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  • staceym25 September 2004
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie has certainly survived the test of time, in that it can still provoke a happy yet poignant tear when everything turns out for the best in the end. And that really is the source of its appeal.

    College graduate Zack Mayo (Gere) enlists in the Naval Officer Candidate programme to realize his ambition of flying fighter jets, and also to escape a haunted past of his mother's suicide and his alcoholic sailor father.

    While training, not only does he have to survive the Drill Instructor (Gossett Jr) but he also recognises the solitude that has been holding him back his whole life. Throw Debra Winger into the mix as the girl looking for a husband amongst the class and David Keith as Mayo's best friend with his own problems, then you have this classic movie.

    I have seen this movie many times and it never gets boring. Richard Gere is at his most powerful here and I don't think he's ever had a better role. The supporting cast is also solid, with Gossett Jr. firmly deserving his Academy Award and Winger proving once again that she is thoroughly underrated by Hollywood.

    A firm 10/10 from me.
  • I went to Navy OCS (for ship drivers, not aviators) a year after this movie came out. A lot of us considered it one of the best movies ever made. Despite the fact that there is some serious license taken with reality, the movie captures the intensity and high stakes of OCS, and how people who barely know each other become bonded so quickly; how the least likely candidates sometimes become the star performers; how some people are changed beyond recognition by the experience. There was never a lack of old hands like Sid's father, telling you you had it easy because of some difference in the rules he didn't enjoy 10 years earlier. DOR is translated by Foley as "drop on request". In 1983, the terminology was DE, which meant dis enroll. I always wondered what happened to the candidates in my class who DE'd. The ones who graduated I kept running into in the fleet, sometimes in places like the Philippines. The most unrealistic thing about the movie was the premise that local girls want to marry officer candidates. Not so in Pensacola or Newport RI, where OCS was in those days. The locals actually called us behind our backs "cockroaches" because we wore all black and had to run away to our barracks by 10 pm. The second most unrealistic thing was the foul language. That comes later, in the fleet, but not in OCS. No we did not have martial arts duels. All in all, however, the essence of the experience, if not the specifics, is found in the movie. One of our marching songs went "left right left right / you HAD a good job and you LEFT / you're RIGHT!" We really did have nowhere else to go. I say 10 stars. The VHS version gets only 8 because of changes to the soundtrack songs.
  • 'An Officer And A Gentleman' is a brilliant film with great performances from Richard Gere, Louis Gossett Jr. and Debra Winger. Richard Gere embodies the character of Zack Mayo, a troubled young man who, due to neglect and ill parenting by a military father, signs up with the Navy to get some direction in his misguided life.

    Mayo's life is made even harder by the ball-busting Sergeant Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.) upon his arrival at the barracks, and he struggles to find his place. However, he does find it in himself to stand-up to the overbearing Foley and his own inner-demons and, during the course of the film, goes from being selfish, weak and undisciplined to considerate, strong and determined. His will, as well as the love of the beautiful Paula (Debra Winger) and the guidance of Foley, makes him stay the course and lifts him 'up where he belongs'.

    Richard Gere is great in adding layers to what could have been a poorly drawn characterisation. Mayo is not always the 'good guy' and is more often than not a complete prick. Nevertheless, he undertakes a journey of self-discovery where he refuses to become a carbon copy of his father and takes hold of his own destiny, turning himself into the man he wants to be. Gere has never been better on film than when he screams, `I got nowhere else to go!' at Foley in such a heartbreaking howl that the audience can literally feel his pain.

    Debra Winger is also good as Paula, a downtrodden factory girl trapped in a small-minded small town with a lack of opportunities for women. She not only finds a way out in her love for Mayo, but the hope of a better future somewhere else. Louis Gossett Jr. also stands out as the foul-mouthed, domineering Sergeant Foley who proves to be pivotal in Mayo's journey.

    With a great soundtrack, strong performances and the most rousing and emotional final scene in a film since 'Rocky', 'An Officer And A Gentleman' deserves its place among the classics of film history.
  • First, there is not, and never was, an Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) in Washington state. I would assume it was used because the true locale for AOCS, Pensacola, FL, wasn't suitable for some reason. Officer candidates going to AOCS already have their degrees and are undergoing training, physical and educational, to earn their commission. No, it's not four years like the Naval Academy, but then again, it's not four years of hell at the Academy, as another reviewer attempted to posit. Any officer commissioned through AOCS is an officer just like an academy grad and both, ultimately, can end up with regular commissions vice reserve commissions.

    Next, the training at AOCS was fairly accurately portrayed in the movie. Lots of running, swimming, academics, inspections, etc. all intended to result in the individual becoming part of a team. Another reviewer, obviously not a Republican (LOL), detests this movie just because of his perception that it endorsed the philosophy of the Reagan years. Utter balderdash, of course. What this movie portrays, again fairly accurately, is the growth of a loner into someone who realizes, as Spock so eloquently stated in one of the Star Trek movies, "(t)he needs of the many outweigh the needs, or the wants, of the one or the few." Mayo learns to be part of a team; he learns to care for others and cease being a "user" of people in his example he learned from his father.

    The terminology, during the 80s when I went through AOCS, was still DOR..."Drop On Request." It was an "out" exercised by very few people, mostly because those of us in AOCS were already motivated to come into the Navy and specifically into Naval Aviation. The rigors, as stated previously, are presented fairly accurately although a little melodramatic in places, e.g., the altitude chamber. Never in all my years in the Navy did I see anyone "freak" out in the chamber, which is a required test, along with swim quals, every four years to remain qualified to fly.

    The legend of the "Pensacola Debs" was presented to us early on in AOCS. Yes, there are stories, many of them true, of men meeting their wives while going through training in Penasacola, but I'd wager there's not a higher incidence in P'cola than there is at any military base or college town for that matter. Odd, but you put men and women in the same room and some will pair off, and some will marry and remain together forever. The bar in the film, TJ's, was based on a bar in Penascola named Trader Jon's. Trader had a running deal that if you caught him wearing matching socks, you'd get some prize...can't remember if it was money or drinks. Let's just say, he never paid off as far as I know. Trader died a few years back, but I'm pretty sure some of the stuff from his bar is probably at the Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola.

    The Drill Instructor portrayal by Louis Gossett is VERY true to life! While they cussed us, screamed at us, pushed us physically and looked for what would "trip" us up, they also, in retrospect, wanted us to succeed. One thing they never did, and would have been severely disciplined for, was hit us, so the fight scene, while improbable, works in the movie. PTing us into the ground, bet they did! This movie works for me because I lived the life both during the AOCS part and during a career in the Navy in aviation. The portrayals are pretty much spot-on and believable. Sure there's dramatic license, but there is in any movie! Anyone who believes Full Metal Jacket tells it "like it is" is delusional; there's plenty of dramatic license there, too. Relax, enjoy the movie. It's about personal growth, love, and sacrifice; all in all good things. Not the best movie ever made, but certainly not the worst!
  • This has to be Richard Gere's best movie and the one movie I felt he deserved an Oscar nomination for. I read once that his role of Zach Mayo was first offered to John Denver. It is impossible to think of anyone else in the role which is one indication of how good Gere was. Lou Gossett, Jr. steals the show and gets a deserved Oscar as Gunnery Sergeant Foley. Debra Winger is also delectable as Paula, Zach's working class girlfriend. I had read that Winger had a real problem doing the nude scenes with Gere and felt very uncomfortable being undressed in front of the camera. Supposedly the scene in which she is crying while making love to Zach isn't because she's feeling passion, it is because she is feeling humiliated. The movie also had to snip out a couple of seconds of Winger flexing her hips a bit too much during a bed scene. Still one of the steamiest bed scenes in film history. The most riveting moment of the movie is when Foley is going to kick Zach out of the program and Gere frantically and desperately screams "DON'T YOU DO THAT! I AIN'T GOT NOWHERE ELSE TO GO!" All of Zach's arrogance is drained out of him and he is just a desperate kid begging for the only chance he'll ever have. Powerful moment. In the end, Zach gains maturity. Would you want to fly into combat with Zach Mayo or with Tom Cruise's Maverick in "Top Gun"? Zach Mayo, hands down.
  • Though ribbed by some critics for being a crude update of the formula film romances of the 1940's, audiences still showed up in droves to see this film and turned it into one of the biggest grossers of 1982. While the film may certainly follow the general formulaic outlines of the genre, director Taylor Hackford and screenwriter Douglas Day Stewart dodge sentimentalization with a healthy dosage of grim reality. This is no longer the ultra-glamorized world of old Hollywood; AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN is a movie about love in the real world. By not sheltering it's lovers from the harsh nature of humanity, the film manages to have a significantly greater impact as it works toward a deservedly optimistic ending.

    In a role turned down by both John Travolta and John Denver, Richard Gere lends a brooding intensity that electrifies what could have been a bland protagonist. Debra Winger, with her down-home sexiness at it's peak, turns in a fascinating portrayal of small town frustration, and Louis Gossett Jr nearly steals the picture in a harrowing, Oscar-winning performance. In fact, Gere's relationship with Gossett's Drill Sargent is just as involving as his love affair with Winger. The supporting cast is also well-cast, with David Keith, Robert Loggia, and Lisa Blount delivering standout performances.
  • A movie that you can watch over and over again and find something new. There really is something for everyone and for those who follow classical screenplay protocols this is an absolute must. The timing of events and the pace of those events is absolutely perfect. Richard Gere is really extremely good and in fact as time goes on his role may actually turn out to be one of his best. He has such a fragile bravado in this tale of selfish loner turns good. Debra Winger and Louis Gossett are also outstanding. It is a movie that you either love or you hate and, over the years, the critics have very much wanted to play it down but there is no doubt in my mind that it is a classic tale well told with every aspect of "the cinema" used to its fullest extent
  • I was quite young when I saw this and not into movies this deep, heck I was a kid! Yet this powerful film touched me and I never forgot it.

    There were so many various relationships going on that between the characters, if the movie had just been about one of those it might have gotten boring but each one of these individuals were so fascinating in their own right, that it never did get dull. Officer isn't a film one can watch at any time, it's so heavy you really have to be in the mood for it. I would definitely call this a classic.

    I will comment on Debra Winger because as good as everyone was Winger hasn't been commented on as much and should be. Her character Paula was gritty, tough and so likable. She was easily as good as anyone else in the movie(I miss not seeing her in current movies, she's amazing).

    This isn't my absolute favorite film but its one of the most well done films I've ever seen.
  • AaronCapenBanner23 September 2013
    Richard Gere plays Zack Mayo, a prospective Navy Officer training cadet who must decide to gain control over his direction-less life, helped by a no-nonsense Gunnery sergeant(superbly played by Louis Gossett Jr., who won an Academy Award) who berates Zack, but all in the effort of making him into a successful Naval officer. Debra Winger plays his girlfriend, who is also struggling with her own life. They both have friends(played by David Keith and Lisa Blount) whose relationship mirrors their own, only with far different results.

    Entertaining and old-fashioned(in some ways!) film is well acted by its stars, and has stylish direction by Taylor Hackford. Story is surprisingly involving(if a bit predictable) and builds to a satisfying conclusion with the winning song "Up Where We Belong".

    A big hit that made its leads stars.
  • Wuchakk21 January 2014
    Released in 1982, "An Officer and a Gentleman" was the obvious inspiration of films like Tom Cruise's "Top Gun" and "Days of Thunder." "An Officer and a Gentleman" was the first and best, by far.

    The plot similarities are obvious: They all include the angry young man who needs to prove his gifting, the uncompromising mentor, the encouraging babe, the craft, the arena and the doomed buddy. In "An Officer" the angry young man is Richard Gere as Mayo, the mentor is Louis Gossett Jr. as Drill Instructor Folely, the babe is Paula (Debra Winger), the craft is aviation basic training, the arena is a Naval academy and the Puget Sound area of Washington (shot on location) and the buddy is Sid Worley (David Keith).

    Thankfully, the film doesn't get bogged down telling the back-story of Mayo. Instead, it ingeniously shares his past in a matter of minutes at the very beginning. It's all we need to know to understand why Mayo is the way he is. And then we're off to basic training where he's tested. Does he have what it takes? Can someone as lowborn, aloof and un-trusting as Mayo make it as an officer?

    Debra Winger and Lisa Blount shine here as Mayo and Worley's babes. Winger is alluring in a humble "girl next door" type of way (she out-shined Lynda Carter as Wonder Girl on "Wonder Woman," which is hard to believe), but Blount is even more alluring -- yes, despite the negative aspects of her character. I'll just put it this way, she really fills out a pair of jeans, lol.

    Both couples get intimate way too quickly, but maybe this is one of the flaws of the "Puget Debs" and explains why they have a problems getting marriage material, if you know what I mean. Besides this, time has to be condensed in a two-hour film.

    BOTTOM LINE: If you're in the mood for a film of this ilk "An Officer and a Gentleman" is the best of the lot.

    GRADE: A

    INSIGHTS ABOUT THE ENDING (***SPOILER ALERT*** Don't read further unless you've seen the film):

    An officer is a military leader. Drill Instructor Foley's job is to weed out those who can't hack it as an officer. It's an important job because people's lives in combat are dependent on the quality of the leaders and Foley takes his job seriously.

    Foley rightly pegs Mayo as a lowlife loner from the outset -- a wannabe officer -- and therefore puts on the pressure. This is especially so on the one weekend where he has Mayo to himself. Foley does everything he can to make Mayo break AND quit, but Mayo doesn't. He breaks, indeed, but he refuses to quit on the grounds that he has no where to go. At the end of this scene you can see that Foley develops respect for Mayo (which you get a glimpse of earlier when Mayo does extremely well on the obstacle course).

    Later, Mayo disregards breaking the record on the obstacle course (which he was definitely able to do) in order to encourage Seegar (the female recruit) to finally make it over the wall. Foley sees that Mayo's no longer the aloof and selfish loner he was when he rode in on his motorcycle. He's matured; he's developed character. It was already there, of course, but the boot camp training has brought it to the fore, and Foley sees it.

    After Worley's tragic death, Mayo confronts Foley while he's drilling the platoon. Foley informs Mayo that they all know what happened and even tells him they're sorry about Worley. He didn't have to do this and it shows that Foley isn't just an honorable man, but also that he cared about Worley. After all, Worley was only one week away from graduating! In a sense, he was one of Foley's kids. In other words, Foley and the platoon were grieving too. But Mayo was closest to Worley and he's crazy with shock & grief at this point. He insists that he's going to quit, to which Foley tells him to meet him for a fight. Sure, there's some testosterone in his words, but he actually does this out of respect for Mayo as a last ditch effort to keep him from dropping out.

    And Foley doesn't "kick his axx", as some claim. It was essentially an even match and Foley barely walks off the mat, which is the only reason he technically wins. But that's inconsequential. The purpose of the fight was to run Mayo's steam out so he didn't make a rash decision in an obvious moment of grief & anger. Foley accomplished his purpose. Once Mayo was no longer blinded by rage he makes the right choice and graduates.

    This is why he thanks Foley at the end.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This one NEVER gets old to me! I was just a kid the first time I saw it, and it stuck with me for years after. It did give me somewhat of an idea of what to expect when I joined the Marines and went to boot camp...somewhat...ours was MUCH! Anyway, the plus side to this movie is the simple fact that you can emotionally attach yourself to these characters. I think all of the actors did a great job, and I became an instant Gosset Jr. fan after this one. Until Iron Eagle....UGH! Louis, WHAT were you thinking? The only scene I found unrealistic was toward the end, after Sid's death, when Mayo confronted Foley in front of the platoon, calling him out. In the real military world, Mayo would have been locked up quicker than a flash for insubordination. Same applies to the scene where he confronted Foley after Sid's DOR. But, Hollywood had to give the audience the satisfaction of the underling turning around and picking on the big, bad drill instructor.

    The 80's were a simple time...and this is a simple, easy to follow movie. I'll still watch it to this day, and enjoy it every time.

    I understand Debra Winger was miserable during the filming of this movie. Especially during one particular intimate scene with Gere...she did NOT want to film that scene, but went through with it. The tears falling down her cheek are there for this very reason. Interesting.

    Watch this movie. You won't regret it. It brings back some great memories for me.
  • Zack Mayo, after years of being shunted around with his woman chasing, alcoholic naval father, decides to up sticks and join the navy himself. He plans to fly jets and enrols at a tough Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School. Very much a loner and used to doing things his own way, Zack must tow the line if he is to succeed. Forming friendships and taking on a romance with a local girl, he may just make the grade. But he has to convince not only his tough no nonsense drill instructor, but also himself.

    An Officer And A Gentleman has been bogged down over the years by being labelled as a chick flick, a film they say, that is for the soggy handkerchief brigade. Not so say I. Yes love is a critical strand here, not only finding it after years of being closed off from it, but also to keep it after seizing the day. But it's as much a film about determination as it is about conquering love, in finding strengths from within to achieve ones goals against seemingly badly stacked odds. It really is a film that essays that triumph of the will spirit so lacking in many similar pictures that followed this 1982 piece. There are some incredibly great sequences here, chiefly during the training programme, from Mayo's continuing conflict with Sgt Foley, to a devastating turn of events with a friendship. This film royally packs an emotional punch.

    The cast are uniformly excellent, Richard Gere as Mayo is pitch perfect and it pays to notice that he was a 32 year old man playing an early 20s rookie, it's a testament to his undervalued ability that nobody noticed. Debra Winger was nominated for a Best Actress Award for her portrayal as Mayo's love interest, Paula Pokrifki. It's believed that Gere and herself didn't get on off screen, it isn't noticeable, though, because the chemistry sizzles and the resulting end product is one of a joyous returns. Honours have to go to Louis Gossett Jr., though, rightly winning the Best Supporting Actor Award, his performance as instructor Sgt Foley is towering and one of the best of the 1980s. David Keith and Lisa Eilbacher also turn in strong performances, and Taylor Hackford's direction is smooth and without intrusion. The involving screenplay and tidy editing are also noteworthy, and the theme song "Up where We Belong" took home the gong for Best Original Song.

    Some critics have called the film sexist, oh come off it people! It may come as a shock to them but a lot of women do actually want to be carried off by some dashing hunk, similarly, a lot of us men are more than willing to be the ones carrying the maiden! And lest we forget that the characterisations here carry much depth. 9/10
  • Excellent love story about a young man (Gere, in an engaging performance) who dreams of being a Navy jet pilot and a girl (Winger) who wishes to escape the life in a paper mill. The film is strikingly rich, romantic and features stand out performance from Robert Loggia, David Keith and Oscar winner, Gossett, as a brass hearted drill instructor. Director Hackford shows us some old fashioned filmmaking here...and it's damn good.
  • This movie is about an adolescent who becomes a man with the help of a big brother, who in this case is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense, tough-as-nails drill sergeant. The adolescent is a wayward young man with no direction and with no one to depend on except his alcoholic sailer father who believes that the young man will never succeed at anything. Well, the adolescent wants to prove his father wrong and does something most unexpected - applies for Navy flight school and is accepted. Now the question is: Will he succeed? For him to succeed, this adolescent will have to change: become a team player, take on responsibilities, apply himself to achieving goals, and complete an exceedingly difficult 12-week course that will test not only his physical strength and mental capabilities, but the very essence of his character. In short, the adolescent will have to become a man. And there is only one person who cares enough to push him to succeed - the adolescent's drill sergeant who does everything he can to get the adolescent to drop out, which does not happen. This movie shows what a person can accomplish when they believe in themselves and have a big brother who cares enough to make them succeed. This is a great movie.
  • I am a huge fan of "Full Metal Jacket", but I think it is wrong to compare this movie w/ "An Officer and A Gentleman", they are just too different. It is no surprise that Louis Gosset Jr. won on Oscar for "best supporting actor", he was very convincing!!

    This movie is a good example of great characters and the dynamics between them. They were all great!! Richard Gere plays a likable loner. But he is less arrogant than he is untrusting, and I think Foley finally gains some respect for him when he realizes this.

    The most memorable scenes for me were when Seegar couldn't make it up the wall the first time and she caves into tears at Foley's caustic (and very funny!) comments. The scenerio were she finally makes it over due to Mayo's newfound concern and trust of others is also great and shows his maturing. But I think Louis Gosset Jr. shines the most when he challenges Mayo to a fight (I believe he did this out of respect for Mayo as a last ditch effort to keep him from dropping out), a wonderful scene indeed!!

    Debra Winger was some serious eye-candy in this flick and Lisa Eilbacher has the cutest doll face.

    Great characters and cast!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Title: AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN Rating: **** (out of 4) I want to say first off that this first off that I've heard many people say that this nothing more than a simple "chick flick." I really hate that term, because I know every guy has seen a so-called "chick flick" and went away at least liking it. Ok, maybe AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN is one of those type of films, but one thing is kicks TOP GUN's A**!!! This is film is about the rigorous training to become a pilot, while GUN shows a bunch of guys involved in "dogfights that play like video games (I heartily agree with Leonard Maltin). ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** Richard Gere, in one of his best roles (second only to PRIMAL FEAR), plays Zachary Mayo, a loner who goes to Navy Candidate School to become a pilot because simply, that's all he wants to do. He finds a real challenge in the drill instructor Foley, played unforgettably by Louis Gossett, Jr. (who won an Oscar). He also finds love for the first time in his life, in the form of a poor factory worker (Debra Winger). His best friend Worley (David Keith) finds love too...but it doesn't turn out the way he wanted. Much of the film alternates between in his growing relationship with Winger and the rigourous training he endures, which become more important to him than ever when Foley order him to quit after doing so illegal....he, however, refuses to give up for anything in this world (the famous emotional climax is when he confesses "I've got nowhere else to go."). Personally, I see this film as most certainly not a chick flick, but a film that has something for both sequences in equal doses; more females will appreciate the romance, while more males will root for Mayo as he overcomes many obstacles, most notably Foley. I must confess, however, that my favorite sequence in the whole film is the last one, showing Gere carry Winger out of her factory. There is a much more emotional scene, however, that I will definately not give away; I've never met anyone who wasn't moved by it (when you see it, you will find out!). In addition to the cast, the film also features great direction by Taylor Hackford and a well-written (if having the standard number of minute flaws) screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart. The lovely score is done by Jack Nitzsche, and it also features the classic love song "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes (which, I must say, is way better than Berlin's song from TOP GUN, though both won Oscars). Still, the performances are what makes this film and it succeeds, making it one of the most romantic films of all time.

    Fav. Quote: "Only two things come out of Oklahoma: Steers and Queers."
  • An Officer and a Gentleman is a well-crafted melodrama set against the back drop of the elite Naval Aviator training facility in upstate Washington. Richard Gere portrays Zachary Mayo, a young man and son of a career sailor who has risen from residing above a house of ill repute in the Philippines to becoming an officer's candidate destined to fly jets.

    Gere is terrific as Mayo, and works incredibly hard to combine the complex emotions of the character with his seemingly, simplistic facade. Gere is supported by a great cast including Debra Winger as the young factory worker who yearns of a better life with Mayo, David Keith as a cadet who's not all that he seems, and the legendary Louis Gossett, Jr. as Gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley, Mayo's adamant and hard-edged drill instructor who remains Zach's total bane of existence. Gossett won a well-deserved Oscar for this role, and he remains the true highlight of this film.

    Some have called An Officer and a Gentlemen out-dated, improbable, and too melodramatic, and perhaps it is all of these. But, it is so entertaining and so enthralling, I find it easily to become enveloped by the picture's story and characters. You want them all to succeed, and you feel for them when they fail. This is the true mark of a truly great film.

    Highly recommended.
  • This movie is one of many which became legend due to one scene- the final scene of course. When Richard Gere goes into the factory and picks up Debra Winger by her machine, kisses her numerous times, and takes her out of the fatory forever, suddenly the viewer is uptlifted, optimistic for a moment, that fairy tales do at times come true. The music is perfect for that last scene, all about "Lifting up." Performances were fantastic by everyone, especially the great actor Lou Gossett Jr.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the typical rebel-loner seeks exciting career in military to prove himself. The rebel is afraid to love, but meets a girl who eventually brings it out of him and finally the tough mentor makes him a man. This formula military film goes back to the earliest days of War films. The story is so familiar and overdone, it is only thanks to the excellent cast that the film is even watchable. Right down the line from Gere, David Keith, Debra Winger, Lisa Blount, Lisa Eilbacher and the rest of the cast; everyone does a great job especially Lou Gossett in the role of a lifetime as tough Sergeant Foley. Catch a young David Caruso in a small role as Topper Daniels.

    Worthwhile and entertaining to watch, but oh what a corny ending. I know through movie-lore that the ending wasn't planned in exactly that way-- but oh man!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In the eight years I've been posting reviews on IMDb, I usually like to review the classics over the more recent fare of films, primarily to see if the older movies still ignite flames even to this day forward and partially in my young life I missed a lot of the more adult movies because at one time I had a zero interest in them. Even though "An Officer and a Gentleman" came out in 1982, six years after I was born, I only just recently stumbled across it recently (sorry for my tardiness), just because my elders talked so much about it so I just wanted to know what the hype was about and to see if it will leave me with a lasting impression.

    For those who never seen the film it stars Richard Gere as a young man named Zack Mayo who has recently checked himself into the Navy OCS located in Washington. From the early scenes we discover that Mayo's life was not a very pleasant one. At a very young age, his mother killed herself and was forced to stay with his father (Robert Loggia) while stationed in the Philippines. His father's nurturing was absent since all he had on his mind was drinking and chasing prostitutes. Zach wasn't really prepared for the tough regiments that the OCS had to offer as he struggling in terms of handling commitment let alone following authoritative figures.

    Mayo is under the tutelage of gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.) and it comes to no surprise that their encountering is just on the horizon. Mayo seems to excel quite well on the physical initiatives that the Navy has to offer, but academically is quite the other story. This leads to Mayo forming a friendship with a fellow classmate named Sid Worley (David Keith) as he will do everything he can to get Mayo into the Aerodynamics class in exchange for immaculate belt- buckles and boots whenever there's a barracks inspection.

    The main setting for this movie is set in the OCS, there's also a vital subplot that involves Zach, Sid and a couple of girls "Puget Debs" who they meet when they're off campus during their weekend. The two ladies are Paula Pokrifki (Debra Winger) and Lynette Pomeroy (Lisa Blount) who a scrounging for military meat in hopes for a quick marriage proposal. These Puget Debs play riskier attempts to get their catch like faking their pregnancies or other things like that. Paula hooks up with Zach while Lynette is onto Sid.

    The rest of the way it's Zach trying to get through 13 weeks of OCS training and while getting adjusted to Paula. Since Zach is the titular character, fans seem to pretty much know the outcome of the story, but that doesn't deprive itself from being entertaining.

    After 33 years, I can safely say that "An Officer and a Gentleman" has aged quite gracefully. There are a lot of wonderful scenes with many authentic scenes that just can't be beat. Who could forget when Zach confesses to Sgt. Foley "I got nowhere else to go", plus the final scene where Mayo is now an ensign finds Paula and walks out with her to the applause of his colleagues.

    The pacing was also very well structured. Even though the film was almost at the two hour mark, there was never a boring moment and that was because the romantic scenes never interfered with the OCS scenes and it flowed in a more natural way. We also deeply care about the characters and we hope that Zach and Paula stay a couple and hope they live a happy life after the credits roll.

    Overall this movie gets a 9/10 that's highly recommended, even if you're a late bloomer like me, it's better late than never if you haven't seen this movie. It still holds up today since its release back in 1982.
  • Tweekums29 June 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    Zack Mayo is the son of a US Navy Petty Officer; a drunk who had abandoned his mother when she became pregnant. When she killed herself Zack followed his father to the Philippines where he got on in life the hard way. Now he is an adult he is determined to make more of himself than his father did… to become a naval aviator… to become an officer and a gentleman. Before he can do that though he must pass the thirteen week course at the Aviation Officer Candidate School where those who don't have what it takes are weeded out. His instructor Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley doesn't think he has what it takes but he will push him and the rest of the class to the limit to find out. Zack befriends fellow student Sid Worley and the two of them start dating Paula and Lynette, a pair of local girls, despite Foley's warning that the local girls are all trying to get married to a pilot by fair means or foul.

    This film may be well known as a romance, largely due to the famous final scene, but it is far more than just that. In fact the most important relationship in the film is that between Mayo and Foley; Foley may be pushing Mayo to quit but without him he'd never get through the course; what at first appears to be bullying turns out to be the impetus needed to get through the gruelling training programme. Louis Gossett, Jr. certainly earned the Oscar he won for his performance as Foley and Gere is at his best as Mayo whose character develops from a selfish loner to that of somebody willing to help his classmates at his own expense. The rest of the cast are pretty good too; most notably David Keith who plays Sid and Debra Winger who plays Paula. For the most part we can guess how the story will ultimately end but that doesn't make it an entirely feel-good film; there is tragedy too and that comes as quite a shock. Overall an enjoyable film; well worth watching especially if you are a fan of Richard Gere.
  • An Officer and a Gentleman is a great movie with a simple storyline that is very easy to follow but still very enjoyable,a very talented cast and a really beautiful soundtrack.I really enjoyed the love story in this movie between Richard Gere and Debra Winger,it was very realistic and unlike most romantic movies,they didn't make it too sweet,they kept it a serious and dramatic relationship that had a lot of problems instead of making them just be in love with each other for the entire movie.The movie certainly deserved both Academy Awards,Louis Gossett Jr gave a fantastic performance and Up Where We Belong is a really nice song.I would recommend An Officer and a Gentleman to fans of both romance and war movies,it dosen't focus too much on one,it focuses enough on both perfectly and one of the sweetest endings i've ever seen in a movie.

    Zack Mayo (Richard Gere),an uptight man training to be a navy pilot finds maturity through the love of Paula Pokrifki (Debra Winger).
  • Even though An Officer and a Gentleman came out when I was a year old I still recall seeing the film on video when I was about four or five because my mother is a huge Richard Gere fan. An Officer and a Gentleman is a classic tale of overcoming yourself, beating the odds, friendship and the all amercian love story. The film which to this day Taylor Hackford has never topped gets great performances out of all it's actors especially Gere and Debra Winger as the two love birds in love and the odds they over come to be together. The film doesn't make training look unrealstic or promosing and of course there's going to be errors in the film's deception of the miltray but what film about the miltray has been perfect through out ? What makes An Officer and a Gentleman work for me is the performances and we all know that even though Gere and Winger give great performances the film belongs to Louis Gosset Jr who won a well deserved Oscar for his role as Foley. The difference between Gosset and R. Lee Emery in Full Metal Jacket is Emery was a former gunnery sergerant in the Marines and Gosset never had milatry experince to my knowledge which makes the film all the more enjoyable. Throw in some comedy, a few fight scenes and some sex scenes and you have a great crowd pleasing film that anyone can enjoy. I give the film **** stars.
  • Louis Gossett really impressed me. I looked at the movie right after basic training. So I related to this movie very well. I actually saw my drill instructor in Mr. Gossett. Great acting!!!
  • One of Richard Gere's best. This was a story about love and using love, with a hefty dose of what it takes to become a Navy officer. A good story with flawless acting and nice sets and scenery [not the least of which was Debra Winger]. 5 stars.
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