Top Gun is a 1986 American action movie directed by Tony Scott. The movie stars Tom Cruise (Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell), Kelly McGillis (Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood), Val Kilmer (Lt. Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky), Anthony Edwards (Nick “Goose” Bradshaw), and Tom Skerritt (Commander Mike “Viper” Metcalf).
Maverick is a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) “Goose” are given the chance to train at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School.
Once on board the school, Maverick fights its way to be the best pilot while stepping on the toes of his classmates and trying to shake the old story of his father’s death in combat that killed others due to his father’s error.
- Today there is a $5 fine at the flight school Top Gun for any staff member who references the movie.
- The film was inspired by an article in the May 1983 issue of “California” magazine about the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun School.
- In preparation for his role, Tom Cruise was allowed to take 3 rides in the F-14 Tomcat. He vomited during the first trip but was okay during the other two.
- Most of the actors who portrayed F-14 crewmembers received backseat rides in the F-14, and several of the scenes which appear in the film were filmed with the actors in the air.
- When Maverick receives his orders to the carrier following the graduation ceremony, there is a pilot standing behind him, with a mustache and wearing sunglasses. The pilot is “Heater” C.J. Heatley, a real-life former F-14 air show demonstration pilot and TOPGUN instructor.
- In 2011, the Chinese government broadcasted a scene from Top Gun, claiming it was the Chinese air force.
- Charlie’s “older man” date at the officer’s club is the real-life “Viper”, Pete Pettigrew. He is a retired Navy pilot and TOPGUN instructor, and shot down a MiG during the Vietnam War. He served as the technical consultant on the film.
- The callsign ‘Ghostrider’ that Maverick uses for his plane was the name of a real F-14 squadron (VF-142), and a model of a Tomcat from that squadron can be seen behind Sundown in the shot where Maverick tells Slider he stinks.
- The high-five-low-five move became a popular after Top Gun was released.
- During the final dogfight, Slider tells Iceman that there is a MiG “on your left, 3 o’clock.” The 3 o’clock direction is to the right; 9 o’clock would be the left.
- Anthony Edwards is the only actor who didn’t vomit while in the fighter jets.
- There were two historical incidents in the eighties that are similar to the deployment. Both involved American F-14 clashes with Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra.
- Ray-Ban sunglasses became really popular in 1986, thanks to Top Gun.
- Yahoo! Movies calls Top Gun the nineteenth-best action film ever, and it’s still making news.
- Top Gun is Voted #3 Must See Movie of all time by listeners of Capital FM in London.
- A script for “Top Gun 2” was completed shortly after the release of the film, but it broke down in pre-production because the military’s technology had become updated and they didn’t want camera crew anywhere near their new aircraft. The second reason was Tom Cruise’s late agreement to star in a Top Gun sequel, after he was offered a brutally high amount of money.