Home Entertainment “Top Gun”: all about the highest-grossing 1986 movie that made Tom Cruise...

“Top Gun”: all about the highest-grossing 1986 movie that made Tom Cruise a star

“Top Gun” (1986): The United States Navy has created an elite school for pilots in order to bring out a class of experts in combat techniques. (Paramount Pictures)

when it premiered top gun in 1986 the previous publicity campaign had generated an enormous expectation. There was no internet, but the trailer was in theaters for a long time and the movie was overwhelming in those trailers. When it was released the success was huge, all over the world. The story of an arrogant fighter pilot nicknamed Maverick and his admission to the Top Gun academy would become a phenomenon that in 2022 gains strength again with the release of the long-awaited sequel that did not arrive at the time, obviously starring Tom once again. Cruise.

Cruise played an arrogant fighter pilot nicknamed "Maverick."  (Paramount)
Cruise played an arrogant fighter pilot nicknamed “Maverick.” (Paramount)

Of all those who participated in the film, the most powerful at that time were the producers, because this is, above anything else, it was their film. Is about don simpson Y Jerry Bruckheimerwho came from performing Flashdance and A detective on the loose in Hollywood, and that made them the producers of the moment. They chose the director and convinced the cast. They worked with Paramount to shape the film, strengths and weaknesses. Tony Scott, at that time still in the shadow of his brother Ridley, had first-rate advertising experience, but only one feature film that would become a cult title: The anxiety (1983). Other directors passed when they were offered the project that ultimately fell to Scott, who undoubtedly contributed much of his aesthetic, although once again the producers had the last word.

Tony Scott, director of "Top Gun".  (Reuters)
Tony Scott, director of “Top Gun”. (Reuters)

Kelly McGillisthe female lead, had great success in her career, witness in danger (1985), and for that reason it was chosen. She is not the adornment girl of many films. She is a strong, intelligent woman and the chosen actress was older than the protagonist. A welcome rarity to add more items of interest to Top Gun. Val KilmerIceman, the pilot who rivals Maverick, also had only one success, Top secret! (1984), but still dreamed of becoming the new Marlon Brando. He did not want to play this role that would end up being one of the most important of his entire career. Kilmer and Cruise, by the way, did not get along at all. Several secondary roles are in the hands of future stars like Anthony Edwards, meg ryan Y Tim Robbins. The veterans Tom Skerritt Y Michael Ironside they complete the cast that surrounds the protagonist, the very center of the film: Tom Cruise.

Kelly McGillis, the female lead of "Top Gun."  (Paramount)
Kelly McGillis, the female lead of “Top Gun.” (Paramount)

The comparison between the 1986 film and its 2022 sequel perfectly explains Cruise’s evolution, but in order not to anticipate anything of the premiere’s plot, let’s review a little how Tom Cruise had come to Top Gun. Like several of the cast, the actor had only one real success up to that point, risky business (1983). Other titles had failed or had him in a secondary role, such as Legend (1985) or The outcasts (1983). His role as Maverick would change everything permanently. The irony is that of all the elements in the film he is the furthest from realizing his full potential. His enormous charisma is noticeable, the character is what he was doing at that time, but he is light years away from what he would be ten years later: one of the greatest stars in the history of world cinema. It’s no wonder Cruise felt the need to now return to his ultimate breakout character.

Trailer for “Top Gun: Maverick”, with the return of Tom Cruise. (Paramount)

The United States Navy collaborated with the making of the film and had the right to object to elements of the script, something that in some way affected the result on the screen. Several scenes were vetoed by the Navy. The Pentagon invoiced one million eight hundred thousand dollars for the use of the planes and the aircraft carrier that appear in the film. The protagonists of the film got on the planes and that was exactly how they convinced Tom Cruise to be part of top gun. During filming, an experienced pilot and cameraman, art scholl, died doing a maneuver for filming. It is possible that the weight of the camera affected the balance of the plane that ended up falling into the ocean. The film is dedicated to Art Scholl.

In the film sleep with me (1994) Quentin Tarantino performs a hilarious monologue in which he explains the reasons why he believes that top gun it’s a gay story. This theory has been widely spread, and many do not take the trouble to see if what Tarantino says is true. The speech is funny but it is false, because it alters dialogues and forces situations for comic effect. It is based on the homoeroticism that the film possesses, like much of the muscular man movies of the 1980s. All theories are welcome, as long as they are based on things that are in the movie. Critic Pauline Kael is somewhat responsible for that theory. the fame of top gun also gave him a great parody, air freaks (1991) starring Charlie Sheen.

The United States Navy collaborated with the making of the film.  (Paramount)
The United States Navy collaborated with the making of the film. (Paramount)

The film swept the box office and on the big screen its aesthetics were impressive. Tony Scott filmed the planes in a spectacular way and the first few minutes of the film are just that. All the intimate part was what he suffered with the production patches. Early tests called for more romance and this was filmed after the movie was finished. Tony Scott’s cinema would be vindicated over the years, his way of filming was able to find more complexity in later titles, where he was also able to have more control. The movie also got a lot of bad press because it set recruiting records among the young people who went to see it. Most of the enlisted said they had seen it and even in front of some rooms they put up posts for this purpose. Tony Scott always dismissed any plans he attributed to the film, stating that he just wanted to make a very fun movie, pure cinematic entertainment.

The film swept the box office and on the big screen its aesthetics were impressive.  (Paramount)
The film swept the box office and on the big screen its aesthetics were impressive. (Paramount)

Tom Cruise I had never ridden a motorcycle before topgun, and in fact, I had never done an action movie with a character like Maverick. He today is associated with action, but until then he was not that type of actor. In that aspect he also changed her life. Today he is one of the most daring actors in stunts and his films are larger than life, as they say. He learned to ride a motorcycle for this film and never lost his taste again. The images of him on his motorcycle are part of the most emblematic of top gun and they are also part of your afterimage.

The film won an Oscar. It had several technical nominations but it is “Take My Breath Away” performed by Berlin the one who deservedly took the statuette. The song greatly contributed to the fame of the film and even today it is one of the great classics of film songs. “Danger Zone” is the other great song in the film, performed by Kenny Loggins. summary boards top gun and show a model of popularity that would grow in the eighties, marking the importance of the songs at the time of marketing. Something similar would happen with the VHS edition of the film, whose sales records gave a huge boost to the video era, even adding a Pepsi ad before the feature film.

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun Maverick".  (Paramount)
Tom Cruise in “Top Gun Maverick”. (Paramount)

top gun he never had fame as a masterpiece, he never fought for that title either. It has memorable dialogues, unforgettable songs and has created an imaginary around it that will last until 2022. Its box office success was due to a combination of factors, among which is the technical quality of the action scenes. The plot of the selfish and conceited boy who must learn to work in a group, being humble and professional would be a bit of a recurring theme in those early years of Tom Cruise’s career. The public knew how to recognize a star and time would prove them right. The script is a bit uneven and the ending is somewhat anticlimactic. There is more tension at the beginning of the film than at the end. But beyond the hasty accusations that call it a long video clip and advertising for the Navy, today top gun shows increasingly rare cinematographic elements in the cinema. It’s a big screen movie and a huge show. Even with its simplicity, that still gives it value.


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