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An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

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A young man must complete his work at a Navy Flight school to become an aviator, with the help of a tough gunnery sergeant and his new girlfriend.

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lynette Pomeroy
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Casey Seeger
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Emiliano Della Serra
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Perryman
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Topper Daniels
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Joe Pokrifiki
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Esther Pokrifiki
Tommy Petersen ...
Mara Scott-Wood ...
Bunny (as Mara Scott Wood)
David Greenfield ...
Schneider
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Storyline

Zack Mayo is a young man who has signed up for Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School. He is a Navy brat who has a bad attitude problem. GySgt Foley is there to train and evaluate him and will clearly find Zack wanting. Zack meets Paula, a girl who has little beyond family and must decide what it is he wants to do with his life. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will lift you up where you belong. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 August 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Offizier und Gentleman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$129,795,554 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Casting the Sgt. Foley role was very difficult. First, none of the A-list actors approached for the part (including Jack Nicholson) were interested. Second, Mandy Patinkin gave an audition that the producers loved, but director Taylor Hackford nixed their plan to cast Patinkin because he felt the actor was "too ethnic" to play a drill sergeant. Finally, the producers did research in Pensacola, Florida and learned that all of the top drill sergeants there were African-Americans; this led to Louis Gossett Jr.'s being cast for the role that would win him an Academy Award. See more »

Goofs

Tattoo on Mayo's arm appears and disappears from scene to scene, even though short sleeve length of shirt that does or doesn't expose it doesn't vary that much. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mayo: [whispered to sleeping father] Hey.
[flashback to Manila]
Byron: Hey, kid! Are you Zack?
Young Zack: Yes, sir.
Byron: I'm Byron; nice to meet you. Come on, let's get your bags, OK?
Young Zack: Yes, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

With special thanks to Art Kulman of the Washington State Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development, Fort Worden State Park, Gus Gustafson, Brent Shirley, and the people of Port Townsend, Washington. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Samantha Who?: With This Ring (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Anchors Aweigh
(1906)
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman
Lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles (as Alfred H. Miles)
Additional Lyrics by George D. Lottman (1950)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great story of self-discovery made even better by strong performances
18 June 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

'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.


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