Top Gun (1986)

PG   |    |  Action, Drama


Top Gun (1986) Poster

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.


6.9/10
263,072

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  • Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986)
  • Tom Cruise and Jerry Bruckheimer in Top Gun (1986)
  • Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986)
  • Tom Cruise and Tony Scott in Top Gun (1986)
  • Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (1986)
  • Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986)

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3 November 2002 | ericjg623
And all the Air Force got was "Iron Eagle" .....
If there's ever proof of the cachet of Naval Aviation, this is it. Those poor Air Force guys got a trio of "Iron Eagle" flicks that went from bad to horrible, whereas the Navy flyboys got this great 1980's classic. Sure, it's cheesy and corny, but it makes the cheese and corn taste pretty damn good. A cynic might argue that it's just a two hour long Navy recruiting ad (one that worked for me, two years later I found my ass in Pensacola sweating through AOCS, short for Aviation Officer Candidate School, the program immortalized in "An Officer and a Gentleman") but by making a pro-Navy movie, the filmmakers also got invaluable technical assistance from top Navy aviators, and it shows.

For starters, although this movie takes numerous liberties in order to entertain, the basic setup, in which fighter pilots from the fleet get sent to NAS Miramar, aka, "Top Gun" for intensive training, is 100% accurate. The Navy, back during Vietnam, was getting sick of losing too many pilots in air-to-air combat. The problem, they discovered, was their fighter jocks had been trained for purely long-range missile interceptions, meaning they'd lost their dogfighting skills. And, in Vietnam, several American planes were accidentally shot down by their own side by missiles, so, as a safety factor, enemy planes had to be visually identified, meaning American pilots were back to engaging the enemy at short range, hence the need for dogfighting. The "Top Gun" school was started as a result, and the rest is history.

Now, back to the movie. Tom Cruise is Maverick, a hotshot pilot but also somewhat unstable. If "Risky Business" launched his career as a movie star, then "Top Gun" cemented it. Guys wanted to be like him, and women of course lusted after him. The plot is pure formula, but executed with consummate professionalism. The team who put this movie together knew exactly how to push all the right buttons. But the crème de la crème is surely the flying. I don't think that any movie, before or since, has ever rendered air combat in a more convincing and dramatic fashion. For nearly 100 years fighter pilots have been the modern equivalent of olden knights, men who brought a sense of glamour and romance to the deadly art of war, and this movie gives them a fitting tribute.

8/10

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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films to be selected for the Cinema 52 project, in which a subject watches a film 52 times over the course of a year. Revelations of note about Top Gun resulting from this experiment include: Tom Cruise blinks 469 times, the word "the" is spoken 223 times, and the average time between Air Boss Johnson coffee spills is 27 minutes and 23 seconds.


Quotes

Flight Captain: Good morning, Scott.


Goofs

In many of the third-person aerial scenes, you can see sunlight reflecting on the window of the airplane through which these scenes were filmed.


Crazy Credits

The opening credits sequence features a detailed history of the Top Gun program before the title of the film appears on screen, with the remainder of the opening credits devoted to footage of planes being launched from and landing on an aircraft carrier.


Alternate Versions

The UK widescreen VHS version released in 1996 and UK DVD versions released in 2000, later reissued in 2006 had an aspect ratio of 2.00:1. The theatrical prints and the DVD version released in 2004 (US) and 2005 (UK) have an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Please note the UK widescreen VHS version released in 1996 incorrectly states an aspect ratio of 2.1:1 on the cover. It does in fact match the UK DVD versions released in 2000 and 2006 which had an aspect ratio of 2.00:1.


Soundtracks

Top Gun Anthem
By
Harold Faltermeyer
Performed by Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens
Produced by Harold Faltermeyer
Steve Stevens courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Drama

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