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Top Gun

AKA:
 
 


Director Tony Scott was officially fired three times during production.



More Trivia from Top Gun
We know that you all know the movie, so here at the 80's Movies Rewind, we thought we'd let you in on some unique behind the scenes information on this 80's classic amongst classics!

The story of top gun starts with high octane, high gloss producers Don Simpson & Jerry Bruckheimer ("Flashdance", "Beverly Hills Cop"). Allegedly while reading an issue of the California magazine, Bruckheimer thought to himself "This looks like Star Wars on earth".

Simpson, at time on the phone, glanced (upside down) at the article Bruckheimer was excitedly pointing at and dismissed it, thinking mistakenly that it was a "western". After Simpson finished his call, Bruckheimer insisted that he read the entire article. When he had finished there was no hesitation, Top Gun was born...

In short order Simpson & Bruckheimer had bought the film rights to the California article and had hired the articles writers to deliver a screenplay (after the many other writers that were approached -like Chip Proser- had turned down the project).

After several passes, the producers went back to Proser to offer $30,000 a week for his help to do 'top to bottom' rewrites. Eventually Simpson was to brag that Top Gun had taken 11 writers to get into shape.

The producers found Pete Pettigrew, a real life Top Gun instructor and retired two star admiral in the Navy. He was working at the Top Gun school and was prepared to help as long as the producers were willing to bow to the navy's needs for the correct portrayal of its fighter school.

Of course, during the production, Pettigrew's objections to certain scenes or concepts went basically unheeded in the search for excitement. As production continued, what had started out as a realistic portrayal of the Top Gun school diverged into a fantasy with no bearing on reality. This was done intentionally, with Simpson allegedly saying to Pettigrew that mom and pop in Oklahoma wouldn't know the difference, "and we're making this movie for mom and pop in Oklahoma".

Second unit flying scenes that had been filmed over water 'above the normal hard deck' were re-shot just skimming the mountain tops, completely below normal minimum legal flying heights for Top Gun pilots. (You may notice in the movie Viper says that the hard deck was 10,000 (feet) -its obvious that much of the action takes place below that height).

Pettigrew was to concede after the films success that many of the producers' modifications enhanced the movie -"They made the movie better than reality".

Add into the mix Tom Cruise, who was recovering from the flop of "Legend" who relented on his doubts on the project for an estimated $1m + fee and a pumping high octane soundtrack typical of Simpson, Bruckheimer pictures and you had a bone fide hit, taking more than $176m in domestic rentals, becoming the biggest hit of the year and cementing Tom Cruise's status as the top A-list star of the period.

Despite the critics panning the movie at the time, it still stands as one of the most exciting movies of the decade and plays as well now as it did then.

In the mid 90's a new widescreen transfer was made under supervision of director Tony Scott from the original EK negative and a new dolby digital soundtrack mixed from the original 6 track masters. This brought the picture up to late 90's picture and sound quality and this version is available on both DVD and LaserDisc formats.

Verdict?

What can you say about a legend like Top Gun? A Massive all-time popcorn classic.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Great action, photography and pumping soundtrack...

Weaknesses? ...In a classic popcorn comic book kinda way.

Our rating: 9.5 out of 10


Review Written by Nick:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Nick
Top Gun