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Top Secret Essentials

Top Secret - Movies

The following list of movies on this page are what we consider to be some great examples, in one way or another, of various aspects of Top Secret game play. They are not listed in any particular order. A brief notation explaining what we like about the movie will also be included. The movie links will go to The Internet Movie Database for reference. Sometimes there will be links to videos on YouTube (God bless YouTube!!) This section is a work in progress!

  • Dogs of War - This movie has been one of our favorite TS movies! THE main movie we refer to when we want to see some great examples of the use of the MM-1 grenade launcher. It also has one of our favorite movie quotes from the character portrayed by Christopher Walken near the end. Here is a taste...
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  • Wanted: Dead or Alive - This movie recently came up in discussion due to an oblique and obscure reference in a comic strip. This movie also featured the classic scene of the terrorist and the grenade. Click here for a quote.

The Terminator Series - This series of movies has always held a special place in our hearts. "I'll be baaack."


  • Predator - Most of us liked the first one far better than the second. Although there was elements in the second that we did like. The first one has a great example of a mini-gun scene!
  • True Lies - Another movie that teams up James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger plus adds a fantastic Jamie Lee Curtis! This movie has the distinction of referring to something that just happens to relate to one of our Admin's adventures and has us cracking up every time we hear it in this movie. You get to briefly see a Stinger missile in action. Also, called shot to the skyscraper with a Harrier jet.
  • Commando - Another Arnold movie! Although not an overall great movie, it still has some good gunplay in it. This movie features one of the better examples of the use of the M202A2 4-shot flame weapon.

The Die Hard Series - John McClane is our hero!

  • Die Hard - Brought us one of our favorite villians in Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). Loved the use of the Steyer AUG.
  • Die Hard 2 - Best use of an icicle as a weapon! H&K MP5A3 submachine guns were used extensively and played a crucial point in the plot. We liked the red and blue tape on the magazines. We didn't like how the film dealt with the Glock 17 because the info stated in the film was incorrect.
  • Die Hard With A Vengence - Jeremy Irons is great as Simon Gruber, brother of Hans from the first movie. More H&K's; this time with an MP5K. Several in the group liked this movie better than the second.
  • Live Free or Die Hard - Decent story related to new technology. I liked Timothy Olyphant. I had some issues with the special effects during the fighter/truck/bridge sequence and I just couldn't shake my image of Justin Long (the MAC dude) while watching this movie.

James Bond - Our adventures would not be complete without loads of examples and source material from these movies. I've recently been able to begin viewing or re-viewing some of the old James Bond movies.

  • Dr No - As I went back to watch this movie, I'm not so sure that I ever saw this. The parts I enjoyed most really have not much to do with the plot of the movie. I liked the part where Honey Ryder comes out of the water on the beach sequence as I can now understand the sequence in Die Another Day where Halle Berry does the same thing. Nice homage to this original shot! Some other things I liked was when Bond put a hair over the closet doors and powder on his briefcase to see if someone had searched his closet and/or the briefcase. I particularly enjoyed the sequence where a woman tried to photograph him when he was walking through the airport and at the last second, Bond put his hat up to deflect the shot. Brilliant! Sadly, the technology to do car chases wasn't too good as one of the car chases was really cheesy.
  • Thunderball - For a movie done in 1965, it was probably pushing the envelope with the effects. Recently re-watched this movie and the extra features mention that the underwater work shot for this film set new standards in filmaking.
  • Die Another Day -

Lethal Weapon Series - Mel Gibson in one of his first big action roles as Detective Martin Riggs. Danny Glover was great in his role as Sergeant Roger Murtaugh


  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith - Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie team up in this flick. The scene in the house after they have found out that they both are spies and they are trying to kill each other is just amazing. Wonderful weapon room and some pretty nice gunplay throughout.

  • Highlander - This movie was the best movie that we never intentionally went to see! We had gone to see another movie and it was sold out and we ended up seeing this movie. We were puzzled by the opening sequence and then the segway back in time to the Scottish highlands in the 1500's. Wow! What an interesting movie came out of this. Great swordplay, great quote from a Def Leppard song, beheadings of immortals, and Sean Connery to boot! One of the original characters took his code name from this movie. 

Movies made from Tom Clancy novels:

  • The Hunt For Red October - Probably my second favorite Tom Clancy movie. I thought Sean Connery did his usual fantastic job and overall, I think that the movie did a decent job of keeping true to much of the book as well as keeping the suspense even during the underwater submarine sequences.
  • Patriot Games - This Clancy movie is probably my favorite. I like Harrison Ford in the role of Ryan better than Alec Baldwin. I also liked how the movie treated the story.
  • Clear and Present Danger - I liked elements of this movie and I was looking forward to seeing how they were going to treat John Clark (one of my favorite Clancy characters) and who would play him. I was disappointed that they chose William Dafoe although he did do a decent job with the character.
  • The Sum of All Fears - Did not like that the movie decided to be "PC" and chose to change the antagonists of the novel. Movie had it's moments but not up to the level of any of the other three.

Movies made from the Robert Ludlum novels on Jason Bourne:


  • The Expendables - This movie was released in August 2010 and has jumped into one of our essential movie list. There is the awesome use of a H&K CAWS and then there is this amazing scene with a Grumman Albatross.

Top Secret - Books

The following list of books on this page are what we consider to be some great examples, in one way or another, of various aspects of Top Secret game play and some reference material. They are not listed in any particular order. A brief notation explaining what we like about the book will also be included. The book links will go to Amazon.com for reference.

Mack Bolan The New War Book #63 - This Book is a representative from the Executioner series of books by Don Pendleton. Some of the group really liked the stories. I wasn't much for them. Beginning with the 64th book in the series, a section ran in the back of the book called "Weapons In Review". This section ran on not only the Mack Bolan books but several other spinoff series that were tied to Mack Bolan. We loved to collect these just for the weapons pics. In some cases, these were the only weapon pics that we could get of certain weapons until the internet came along.

The Call Me The Mercenary #1- The Killer Genesis - This series of books was written by Jerry Ahern under the name Axel Kilgore. This was the series that I fell in love with. Several others in our group liked the series too. As far as I am aware, the series only lasted until book #18. I enjoyed the realism of the stories for a pulp action book and loved the different characters.

The Day of the Jackal - This book was written by Frederick Forsyth. Great espionage stuff. This book is often cited as an example of how to go about getting a false ID and passport. It is also reported (sometimes erroneously) that various more recent assassins had the book in their possessions as sort of a "how to" manual.

The Dogs of War - This book was written by Frederick Forsyth. Basis for the movie posted above. The book focuses on the intense planning and beginning execution stages of the operation on how to stage a coup in a foreign country. The actual firefight, though intense, actually only takes place in the last two chapters of the book. Forsyth describes a mortar barrage that is very intense and detailed. I recently re-read the book to refresh my memory. Although there are several good quotes from the book, I liked this one probably the best, "Although he (Dupree) had loosed off more firepower than the other four mercenaries put together, he saw no reason why he should be denied all the action".

The Lion's Game - This book was written by Nelson DeMille. Several members of the group turned me on to this author and this particular book. The characters in the book are very well written and the banter is fantastic!! Great overall story. Looking forward to reading the follow-up story, The Lion, that came out in June 2010.

Combat Guns -

Dale Brown

Rather than write up a bit on every Dale Brown book (My God the man is a machine in pumping out books! The Stephen King of action!), I thought I'd write a little blurb about the author and point out some of his works that some of us have commented about. Flight of the Old Dog is what introduced us to this author. We loved the realism of the air combat. Other books that we liked from this man include: Silver Tower, Night of the Hawk, Hammerheads, and Storming Heaven. Dale Brown writes so fast that most of us have been unable to read much of his new stuff. However, I plan on trying to catch a few of his newer novels.


Tom Clancy (You just knew this author would be listed!!)

Just like Dale Brown, I'm just going to list several of this author's books that inspired us. As the reader is most likely aware, several of these books have been turned into movies and some of them are listed above.


Clive Cussler

For some of us, Cussler may be one of our all-time favorite authors. The perfect blend of history and story telling. There have been several attempts to turn Cussler's books into movies but they never manage to get the right feel to the story compared to the printed word. That and the propensity of certain directors and movie compaines that want to distort Clive's stories for their own ends. Readers from our group tend to like the older stuff better than Clive's newer stories. We also tend to stick to just the Dirk Pitt adventures. Books we've really enjoyed include: Vixen 03, Night Probe!, Cyclops, and Treasure (Fly me to the moon!---sorry Rob).


Robert Ludlum

The series that we most identified with as far as TS goes was the whole Jason Bourne series. The three original books, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum contained loads of spy information that we could use. Of course all of these have been turned into movies and are listed above.

Vince Flynn

I don't know how many of the others in the group have read Vince Flynn's work but I found this author within the last couple years and I really like him. I had heard about him and had decided to give his books a try. I elected to go back and read his very first book and work forward chronologically on the release dates of his books. I'm very glad I did as I really enjoyed the first book's (Term Limits) unusual premise and treatment of the characters. The second book, Transfer of Power, introduced the Mitch Rapp character.  Vince Flynn died on June 19, 2013 after a battle with cancer.  Here is a link to his website where more info is available on the books.