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1980s, Drama - US

Top Gun (1986)

TopGun

Duration 1h 50m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A magazine article by Ehud Yonay
Director Tony Scott
Writers/Script Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr
Starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan

Elevator Pitch: A reckless but talented Navy pilot with issues is sent to the Miramar elite pilot’s training school where he is to compete with others for the prestigious “Top Gun” award, which will give the recipient the opportunity of becoming an instructor at the school. He has competition, both for the prize and the affections of one of the female instructors, but when his co-pilot is killed during a training exercise he tempted to give up the whole venture.

Content: There is sex but no nudity, quite a bit of drinking and one man smokes cigars. Otherwise lots and lots of aerial footage of the Grumman F-14 Tomcats taking off and landing on aircraft carriers and engaging in real and training combat. The pilots spend quite a bit of time standing at attention in front of their superior officers, some time in bars and also in towels and their underwear in the lockers rooms of the training establishment.

A View:  I thought the aerial scenes were absolutely brilliant, probably just as well because the rest of this outing was pretty dire, and I am with the critics who felt that there was absolutely no chemistry between Cruise and McGillis. Actually he was pretty irrirating and as an old Brit I thought that the use of nicknames for the pilots, typically “Viper”, “Ice”, “Maverick”, “Goose”, which apparently reflects reality, was infantile. But if you enjoy a bit of technology, worth a watch for the price of a download particularly if you can see it on a big screen.

Additional info: Even though the US Navy charged the film makers $100,000 an hour for the use of their aircraft carrier and the planes this film still made a load of money.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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