-fully-refitted Enterprise is the closest vessel available in its approach toward Earth. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) pushes his way to take over the mission over the man he picked for his successor as the captain, Willard Decker (Stephen Collins). Kirk makes every attempt to reason with this living entity, who goes by the moniker, V’ger. V’ger abducts the Enterprise’s navigator, Ilia (Persis Khambatta), who then returns in a mechanical form, giving voice to the entity. The bad news: V’ger wants to rid the Earth of all the carbon-based life forms, effectively ending life as we know it for everyone on the planet unless Kirk and company can save the day. Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Nichelle Nichols return to their iconic roles. Robert Wise directs.
In this semi-spoof sequel to the classic TV show, “Dragnet”, Dan Aykroyd isn’t playing Jack Webb’s character, Joe Friday, in this film, but rather, his nephew, with the same name and personality. He’s assigned a roguish new partner named Pep Streebeck (Tom Hanks) with which to fight crime with, though he’s of a new breed of a police officer, not really respecting the rule of law that Sergeant Friday does to his core.
Their first case together sees them trying to crack a slew of recent murders in Los Angeles, ostensibly done by a mysterious cult known simply as P.A.G.A.N., (People Against Goodness and Normalcy) as the calling cars they leave behind at the scenes of their crimes suggest. Signs begin to point in the direction of a smarmy TV evangelist named Rev. Jonathan Whirley (Christopher Plummer) and a smarmy smut merchant named Jerry Caesar (Dabney Coleman). Friday and Streebeck rescue a sacrificial virgin, Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul), at one of the P.A.G.A.N. gatherings, and for the first time in his life, Sgt. Friday has found someone wholesome enough to consider as his girlfriend, though he has now become too involved to think clearly — or play things by the book when the heart is involved.
In this “Get Smart” sequel movie made for network television, KAOS makes a comeback in a world that hasn’t been terrorized by them since CONTROL took them down and put themselves out of the international terror business. Recurring “Get Smart” actor Bernie Kopell returns as Maxwell Smart’s (Don Adams) main nemesis Conrad Siegreid, who leads the new KAOS after it has been bought out in a corporate takeover and is now encountering budget cuts requiring a quick influx of cash. Siegried launches his own plans for world domination with the formula to create a Weather-Control Machine, which gives them the power to adjust the climate anywhere in the world as they see fit, but willing to stop targeting places like the interior of the White House for a ransom of $250 billion to be paid within seven days. Barbara Feldon, Dick Gautier, Robert Karvelas, Harold Gould, King Moody, and Kenneth Mars also appear.
Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), the dimwitted super-spy from the hit TV series from the 1960s, “Get Smart” returned in 1980 for a brand new, racier adventure. Entitled The Nude Bomb, it has lost that title over the years in favor of the more TV-programming friendly The Return of Maxwell Smart. The gist of the film is that an agent from the super-terrorist organization, KAOS, is threatening to rid the world of all clothing if demands aren’t met, using a bomb capable of destroying all forms of fabric. It’s up to Agent 86 of PITS, Maxwell Smart, to put an end to these nefarious plans, although wherever he turns, trouble seems to follow. He suspects there may be a double agent trying to put a wrench in the works, but who?
Andrea Howard, Dana Elcar, Vittorio Gassman, Norman Lloyd, Sylvia Kristel, Rhonda Fleming, Pamela Hensley, Bill Dana also appear in this film directed by Clive Donner.
Erratum Note: Writer/producer Alan Spencer reached out to me on Twitter to let me know that a comment I made about “all” Eugene Roche’s scenes being re-shot after his departure due to illness is not entirely accurate, as you can see him in a few long shots. He recommends the new Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of The Nude Bomb for a vast wealth of information on the making of the film.
Although I released this episode on 12/13/19, three days after the release of the Blu-ray on 12/10/19, I did the research on The Nude Bomb and recorded the episode approximately two weeks prior and did not have the Blu-ray’s supplemental material or Alan Spencer’s commentary to consult, so I do apologize for this discrepancy.
If you’re interested in the most definitive take on The Nude Bomb, please check out the Kino Lorber release: https://www.kinolorber.com/product/nude-bomb-aka-the-return-of-maxwell-smart-4k-uhd
The comedy writing team of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker brought this first of a trilogy, based on their short-lived 1982 TV show “Police Squad”, of zany screwball comedies to Hollywood in 1988, offering plenty of sight gags, plays on words, pop culture sendups, and downright silly slapstick. Leslie Nielsen returns to star as Lt. Frank Drebin, who seems to have a high success rate in closing his cases despite being an overconfident buffoon. His latest case involves trying to prevent the assassination of Queen Elizabeth II while on a visit to America. A hunch leads Drebin to look into wealthy philanthropist Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban), who Frank thinks is also a scam artist. Drebin ends up falling for Ludwig’s beautiful but klutzy assistant, Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). George Kennedy and O.J. Simpson also appear.