6.7/10
86,405
103 user 39 critic

Hot Shots! (1991)

PG-13 | | Action, Comedy | 31 July 1991 (USA)
A parody of Top Gun (1986) in which a talented but unstable fighter pilot must overcome the ghosts of his father and save a mission sabotaged by greedy weapons manufacturers.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Wilson
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Buzz Harley
Heidi Swedberg ...
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'Red' Herring
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'Mailman' Farnham
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Rosener
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Storyline

Topper Harley, a top gun fighter pilot, is recalled to serve on the SS Essess. Topper's mission is to destroy Saddam Hussein's nuclear plants. Unfortunately, Topper is psychologically imbalanced and is sure to crack under pressure. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1990s | mission | iraq | combat | plane | See All (67) »

Taglines:

Unprecendented! Uncut! Under 10 dollars! See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Shots: An Important Movie!  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,848,182, 4 August 1991, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$69,467,617

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$181,096,164
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft used in this movie, the Folland Gnat T.Mk.1 two seat trainer, were never used in American service, neither were they ever capable of operating from aircraft carriers although the Indian Air Force, which used the single seat fighter version, did do a feasibility study of operating the type from their aircraft carriers, mainly to due to lack of options for carrier based aviation at the time. This was the first evidence that the aircraft carrier used in the movie was not real, but actually a prop. Gnats were British-made aircraft used by the Red Arrows aerobatic team. Ironically, the Gnats in the Indian Air Force earned the nickname "Sabre Slayer" after an unblemished combat record of shooting down technically superior Pakistani Air Force Canadair (license-built) F-86 Sabres during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the Bangladesh Liberation War 1971. See more »

Goofs

When Topper enters the base on his motorcycle the first time, the gate guard salutes him even through he is not wearing any officer rank. See more »

Quotes

Topper Harley: I could never find time for love. It's too heavy. It's an anchor that drowns a man. Besides, I got the sky, the smell of jet exhaust, my bike.
Pete 'Dead Meat' Thompson: A loner?
Topper Harley: No. I own it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

(At the end of credits,just before "Any similarity etc.": IF YOU HAD LEFT THIS THEATRE WHEN THESE CREDITS BEGAN , YOU'D BE HOME NOW. See more »


Soundtracks

Dream Lover
Written by Bobby Darin
Performed by Dion DiMucci (as Dion)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Very high hit to miss ratio makes it almost stand out with Airplane and Naked Gun as one of the funniest spoofs around
23 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

Haunted by feelings of guilt over the actions of his father Buzz and having been kicked out of the navy, Topper Harley has withdrawn from the navy to a life of solitude, quiet contemplation and helium. However when Lt Commander Block comes to him with an offer of a second chance, to take part in secret mission Sleepy Weasel, Topper takes it up and signs up for training and briefing with the other pilots. However with a difficult love interest and his old fears resurfacing, can Topper hold it together? Can the mission succeed? Can Admiral Benson get it together? Only time, will tell.

The spoof genre is one that appears easy to do but things like Scary Movie, Spaceballs and others all show that it is not as easy as it appears – it is not enough to simply ape films unless it is done cleverly and funnily as well. Hot Shots succeeds in this area by managing to make such fun out of serious films that it is hard not to laugh – in fact I watched Top Gun recently and found it impossible not to laugh as I remembered Hot Shots! Of course it is not just the fact that it spoofs movies but also that the dialogue is really, really funny – totally off the wall and takes you by surprise at times. A fine example of this is the dialogue given to Admiral Benson such as 'they ran out of material before they got to the knee so don't give me any sh*t'! This continues throughout the film and it rarely misses. Just like Top Gun the romance aspect isn't as funny as the other bits but even then it is still good. Some individual lines aren't as sharp as others but generally the film has enough great dialogue and funny movie spoofs (including quite a few Tom Cruise movies) to be consistently funny even after repeat viewings.

The cast is often important in this type of thing and those who have suffered the Wayans brothers mugging in their 'spoofs' will know exactly what I mean – people like Leslie Nielsen make it look easy but it really isn't. And that is why the cast here should be largely praised for their straight delivery that serves to make the material even better. Although not the star of the film, every scene he is in is stolen by Lloyd Bridges – so great in Airplane, he gets the best lines here and his character is hilarious. He is supported well by Sheen who proves really able in sending himself up and he has done well in other spoofs since then. The rest of the cast is made up of very familiar faces who all seem in tune with the material provided – Elwes is fun; Cryer and O'Leary embrace their one-note characters. Golino is a bit dry in her delivery and doesn't help her already weak part in the film. Minor roles for Swanson, Stiles, Dunn and others are also good value for differing reasons and there are a few good cameos in there as well.

Overall, as with all these things you need to be in the mood but the strength of the material and the high hit ratio makes it easy to enjoy this film. Much more fun that Top Gun and consistently funny with regular laugh-out-loud moments this is a great spoof that is only just short of the greats like Airplane and Naked Gun.


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