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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
2,848 ( 879)
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 Pokrifiki
Grace Zabriskie ... Esther Pokrifiki
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:

Reto al destino 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

Richard Gere balked at shooting the ending of the film, in which Zack arrives at Paula's factory wearing his Naval dress whites and carries her off the factory floor. Gere thought the ending would not work because it was too sentimental. Taylor Hackford agreed with Gere until, during a rehearsal, the extras playing the workers began to cheer and cry. When Gere saw the scene later, with the music underneath it ("Up Where We Belong") at the right tempo, he said it gave him chills. Gere is now convinced Hackford made the right decision. Screenwriter Michael Hauge, in his book "Writing Screenplays That Sell", echoed this opinion: "I don't believe that those who criticized this Cinderella-style ending were paying very close attention to who exactly is rescuing whom." See more »

Goofs

For the entire movie, Gunnery Sergeant Foley is called either "Sir" or "Sergeant". While DIs at OCS are called "Sir" (despite being enlisted), a Gunnery Sergeant is never called just "Sergeant." 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

Referenced in The Take: Episode #1.1 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Treat Me Right
(1980)
Written by Doug Lubahn (as D. Lubahn) and Pat Benatar (as P. Benatar)
Performed by Pat Benatar
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

excellent
5 July 2002 | by AjtlawyerSee all my reviews

This has to be Richard Gere's best movie and the one movie I felt he deserved an Oscar nomination for. I read once that his role of Zach Mayo was first offered to John Denver. It is impossible to think of anyone else in the role which is one indication of how good Gere was. Lou Gossett, Jr. steals the show and gets a deserved Oscar as Gunnery Sergeant Foley. Debra Winger is also delectable as Paula, Zach's working class girlfriend. I had read that Winger had a real problem doing the nude scenes with Gere and felt very uncomfortable being undressed in front of the camera. Supposedly the scene in which she is crying while making love to Zach isn't because she's feeling passion, it is because she is feeling humiliated. The movie also had to snip out a couple of seconds of Winger flexing her hips a bit too much during a bed scene. Still one of the steamiest bed scenes in film history. The most riveting moment of the movie is when Foley is going to kick Zach out of the program and Gere frantically and desperately screams "DON'T YOU DO THAT! I AIN'T GOT NOWHERE ELSE TO GO!" All of Zach's arrogance is drained out of him and he is just a desperate kid begging for the only chance he'll ever have. Powerful moment. In the end, Zach gains maturity. Would you want to fly into combat with Zach Mayo or with Tom Cruise's Maverick in "Top Gun"? Zach Mayo, hands down.


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