Tom Cruise wants to defend your freedom, but you can damn well bet he's gonna do it his way. They don't call him "Maverick" for nothing! It's a fighter pilot movie, sure – but before it's all said and done, we get healthy doses of romance, tragedy, beer-fueled sing-alongs and totally non-sexual topless male volleyball. Plus, you get to decide who's the bigger villain: the high-flying Russian bogeys or Val "Iceman" Kilmer. And let's not forget the soundtrack: trust us, Kenny Loggins has never sounded cooler.
Top 10 Fun Facts
- Paramount paid up to $7,800 per hour for special use of the Navy's F-14 fighter squadron. What's YOUR hourly rate?
- One of the movie's stunt pilots, Scott "D-Bear" Altman, went on to become an astronaut. That guy must have the best pick-up line ever: "Yeah, I was in Top Gun, and now I fly the space shuttle. Want some Tang?"
- Were these in your closet? Sales of bomber jackets and aviator sunglasses went through the roof thanks to the movie.
- And when a new pair of Ray-Bans weren't enough to show your fanatical love of Top Gun, there was always a more permanent choice: join the Navy! After the initial success of the film, recruitment officers began setting up booths in theater lobbies. Buy some Milk Duds, serve your country - it was a one stop shop.
- Although the home video market was still fairly new, pre-orders of Top Gun smashed sales records to become the best-selling title ever. The question wasn't to buy or not to buy, but whether to buy on VHS or Betamax.
- It's hard to think about Top Gun without hearing Kenny Loggins belting out "Danger Zone" - but it turns out the song was originally supposed to be recorded by Toto. That's like trying to imagine "Hound Dog" sung by Cyndi Lauper.
- Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, the team who wrote "Danger Zone," took home the best original song Oscar for writing the movie's other unforgettable anthem, "Take My Breath Away." Because fighter pilots are cool and stuff, but nothing beats a power ballad.
- AFI included a line from Top Gun on its "100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes" list. Can you guess which one? Here's a hint: it involves a need for something (and it rhymes).
- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: on a Halloween episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney wears a fighter pilot costume and carries around a boom box playing "Danger Zone." Barney Stinson, you can be our wing man anytime.
- Top Gun was inspired by an article in California Magazine called "Top Guns," about the competitive fighter pilots at the Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. That's why reading is a good thing, kids. It gives us movies!