Top Gun is one of the defining films of the 1980s, forever giving us a ‘need for speed’, as well as a love for Tom Cruise in his Navy uniform. This film also brought Tom Cruise to the attention of teenage girls everywhere ensuring he was one of the biggest heart throbs for years to come!
But did you pay attention when watching this classic 80s film? You’re about to find out, because here are ‘15 Things You May Have Missed In Top Gun’. How many did you spot?
1. It’s Dedicated To A Stunt Pilot Who Died During Filming
The film is dedicated to Art Scholl, but do you know who that is? Tragically, Scholl was killed during production of the film when his plane went into a tailspin and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. This is a sad but poignant reminder of the dangers that the fighter pilots in the forces around the world face every time they take to the skies to defend their country!
2. Goose’s Real Name Is Never Revealed
Did you notice that Goose’s real name is never mentioned in the entire film? We do however know from the script that it’s Nick Bradshaw. Is there a reason his name is never revealed, or is it just something that didn’t ever need adding in as the nicknames easily identify the different pilots?
3. The ‘Upside Down’ Stunt Wouldn’t Work
The scene where Maverick and Goose greet each-other by one of their planes flying upside down could never be replicated in real life, as the rear of both planes would collide. It still looks very cool though, and in a film like this there is always room for a little bit of artistic licence to get the audience involved and hooked by the action on screen.
4. Cruise And Kilmer Were Rivals Off Screen As Well As On
A lot has been made of an on-set rivalry between Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise, but the truth, as revealed by Kilmer, is that it wasn’t personal, but done to ensure the their onscreen rivalry would flourish. Do you think that shone through in the finished film? They certainly managed to capture the feeling of rivalry well and at times it was almost palpable so we think they did a great job!
5. Maverick Doesn’t Know How To Work The Sticks
Every time Maverick ‘puts on the brakes’ in the film he pushes the throttle quadrant forward and pulls back on the stick, which would actually have put him into a full climb. This is quote unusual as the film will almost certainly have had experts on hand to ensure that things looked realistic so we are surprised this made it in to the film, unless it just fits more with the action so seems more coherent to the audience?
6. Flying Made Most Of The Actors Sick
Did you think that some of the actors looked a bit queasy when acting in their flying scenes? That’s because Goose (played by Anthony Edwards) is rumored to have been the only actor who didn’t throw up when filming his aerial shots. There must have been some messy cockpits and I wouldn’t have wanted to have won that cleaning contract!
7. One Shot Of An Aircraft Carrier Cost $25k
The film studio had to pay up to $7’800 per hour for fuel whenever aircraft were flown outside their normal duties. In addition to that, it was reported that the director had to write a $25,000 cheque in order to have an aircraft carrier moved, simply so he could shoot for an extra 5 minutes and get that ‘perfect’ shot. It seems to have been worth it though, as the dedication from the cast and crew does shine through in this production and looks incredibly genuine, so the money was definitely well spent!
8. The Love Scene Was Added Late…
The love scene between Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise was added after test audiences demanded it. Did you think it was needed? Would the film have had the same feel without this scene as it shows the passion of the characters as they grow closer together?
9…And Kelly McGillis’ Hair Is Different
McGillis’ hair was completely different by the time they shot the love scene, explaining why the sequence was filmed using dim lighting. Did you notice, or did you think the lighting was just a deliberate part of the scene for artstic reasons?
10. The Missile Shots Were Repeated
Did you think that some of the shots of fired missiles looked familiar? The were, as the US Navy told director Tony Scott that they could only fire the F-14’s missiles twice for filming purposes, meaning shots had to be repeated throughout the film. Luckily if you’ve seen one F-14 being fired you’ve seen them all so people tend not to notice this in the finished film!
11. It Contains Rather Alot Of Flying Scenes
Did you think that the film contained too many flying sequences? Producers agreed, making that very comment to the filmmakers. It is about pilots and planes though, so would the film have felt the same without so much of the film being set in the skies? It could certainly have been a different film and even more character driven and focused!
12. Tom Cruise Is Shorter Than Kelly McGillis
He may have looked taller on the screen, but the notoriously short Cruise had to have some ‘help’ with his height when filming scenes with McGillis, due to the fact that he is 5 feet 7 inches, 3 inches shorter than his on screen love interest. Did you notice? It’s not the first time that Cruise has had this problem as he was famously a lot shorter than Nicole Kidman too and had a similar issue. Someone get that man a box to stand on!
13. They Got The Plane Engines The Wrong Way Round
When Maverick goes into spin you can hear a voice say “Engine 1 is out” as flames burst out on the right engine. It should have actually been Engine 2, because Engine 1 is the engine to the left. Again this is surprising with the fact they will have had experts on hand for things like this, but I’d imagine that if they had said engine 2 is out, a lot of audiences would have been asking “but what happened to engine 1?”.
14. The Film Is A Great Recruitment Tool
Did Top Gun make you want to fly planes for real? Then you weren’t the only one, as the US Navy reported that after the film’s release they saw a 500% increase in young men interested in becoming Naval Aviators. That is a huge increase and proves that films can have positive influences on people, not just the negative ones that usually end up in the press all the time!
15. Tom Cruise’s Motorbike was incredibly fast!
The motorbike Tom Cruise’s character rides in the movie was a Kawasaki Ninja 900, which at the time was the fastest production motorcycle in the world, even more surprising as Tom Cruise had never ridden a motorcycle before acting in this role!
Has this brought back lots of memories about Maverick and the crew? Has it made you want to revisit Top Gun and watch it again? Is it one of your favourites from the time? Let us know in the comments as always!