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.
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
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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