Nude Bomb, The / Return of Maxwell Smart, The (1980)

Nude Bomb, The / Return of Maxwell Smart, The (1980)

“Maxwell Smart is a fool and a bumbler.”

Bumbling secret agent Max Smart (Don Adams) and his beautiful new partner (Andrea Howard) are sent to stop a mad fashion designer (Vittorio Gassman) from blowing up the world’s clothing with “nude bombs”.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Satires and Spoofs
  • Spies

This big-screen adaptation of the cult T.V. series “Get Smart” is a clunker on every count. While Stuart Galbraith IV of DVD Talk notes it’s “fascinating in the same way YouTube dashcam videos of Russian car accidents can sometimes be,” I would argue that only applies to diehard fans of the original show, who may appreciate (?) getting to analyze each element that’s been changed. Meanwhile, the rest of us are forced to sit through an endless array of painfully unfunny gags, such as Smart firing a gun into his own groin:

… Smart chasing bad guys through Universal Studios:

… Smart “out-skiing” a red-clad sexy agent (Sylvia Kristel):

… Smart driving his desk through city streets during a high-speed chase:

… and (unfortunately) much more. The final shoot-out sequence attempts to be clever by incorporating a cloning machine:

… but it’s too little, too late. Consider yourself forewarned.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
Not much.

Must See?
Nope; stay far away from this one unless you happen to be morbidly curious.


2 thoughts on “Nude Bomb, The / Return of Maxwell Smart, The (1980)

  1. First viewing (11/25/21). Not must-see.

    I’ve no idea why Peary would include this in his book; it’s a bizarre inclusion. Apparently things were a mess on the production side; Adams hated the script and only did the movie for money; the writers were barred from the set.

    The film itself is occasionally mildly amusing but something this mostly-unfunny can’t maintain its meager welcome for long.

    Howard is nicely game and Kristel and Rhonda Fleming get through their small roles with some grace but the surprise is Norman Lloyd – doing well with his comic underplaying.

    Strangely, it looks like a lot of money went into this and there’s some clever production design work. But this now rather forgotten film is mainly a precursor to Leslie Nielsen’s much-much-funnier dual series, ‘Police Squad / The Naked Gun’.

  2. I watched this on HBO circa 1981 and enjoyed it having seen the odd episode of the Get Smart show in the ’70s. When I moved to the UK in 1983 it was a film that was less well known in the UK. Didn’t see it again until I got the 2019 US BD release.

    I actually enjoyed it after the 36-year hiatus. No world-beater or anything but a pretty funny film most of time. It’ll never be a must-see film for FFs but I didn’t dislike it at all and I was expecting to.

Leave a Reply