Top Gun is a 1986 American romantic military action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., and was inspired by an article titled “Top Guns” published in California magazine three years earlier.
The film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt. Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a young Naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Edwards) are given the chance to train at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at the former Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar in San Diego.
Top Gun was released on May 16, 1986. Upon its release, the film received generally mixed reviews from film critics but many particularly praised the action sequences, the effects, the aerial stunts, and the acting performances with Cruise and McGillis receiving the most praise. Four weeks after release, the number of theaters showing it increased by 45%. Despite its initial mixed critical reaction, the film was a huge commercial hit grossing $356 million against a production budget of only $15 million. The film maintained its popularity over the years and earned an IMAX 3D re-release in 2013. Additionally, the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Take My Breath Away” performed by Berlin.
In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. A sequel, titled Top Gun: Maverick, is currently in development.
- Tom Cruise: Luitenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell
- Kelly McGillis: Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood. The character is based on a real life person, Christine Fox, who worked at the Miramar Naval Air Station.
- Val Kilmer: Luitenant Tom “Iceman” Kazansky
- Anthony Edwards: LJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw
- Tom Skerritt: Commander Mike “Viper” Metcalf
- Michael Ironside: LCDR Rick “Jester” Heatherly
- John Stockwell: Luitenant Bill “Cougar” Cortell
- Barry Tubb: LTJG Leonard “Wolfman” Wolfe
- Rick Rossovich: LTJG Ron “Slider” Kerner
- Tim Robbins: LTJG Sam “Merlin” Wells
- Clarence Gilyard, Jr.: LTJG Marcus “Sundown” Williams
- Whip Hubley: LT Rick “Hollywood” Neven
- James Tolkan: CDR Tom “Stinger” Jardian
- Meg Ryan: Carole Bradshaw
- Adrian Pasdar: LT Charles “Chipper” Piper
- Duke Stroud: Air Boss CDR Johnson
- Linda Rae Jurgens: Mary Metcalf