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Top Gun (1986)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Romance  |  16 May 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 206,501 users  
Reviews: 381 user | 164 critic

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.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is an expert United States Naval Aviator. When he encounters a pair of MiGs over the Persian Gulf, his wingman is clearly outflown and freaks. On almost no fuel, Maverick is able to talk him back down to the carrier. When his wingman turns in his wings, Maverick is moved up in the standings and sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School. There he fights the attitudes of the other pilots and an old story of his father's death in combat that killed others due to his father's error. Maverick struggles to be the best pilot, stepping on the toes of his other students and in another way to Charlie Blackwood, a civilian instructor to whom he is strongly attracted. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


I feel the need, the need for speed. See more »


Action | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

16 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Top Guns  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,965,737 (USA) (8 February 2013)


$176,781,728 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tom Cruise first met director Tony Scott while working for his brother, Ridley Scott, on Legend (1985). Tom Skerritt had worked with Ridley on Alien (1979). See more »


When the first images of the MIG are shown after the "unknown aircraft, inbound Mustang" call the camera angle initially is from underneath and then raises to a side-on profile of the aircraft. At that point there is a flash from the co-pilot/RIO position within the cabin and it looks like the 2nd officer is taking a photograph of the camera plane. See more »


[first lines]
Flight Captain: Good morning, Scott.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the closing credits, we see the cast members and the character roles they have played. See more »


Referenced in Remote (1993) See more »


Through The Fire
Written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock
Performed by Larry Greene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Entertaining no brainer
3 November 2005 | by (Portsmouth, England) – See all my reviews

Top Gun is a high quality, visually stunning film that does all it can to take your breath away. It is the excellently choreographed dog fights that remain in the mind longer than anything as they are high octane, dazzling bursts of excitement which bring the film to life. However, fighter jet sequences do not make a film and it is the plot where Top Gun has some occasional problems.

Parts of the story are overly cheesy and clichéd. The proud to be American theme is dire, repetitive and anyone who dislikes over patriotism in films will despise this. The story line involving Tom Cruise and Tom Skerrit approaches boredom and is the pinnacle of Top Gun's cheese. 'Cheese' is OK, as long as it is not serious and that is where that specific story line falls flat. The fun cheesy parts are some of the films best moments. The volleyball scene is truly a classic and the four actors involved are genuinely enjoying themselves. The relationship between Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards is also very moving at times and the dynamic they have makes for great viewing.

The acting is what saves Top Gun from being Tinsel town garbage. Tom Cruise launched his career with this film. His cocky smile makes him perfect for this role and Cruise does fantastically at portraying a determined, passionate character. It is the emotional scenes where Cruise really sets himself apart from his peers. Cruise provides the few scenes where the audience are made to feel any emotion and he carries out his responsibility creditably. Anthony Edwards as Goose is also effective as the man who takes second spot to Cruise's Maverick. He is instantly popular with the audience with his wit, humour and charm. Val Kilmer and Rick Rossovich are great as the rivals. They play off each other really well and do a fantastic job to personify arrogance. Michael Ironside does what he does best and once again, manages to go through a whole film without smiling.

The story between Cruise and Kelly McGillis is very romantic and sensual. The heat between them is conveyed very well on screen and it is this that sets Top Gun above films such as Iron Eagle and Chuck Norris films.

Berlin's 'Take My Breath Away' is a song that still gets a good deal of airplay and suits this film to perfection; it's cheesy and its 80s. The music is very effective at setting the mood and complements the feel of the film.

Top Gun is a film that achieves its objectives, to entertain. If you're looking for intelligent writing or mass thought provocation, this film isn't for you. Top Gun is best suited to those who desire to switch off their brain and enjoy.

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