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Top Gun (1986) Poster

(1986)

Trivia

Louis Gossett Jr. was considered for the role of Viper. Gossett, however, did play the older, mentor-type role in another 80s fighter jet film, Iron Eagle (1986)
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Val Kilmer did not want to be in this film, but was forced to by contractual obligations.
The real Top Gun School gives a $5 fine to anyone in the staff that quotes the movie.
The Navy only authorized two actual missile shots to be filmed for the movie. You can clearly pick out these two shots, ultimately shot from several angles each in order to use both shots repeatedly during the dogfighting scenes, because the aircraft firing the missile is holding a steady altitude and heading, something that would never happen in a real close-in dogfight. All other missile shots shown in the movie were conducted using miniatures of both the planes and rockets. The company that produced and fired the model missiles did such a good job that the Dept. of the Navy conducted a preliminary investigation into whether any additional live firings of missiles, beyond the two originally authorized, were done for the filmmakers.
Anthony Edwards is the only actor who didn't vomit while in the fighter jets.
Riding on the back of this film's success, the US Navy set up recruiting booths in the major cinemas to try and catch some of the adrenaline charged guys leaving the screenings. They had the highest applications rate for years as a result.
When the guys, as students, were first being spoken to by Charlie in the hanger, Maverick explains that he gave "the bird" to a MiG. She asks how he saw the MiG up close, and he says he was flying inverted. Right then, Ice coughs "bullshit" and the guys laughed. The "bullshit" line was ad libbed by Val Kilmer.
Charlie's "older man" date at the officer's club is the real-life "Viper", Pete Pettigrew. He is a retired Navy pilot and TOPGUN instructor, and shot down a MiG during the Vietnam War. He served as the technical consultant on the film.
The F-14 pilot who "flipped the bird" at the MiG pilot was Scott Altman of VF-51, who eventually became a NASA astronaut flying as pilot on two missions and as commander on two more missions.
Tom Cruise actually had to wear lifts in his scenes with Kelly McGillis. Cruise is 5'7" while McGillis is 5'10"
The highest-grossing movie of 1986.
Paramount Pictures commissioned Grumman, the makers of the F-14, to develop and install special camera mounts on the plane. This allowed the filmmakers to use real aerial point-of-view footage of the Tomcat in flight.
After the "Car chase" when Charlie tells Maverick that she didn't want anyone to find out she was falling for him, Maverick originally had a line to say. Tom Cruise forgot the line and "ad libbed" by kissing Kelly McGillis instead. Tony Scott liked it so much, he left the scene like that.
Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's first name was Evan in early scripts of the film. It was later changed to Pete as an homage to Pete Pettigrew, who worked on the film (Pettigrew appears in the bar scene early in the film as Charlie's older male date.)
When Maverick receives his orders to the carrier following the graduation ceremony, there is a pilot standing behind him, with a mustache and wearing sunglasses. The pilot is "Heater" C.J. Heatley, a real-life former F-14 air show demonstration pilot and TOPGUN instructor.
The character portrayed by Kelly McGillis is based on Christine Fox, a civilian flight instructor the producers met on a visit to Miramar while doing research to prepare for the movie. Fox eventually rose through the ranks at the Pentagon, retiring in May 2014 as Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, the highest post ever held by a woman at the Department of Defense.
During the filming of some sequences from civilian aircraft, longtime Hollywood stunt pilot Art Scholl was killed. A biplane he was flying crashed off the Pacific Coast. The film is dedicated to his memory.
Judas Priest were asked to contribute the song "Reckless" to the soundtrack, but declined because they thought the movie would flop. Two years later, they contributed a cover of Johnny Be Good (1988) to the movie of the same name, which turned out to be a flop.
Most of the actors who portrayed F-14 crewmembers received backseat rides in the F-14, and several of the scenes which appear in the film were filmed with the actors in the air.
Rick Rossovich stated in the DVD commentary that he was kicked off of the ship used for filming because he smarted off to an officer. Rossovich had gone to sleep in the bunk (more commonly called a rack) he was assigned to, but didn't like being so close to the nuclear reactors that powered the ship, so he moved. When he smarted off to the officer who wanted his bunk back, Rossovich was told to report to the captain who ordered him thrown off the ship for disrespect.
Matthew Modine turned down the Tom Cruise role because he objected to the film's Cold War politics. Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Matthew Broderick, Sean Penn, Michael J. Fox, Scott Baio and Tom Hanks all turned down the role of Maverick. Charlie Sheen, Jim Carrey, Rob Lowe, Kevin Bacon, Eric Stoltz and Robert Downey Jr. were considered for the role of Maverick. Sheen (who was deemed too young for the role) would later go on to spoof the role in the 1991 comedy Hot Shots! (1991).
Following the movie, some of the F-5s used as the "MiG-28s" maintained their black paint schemes and served as "aggressor" aircraft simulating enemy planes in the real-life Top Gun program.
The film was inspired by an article in the May 1983 issue of "California" magazine about the U.S. Navy's Top Gun School.
Ally Sheedy turned down the role of Charlie Blackwood because she didn't think that anyone would want to see a movie about fighter pilots. She later regretted this decision.
The ship that Viper served on with Maverick's father, the Oriskany, was the first United States warship slated to become an artificial reef, under authority granted by the fiscal 2004 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 108-136). It was sunk with controlled charges 24 miles (39 km) south of Pensacola on May 17, 2006. It is now popularly known as the "Great Carrier Reef", a reference to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Director Tony Scott wrote a quick check for $25,000 to the commander of the aircraft carrier in order to capture one vital external shot.
Kenny Loggins was not the first choice to record the song "Danger Zone" for the film. Toto and REO Speedwagon were two of the groups considered prior to Loggins.
The pilot that gets "flipped off" by Maverick and Goose is Admiral Robert Willard, the lead flight choreographer for the film. He was Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet (2007-2009) before transferring to United States Pacific Command.
In order to stay in character, Tom Cruise would sit far away from the rest of the cast in between takes.
Michael Ironside stated in the DVD commentary that he was so convincing as an officer that when he heard someone running towards him below decks, he got on to the sailor who was running. The sailor saluted and slowed down until he got out of Ironside's line of sight and started running again. The sailor never knew that Ironside was an actor on the film.
The elevator scene (where Maverick and Charlie meet after Mav's workout) was filmed post-production. Kelly McGillis's hair had already been colored for another movie role, which is why she is wearing a hat. Tom Cruise's hair is longer in the shot as well.
In preparation for his role, Tom Cruise was allowed to take 3 rides in the F-14 Tomcat. He vomited during the first trip but was okay during the other two.
Brooke Shields and Debra Winger were considered for the role of Charlie Blackwood, but producers wanted an unknown for the part: Kelly McGillis.
Giorgio Moroder wrote most of the music for the songs on the soundtrack. Tom Whitlock, who wrote the majority of the lyrics to these songs, was actually the mechanic who worked on Moroder's sports car.
The piano scene and the final bar/jukebox scene were shot in a San Diego restaurant called Kansas City BBQ, at the corner of Kettner Blvd and W. Harbor Drive. The restaurant housed many props and memorabilia from the film. However, on June 26, 2008 Kansas City BBQ suffered a grease fire that destroyed much of the interior of the establishment. The restaurant has since been repaired to its original state, but much of the Top Gun memorabilia on display was damaged and some destroyed. The two most prominent pieces that remain are the piano (relocated to another corner of the bar) and one of the original Maverick flight helmets used during filming, which sits in a locked display case behind the bar. The helmet shows some slight damage, as the heat from the fire caused the plastic visor to bubble and warp.
In several locker scenes, one of the lockers is labeled as belonging to "TEX". This is the call sign for one of the top gun instructors and Mig pilots that worked on the film, Lt. "Tex" William Spence.
The motorcycle ridden by Tom Cruise in the movie is a Kawasaki Ninja 900 / GPz900R, then the fastest production motorcycle in the world.
An original draft of the script specified that the final showdown involved North Korean aircraft. The final script made the nationalities of the enemy planes unknown and simply specified they were MiGs over the Indian Ocean.
Just before the film started production, one of the producers announced that they wanted to use the Bruce Springsteen song "Born in the USA" but attempts to secure the song were unsuccessful.
Bryan Adams was asked to allow his song "Only the Strong Survive" on the soundtrack, but he refused because he felt that the film glorified war.
While many terms used in the movie either match or are closely based on real terms used by naval aviators and the pilots in general, the term "going ballistic" is a real phrase that was incorrectly used to describe a pilot successfully reaching maximum speed, when it actually meant that the pilot was going too slow to maintain control of his aircraft, i.e., the aircraft is ballistic like a ball thrown in the air and will be influenced by gravity rather than the control surfaces as there is too little airflow over them. The phrase is used in Air Combat Maneuvers where the aircraft is put into a vertical or nearly-vertical climb and slows below an acceptable control speed. The pilot is then just along for the ride as gravity takes over and the airplane begins to descend and accelerate back to flying speed. The call is given over the radio to warn other pilots that the aircraft cannot maneuver to avoid a collision.
Tom Cruise's flight suit was later put on display at Planet Hollywood.
James Tolkan's character is referred to as "Stinger" in the credits, but is never addressed by anything other than "Sir" throughout the film.
John Travolta was considered for the role of Maverick, but his agent's asking price for him was too high, especially in light of his recent box-office flops.
Tom Cruise had never ridden a motorcycle until this film. He actually went to House of Motorcycles in El Cajon, California to learn. They taught him in the parking lot of their shop.
Don Simpson was known for being a very hands-on producer but was noticeably absent during the making of Top Gun. This was mainly due to the fact that he was in rehab, being treated for his major dependency on prescription drugs. His use of illegal narcotics also led to him becoming increasingly paranoid, to the extent that he rarely left his home.
In early drafts of the film, the character (Tim Robbins) whose call sign is Merlin actually had the last name of Merlin, and his call sign was Wizard.
A number of critics complained that the movie largely amounted to a Navy recruitment film. The US Navy stated that the film's popularity resulted in a 500 percent increase in the number of recruits wanting to enter into their aviation program. Paramount offered to include a Navy Recruitment ad on the initial home video release in exchange for debits owed the US Navy for their cooperation. However, the ad agency who produced ads for the US Military informed the Pentagon that the movie itself was enough of a propaganda tool, and that an official recruiting ad would be redundant.
In the last scene where Maverick is sitting at the counter and you see someone go to the jukebox and put in a quarter for "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," when he and Charlie walk up to each other, Kelly McGillis is actually standing in a trench that was dug by the Hollywood technicians because they wanted the two to look like they were the same height.
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.
The callsign 'Ghostrider' that Maverick uses for his plane was the name of a real F-14 squadron (VF-142), and a model of a Tomcat from that squadron can be seen behind Sundown in the shot where Maverick tells Slider he stinks.
During the final furball, Stinger orders, "Ready Willard and Simkin on cats 3 and 4" - a reference to dogfight choreographer "Rat" Robert Willard and casting director Margery Simkin.
During the pilot briefing before the final furball, Stinger mentions that the MiGs carry the Exocet anti-ship missile. This is a real missile, however, it is of French manufacture and has never been used by the Soviet Union, Russia, or any of the countries that made up the Soviet Union.
Tatum O'Neal, Jodie Foster, Daryl Hannah, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker and Linda Hamilton all turned down the role of Charlie. Carrie Fisher was also considered for the role.
The scene where Maverick follows Charlie into the bathroom was filmed at the Headquarters Building at Recruit Training Command, San Diego. [The Naval Training Center installation was later demolished in the late 1990's to make way for more Navy housing. Before the headquarters building could be inspected for demolition, the bathroom counter that "Maverick" leans on and "stress tests" was stolen.]
The call sign 'Sundown' is a reference to VF-111, a squadron of F-14s called The Sundowners that have the same sundown graphic on their tail fins as on Sundown's helmet. VF-111 supplied the F-14s used for Maverick & Goose and Iceman & Hollywood's Tomcats. In some shots 'VF-111' is visible on the under-engine fins of the F-14s.
Other real names of the pilots/RIOs were that are not otherwise mentioned in the movie, but only by their callsigns are: Hollywood: Lt. Rick Neven; Wolfman: Lt(jg) Leonard Wolfe; Slider: Lt(jg) Ron Kerner; Cougar: Lt . Bill Cortell; Merlin: Lt(jg) Sam Wells.
When the film was first released on VHS, it included a fighter pilot-themed Diet Pepsi commercial prior to the film.
One of the unused call-signs 'Tombstone' can be seen on a black fighter pilot helmet with three red arrows in promotional photos featuring Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson.
Berlin's song "Take My Breath Away" was originally considered for the soundtrack of 9½ Weeks (1986).
The aircraft used for the fictional MiG-28s are Northrop F-5E (single seat) and F (two seat) Tiger IIs, which were used by TOPGUN as aggressor aircraft.
Both John Carpenter and David Cronenberg turned down the chance to direct.
All of Maverick's stunt flying in the film was done by Scott Altman, who later went on to become an astronaut.
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The USS Oriskeny launched John McCain on his fateful flight to The Hanoi Hilton, during the Vietnam conflict.
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An official release of Harold Faltermeyer's score for the film has never been done. Two pieces of score appear on the current soundtrack, but the complete score has yet to be released.
During a break in the filming of the hangar scene a group of Navy officers being used as extras approached Tony Scott and complained about the unrealistic collection of patches on the flight suits of the actors. He replied, paraphrasing, "We're not making this movie for Navy fighter pilots, we're making it for Kansas wheat farmers who don't know the difference."
Two video games based very loosely on the movie were released on the Nintendo NES. While the first game really had no storyline, the second actually served as a "sequel" storyline, regarding Maverick going up against a new group of villains.
Tom Cruise first met director Tony Scott while working for his brother, Ridley Scott, on Legend (1985). Cruise reunited with Tony Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson 4 years later on Days of Thunder (1990) which Cruise wrote.
Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis didn't get on.
Mickey Rourke was offered a role, but turned it down.
The line "I feel the need...the need for speed" ranked at number 94 of AFI's list of 100 Years 100 Movie Quotes.
One of the deck officers on the carrier is named Scott, a reference to director Tony Scott.
Linda Fiorentino told Charlie Rose that she turned down the role of Charlie Blackwood because it glorified war.
Jon Voight was considered for the role of Viper.
Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood's character metamorphosed out of a character called 'Kirsten Lindstrom'. She was originally a classic bimbo. 'Dawn Steel', then head of Paramount Pictures, allegedly refused to authorise the project until she was made a more real, intelligent woman.
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Harold Faltermeyer's music score was the first to be performed and recorded on the polyphonic 16 bit stereo Synclavier Digital Music System.
Voted #3 Must See Movie of all time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
A test audience who saw the movie before it was released were annoyed there was no love scene. The producers obliged and five months after the production had wrapped, they summoned Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis to Chicago to film the infamous elevator scene and the sex scene. During their time away from the set, McGillis had lost approx 60 pounds (27 kilograms) and Cruise was actually filming The Color of Money (1986), so his hair was much longer in those two scenes. McGillis' hair was also much darker, hence why she hid it underneath a cap in that elevator scene.
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Jerry Bruckheimer on convincing Tom Cruise to sign on to the film after his initial reluctance: "So they (the navy) take Tom up there they do five Gs. They do barrel rolls, they do everything. He's heaving in the plane. He gets on the tarmac, runs to a pay phone ... and he said, 'I'm in. I'm doing the movie. I love it. This is great.'"
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Stunt pilot Art Scholl was killed during the production of the movie, aged 54. He died when his Pitts S-2 camera plane failed to recover from a flat spin and plunged into the Pacific Ocean. Scholl's last words over the radio were "I have a problem - I have a real problem." The exact cause of the crash was never determined, and neither the aircraft nor Scholl's body were ever recovered. The film is dedicated to him.
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The original soundtrack release initially only included original songs written expressly for the movie. In 2000, the soundtrack was re-released to include "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", "Great Balls of Fire" and "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", existing songs which were prominently featured in the movie.
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An early trailer featured The Cars' song "Stranger Eyes", from the album "Heartbeat City".
The song Charlie and Maverick discuss at her house is 'Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay' by Otis Redding. Eerily and appropriately, Otis Redding had died in an airplane crash.
The Pentagon demanded script approval to ensure that the Navy was portrayed in a positive light. They demanded the cause of Goose's death be changed from a midair collision to an ejection mishap because the Navy was concerned that it looked like too many pilots were crashing.
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Tom Cruise is three inches shorter than Kelly McGillis, which bothered Paramount greatly. To even up their heights, Cruise wore special cowboy boots that gave him a little height boost, while McGillis didn't wear any shoes at all during their scenes.
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Top Gun (1986) was the highest grossing film of 1986. It took $177 million in the US alone, and $353 million worldwide. Australian hit Crocodile Dundee (1986) was the second biggest film of the year, with Platoon (1986) coming in third.
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No one had ever "buzzed the tower" at Miramar before. The Navy pilots who were flying the scenes for the film drew straws to see who would get to do it. It went to Lt. Commander Lloyd "Bozo" Abel. Michael Ironside just happened to be at the hangar that day, and the plane flew low enough to where he could actually see into the cockpit as it flew by. He said it was one of the most spectacular things he'd ever seen.
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The squadron patch "Maverick" and "Goose" are seen wearing, which reads "VF-1" is actually that of VAW-120, the "Greyhawks" (formerly VAW-110, the "Firebirds"), which is actually an E2 Hawkeye / C2 Greyhound squadron. Both aircraft are carrier-capable twin-turboprop craft. VF-1 was an F-14 squadron based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar, until its disestablishment on 1 October 1993.
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When the film was first released on VHS, it included a fighter pilot-themed Diet Pepsi commercial prior to the film.
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The callsign 'Ghostrider' that Maverick uses for his plane was the name of a real F-14 squadron (VF-142), and a model of a Tomcat from that squadron can be seen behind Sundown in the shot where Maverick tells Slider he stinks.
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During the opening dogfight, music from Thief of Hearts (1984), also composed by Harold Faltermeyer, can be heard over-scoring action. The sequence had originally been temp-tracked to this music, so it was used when Faltermeyer had left the project and the score incomplete.
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When Tom Cruise went up in a real F-14 for the first time, he was with Lt. Commander Lloyd "Bozo" Abel. After Bozo did some maneuvers, Cruise finally had no choice but to reach for his sick bag. However, as he did so, Bozo did a maneuver that put Cruise's head to the floor of the cockpit as he struggled to activate the intercom to tell Bozo what was happening. When Bozo finally leveled the plane, Cruise hit the intercom and said, "Bozo, didn't you see I wasn't in your rear-view mirror?" Bozo replied, "Sorry, but then again, they don't call me 'Bozo' for nothing."
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The address that Charlie (Kelly McGillis) gives Maverick (Tom Cruise) when inviting him to dinner, 100 Laurel Beach, is (like most films) a false address. There is a 100 W Laurel Ave in downtown San Diego but it is miles from the beach. The actual location used for shooting was 100 S Pacific St in Oceanside, which is North San Diego County.

The area has since been redeveloped for commercial and tourist uses, but the house was preserved as a landmark. It is locally referred to simply as "The Top Gun House" and until 2008 was still a rentable property.
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The Pentagon charged the movie studio $US1.8 million to use all of their planes and aircraft carriers for the film.
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While Navy squadrons do stencil crew names onto aircraft, the airplanes are not assigned for missions on this basis. They are simply rotated in a pool, and at any given time some number of planes are out of rotation for maintenance purposes. Each airwing flew two squadrons of F-14s numbered in the 100s and 200s. Other aircraft types had planes in higher ranges. The lowest numbered airplane in each squadron is nicknamed "nuts", and these are all stenciled with the airwing commander's name. Each squadron has its own commanding officer, and his (or her) crew's names would be on the plane numbered -01. The executive officer is on aircraft -02, followed by senior officers in descending order. There are more crews than airplanes, so junior officers are only on airplanes if they are crewed with a senior aircraft commander. In the case of the F-14, radar intercept officers ("backseaters") are in the line of command all the way up to squadron CO, so it is possible to find an F-14 with a senior RIO in the rear seat and a more junior pilot in the front.
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In 1986, jet fuel was pretty cheap - about $1 a gallon. Paramount still paid $10,000 an hour every time they went up to film an F-14, though.
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Tom Cruise said that Maverick was the first character he ever played who was "larger than life." It was also the first time he'd been involved from the early stages, helping with the script.
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Tony Scott had only a few minutes to film the sex scene.
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Anthony Edwards had no idea he was going to sing and pretend to play piano in one scene. Tony Scott was listening to Jerry Lee Lewis that morning and added it in last minute.
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Kelly McGillis fell for Barry Tubb (Wolfman), literally. "She fell down in the middle of the street, and she had my heart."
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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In What Dreams May Come (1998), part of the "Hell" sequence was filmed on the decrepit hull of the USS Oriskany (CV-34) aircraft carrier while berthed at Mare Island in Vallejo, California.
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Men of the Fighting Lady (1954) (also known as Panther Squadron) was filmed aboard the USS Oriskany (CV-34) aircraft carrier in 1954 written by U.S. Navy Commander Harry A. Burns. It was inspired by a Saturday Evening Post article, "The Forgotten Heroes of Korea" by James A. Michener.
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The leather jacket Maverick wears has the American flag on the back, over it it says FAR EAST CRUISE 63-4.
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Tom Skerritt was also in Alien (1979), directed by Tony Scott's older brother, Ridley Scott.
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The movie and novel, The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), written by James A. Michener were based on actual missions flown against the railroad bridges at Majon-ni and Samdong-ni, North Korea, when he was a news correspondent aboard the aircraft carriers USS Essex and USS Oriskany.
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Kenny Loggins's upbeat song Danger Zone is played three times in the film, which is more than any other song. There is even a thrilling scene in which Maverick races a Tomcat taking off on his motorbike with the song playing.
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Tom Cruise starred with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1988). Kelly McGillis went on to star as Mrs. Robinson in the Broadway version of The Graduate (1967), which starred Hoffman as well.
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Veteran stunt coordinator and helicopter pilot Monty Jordan was on set frequently during filming and assisted pilot Art Scholl in the aerial sequences. He served as stand in occasionally for Michael Ironside's and was also cast unnamed as a navy Cmdr, in several scenes.during filming.
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Terri Nunn of Berlin states in an interview that she and her band were in Taiwan when they received a call letting her know that the song "Take My Breath Away" was being nominated for an Oscar and asking her to fly out to Los Angeles to perform the song at the Academy Awards. She told them that she would only do it if she could sing the entire song. She was told that that wouldn't be the case as the song was going to be sung in a medley with the other nominated songs. Nunn turned it down. Nunn says she deeply regrets her decision, especially upon finding out that "Take My Breath Away" won the Oscar for "Best Song."
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From the very beginning, the filmmakers wanted Tom Cruise for Maverick. He kept turning it down until Jerry Bruckheimer arranged for a ride along with the Blue Angels.
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Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards actually became an item after filming concluded.
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Tony Scott calls the film the "purest form of escapism" and says it "mainlines entertainment."
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According to Anthony Edwards, "A lot of the humour was discovered at the moment. The script was skeletal."
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The tension between Maverick and Iceman isn't just down to good acting. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer kept their distance from each other and never socialised.
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Tony Scott was hired to direct because he filmed an ad of a car racing a jet, similar to one scene.
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During a 2014 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003), the host asked Tom Cruise about the first time he had travelled the world to promote a movie. Cruise said that it was during the foreign press junket tour for Top Gun, which he said took four months to complete, as he'd spend weeks in every city they visited in Italy, France, and Japan. Cruise told Kimmel that he was the one who came up with the idea of premiering films in other countries, though he said that "It took me a few years to get it going." Kimmel quipped, "So all these other actors must want to kill you."
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To capitalize on the film's popularity, the Navy set up booths outside theaters in order to recruit moviegoers to join the Navy-and it worked. When recruiters talked to applicants, about 90 percent said they had seen the movie. The Navy also wove in "Danger Zone"-sounding music and Top Gun-esque shots for its 1987 "Join the Navy" commercial.
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Charlie Blackwood is based on a woman named Christine Fox who is tall, blonde, leggy, and has a penchant for clacking high heels. At the time the movie was being produced, the filmmakers wanted the character of Charlie to either be a groupie or a gymnast, but when the producers met Fox-whose call sign was "Legs"- they changed the role. The fictional Charlie is an astrophysicist, but Fox is a mathematician who worked at the Center for Naval Analyses, which was located across the street from TOPGUN. "They always know when I'm coming," Fox told People in 1985, "because I'm one of the few people around here whose heels click." From December 2013 to February 2014, Fox served as the acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, making her the Defense Department's highest-ever-ranking female officer.
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Cougar was supposed to have crashed while trying to land back on the carrier, and his death was supposed to be why Maverick "slid into Cougar's spot", but this was similarly cut by the Navy. As this was intended to be a recruitment tool for the Navy, they didn't want attention drawn on a particularly hazardous aspect of serving on a carrier or flying fighters.
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Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan would later co-star in The Doors (1991).
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Take My Breath Away was also offered to The Motels, who subsequently recorded and submitted their own Demo of the song. Motels Lead Singer Martha Davis knew the song would be a huge hit, but was ultimately satisfied that their version was passed over, as she wanted her and the band to be better remembered for the songs they wrote themselves.
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Tom Cruise and John Stockwell previously starred together in Losin' It (1983).
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Kelly McGillis was cast because the producers loved her in Witness (1985).
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The producers knew the film was big when leather jackets and white shirts became in again.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Goose's real name is Nick Bradshaw. His name is briefly seen on a flight patch on top of his dresser when Maverick goes to retrieve Goose's belongings after he dies. It can also be seen numerous times written on the side of the F-14 he and Maverick fly. It is most noticeable when Goose hits the canopy after ejecting.
A script for "Top Gun 2" was completed shortly after the release of the film, but it broke down in pre-production because 1) the military's technology had become updated and they didn't want camera crew anywhere near their new aircraft and 2) Tom Cruise did not want a sequel and finally agreed to star in one for a very high amount that was deemed "unaffordable." The script followed the further adventures of Maverick as an instructor at the Top Gun academy, the twist being a cocky female reminiscent of himself joining the team.
The film was originally going to have a scene near the end where Maverick visited Goose's grave. A filmed version of this scene was never released, however still screen shots from what such a scene would have looked like are available on the special edition DVD.
Goose was originally to have died in a flaming crash aboard an aircraft carrier, but the Navy objected and the scene was changed to the 'training accident' that we see today.
In the ending scene on the ship when commander stinger asks Maverick "where would you like to go" you can clearly see that right next to his locker it says "goose". Most likely in memoriam for him.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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