Movies Based on TV Shows Featuring Their Original Casts, In Honor of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
Movie #2 – Get Smart – The Nude Bomb
Year – 1980
I remember as kid watching reruns of Get Smart. The scariest three words to me back then were “To Be Continued…” Mainly because you never knew if your local station was airing shows in order. So imagine my dismay upon watching the episode entitled “A Man Called Smart” – a three (count ‘em three) part episode. So why was this a three-parter? Because it was intended to be released theatrically. While it was intended to be a quick cash-grab they were forced to reassess when the failed Munster, Go Home! resulted in the show’s cancellation. Deciding that a shoe-phone in the hand was worth two in the bush they simply re-tooled the script and incorporated it into the second season.
However, while Maxwell Smart did finally get his day at the Cineplex he missed it by that much. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) The Nude Bomb (sometimes repackaged as The Return of Maxwell Smart) featured Smart being recalled to duty to stop a bomb that would destroy clothing. Don Adams was back but the rest of the cast was jettisoned…as was the TV series’ continuity. Agent 99 (Smart’s wife) went unmentioned as did their twins. Designed to capitalize on the success of the Pink Panther series (bumbling detectives were all the rage), the studio tried to make the property “current” by tossing in a few cuss words and, of course, nudity. It was a complete bastardization of character but Adams, starring in his first feature film at the age of 57, kept never voiced his objections; although he later admitted regretting making the film.
The movie did prove to be a modest financial success and was a ratings hit when it debut on network television. However, dreams of launching a new franchise (or even TV show for that matter) didn’t materialize. Though eventually there was a made-for-TV movie (Get Smart, Again) that followed the original’s continuity and, a few years after that, a short-lived series starring Adams as the new Chief of CONTROL and a young Andy Dick as the son of Smart. The show aired on a then-fledgling Fox network which makes “Get Smart” the only television franchise to have produced original content for CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.