Get Smart

Release Date: June 20, 2008

Movie of the Day for Thursday, January 6, 2005
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Shoe phone sex was all the rage in the liberated 60s.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
3/196 Max Braden The pacing is really well done. This is fun all the way through. Fans of PG comedy and action should enjoy it.
19/98 David Mumpower As a huge fan of the original series, I expected to be disappointed by this. To the contrary, Anne Hathaway uncannily channeled Barbara Feldon and made this a joy.
20/43 Kim Hollis It's not perfect, but it is a lot of fun, which is all you really need from a movie like this.
21/31 Les Winan Well-paced and funny throughout. A satisfying action comedy.
23/52 Sean Collier Good for a quick laugh.
26/31 John Seal Occasionally amusing update of the TV classic

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Mel Brooks and Buck Henry were artists well ahead of their time. Their creation, a spy spoof in the James Bond vein named Get Smart, was one of the most imaginitive in the first 50 years of broadcast television.

The protagonist, a bumbling buffoon named Maxwell Smart, always got his man, but he never managed to do so through cunning and/or skill. Instead, his loyal assistant Agent 99 would do all the hard work for him while he would receive credit in the end. This subversively feminist slant on the working world was too sly a spoof for its own good. After a few seasons of existence, Get Smart was permanently mothballed. Then, something odd happened.

A new method of broadcast television known as cable began to emerge. Its inventors, however, had no real idea how to program a 24-hour day, so they loaded up the line-up with re-runs and lots of them. Popular shows like Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Andy Griffith Show found new life in the fledgling format. And a show involving agents from Control and CHAOS attained a previously unknown level of recognition.

A couple of notable attempts were made to capitalize on this newfound notoriety. A theatrical movie was made featuring the original cast. That production, The Nude Bomb, was a failed idea that was quickly forgotten. Some 30 years after production of the first series, another version was re-launched on Fox. Alas, the new Get Smart was no more successful than the old one, and the obnoxious laugh track didn't get any less annoying over time.

Despite these disappointments, the fertile nature of the idea has kept hope alive that one day it might again resurface as a hit. That dream remains alive in the hearts of countless Warner Bros. Execs, and it's for this reason that a theatrical adaptation of Get Smart is underway.

Originally, Will Ferrell was scheduled to take on the role made infamous by Don Adams. His recent inexplicable hot streak has turned that casting into an impossibility. Instead, his Anchorman co-star, former Daily Show contributor Steve Carell, has received that assignment. Before you get too upset, consider that the 1995 television choice was Andy Dick, so it could be worse...not a lot worse, I'll grant you, but not the absolute bottom of the barrel either.

Get Smart counterbalanced the Carell choice by smartly adding Anne Hathaway as Agent 99. BOP fave The Rock has also been brought on board as a new character, a dashing Control agent whose perfections riddle Agent 86 with even more insecurities about his own failings. If Hathaway is smart, she'll run away with The Rock and leave Maxwell Smart stuck with internet porn. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Get Smart
Main Cast Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Supporting Cast Alan Arkin, Terence Stamp, Masi Oka, Terry Crews, Ken Davitian
Director Peter Segal
Screenwriter Steve Koren, Tom Astle, Matt Ember
Distributor Warner Bros.
Screen Count 3,911
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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