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.

Director:

Tony Scott
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240 ( 14)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Maverick
Kelly McGillis ... Charlie
Val Kilmer ... Iceman
Anthony Edwards ... Goose
Tom Skerritt ... Viper
Michael Ironside ... Jester
John Stockwell ... Cougar
Barry Tubb ... Wolfman
Rick Rossovich ... Slider
Tim Robbins ... Merlin
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ... Sundown
Whip Hubley ... Hollywood
James Tolkan ... Stinger
Meg Ryan ... Carole
Adrian Pasdar ... Chipper

Who Was Almost Cast in 'Top Gun'?

The cast of Top Gun is so iconic, it's hard to imagine anyone else filling those roles, but Maverick and Iceman almost looked very different.

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Storyline

Code-named "Maverick", Pete Mitchell, the impetuous daredevil Navy-pilot ace, is accepted into Miramar's elite Fighter School, also known as "Top Gun". There, as the impulsive pilot competes with the best of the best, not only will he meet Charlie, the flying school's curvaceous astrophysics instructor, but also the brilliant and highly competitive fellow student, "Iceman", with whom right from the start, he will engage in a reckless contest. As Maverick is haunted by his father's mysterious death, will he be able to suppress his wild nature to win the prestigious Top Gun Trophy? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Up there with the best of the best. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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.) See more »

Goofs

Iceman and Slider wear patches and insignia from then Attack Squadron 25 (VA-25) now Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-25) the "Fist of the Fleet." VA-25 never operated F-14s. At the time that the movie was filmed VA-25 flew A-7 Corsairs. Currently VFA-25 Flies the F/A-18C Hornet See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Flight Captain: Good morning, Scott.
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Crazy Credits

Following the pictures of actors in the film in the closing credits, a brief shot is shown of two F-14s flying by amidst a red sky with a mountain in the background. The closing credits play over this mountain sunset scenery. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film shown on the Paramount Network has nearly all of the profane language intact (basically everything but the word "shit"). However, this version also randomly cuts out several scenes and parts of scenes, presumably to fit in the network time slot allotted. Scenes missing altogether include (but are certainly not limited to) Maverick and Goose conversing in their housing regarding whether or not they'll graduate, and Jester and Viper conversing, with Viper revealing hew knew Maverick's "old man." The latter is especially surprising considering this plot point plays a major role in a later scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hawaii Five-0: Kahu (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
(uncredited)
Written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Phil Spector
Performed by Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards
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User Reviews

And all the Air Force got was "Iron Eagle" .....
3 November 2002 | by ericjg623See all my reviews

If there's ever proof of the cachet of Naval Aviation, this is it. Those poor Air Force guys got a trio of "Iron Eagle" flicks that went from bad to horrible, whereas the Navy flyboys got this great 1980's classic. Sure, it's cheesy and corny, but it makes the cheese and corn taste pretty damn good. A cynic might argue that it's just a two hour long Navy recruiting ad (one that worked for me, two years later I found my ass in Pensacola sweating through AOCS, short for Aviation Officer Candidate School, the program immortalized in "An Officer and a Gentleman") but by making a pro-Navy movie, the filmmakers also got invaluable technical assistance from top Navy aviators, and it shows.

For starters, although this movie takes numerous liberties in order to entertain, the basic setup, in which fighter pilots from the fleet get sent to NAS Miramar, aka, "Top Gun" for intensive training, is 100% accurate. The Navy, back during Vietnam, was getting sick of losing too many pilots in air-to-air combat. The problem, they discovered, was their fighter jocks had been trained for purely long-range missile interceptions, meaning they'd lost their dogfighting skills. And, in Vietnam, several American planes were accidentally shot down by their own side by missiles, so, as a safety factor, enemy planes had to be visually identified, meaning American pilots were back to engaging the enemy at short range, hence the need for dogfighting. The "Top Gun" school was started as a result, and the rest is history.

Now, back to the movie. Tom Cruise is Maverick, a hotshot pilot but also somewhat unstable. If "Risky Business" launched his career as a movie star, then "Top Gun" cemented it. Guys wanted to be like him, and women of course lusted after him. The plot is pure formula, but executed with consummate professionalism. The team who put this movie together knew exactly how to push all the right buttons. But the crème de la crème is surely the flying. I don't think that any movie, before or since, has ever rendered air combat in a more convincing and dramatic fashion. For nearly 100 years fighter pilots have been the modern equivalent of olden knights, men who brought a sense of glamour and romance to the deadly art of war, and this movie gives them a fitting tribute.

8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Top Guns See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,193,052, 18 May 1986

Gross USA:

$180,258,178

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$357,288,178
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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