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An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

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A young man must complete his work at a Navy Officer Candidate School to become an aviator, with the help of a tough Gunnery Sergeant and his new girlfriend.

Director:

Taylor Hackford
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Popularity
3,025 ( 345)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Zack Mayo
Debra Winger ... Paula Pokrifki
David Keith ... Sid Worley
Robert Loggia ... Byron Mayo
Lisa Blount ... Lynette Pomeroy
Lisa Eilbacher ... Casey Seeger
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Sgt. Emil Foley
Tony Plana ... Emiliano Della Serra
Harold Sylvester ... Perryman
David Caruso ... Topper Daniels
Victor French ... Joe Pokrifki
Grace Zabriskie ... Esther Pokrifki
Tommy Petersen Tommy Petersen ... Young Zack
Mara Scott-Wood Mara Scott-Wood ... Bunny (as Mara Scott Wood)
David Greenfield 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. Gunnery Sergeant Emil 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:

Life gave him nothing, except the courage to win...and a woman to love. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Filipino

Release Date:

13 August 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An Officer and a Gentleman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,304,679, 1 August 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$129,795,552
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Are you calling me a Ewe" lecture that Louis Gossett Jr. gives to David Keith was used a decade earlier, sans the cursing and sexual references, on the series Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. See more »

Goofs

During the factory scene at the end when Zack grabs Paula from behind, she removes her ear plugs & sticks them in Zack's mouth. 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 »

Alternate Versions

TV versions change the chants repeated by the group while marching and by Zack marching in place in the mud. The alternate rhymes contain fewer references to ethnicity and sex. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Family Guy: Herpe, the Love Sore (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Theme From 'An Officer And A Gentleman'
Written by Lee Ritenour
Performed by Lee Ritenour
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great story of self-discovery made even better by strong performances
18 June 2002 | by jaspertown77See 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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