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21 Swift Facts About Top Gun That Will Take Your Breathe Away

Exactly 33 years ago the world went crazy about Tom Cruise and his leather jacket in the ‘Top Gun’. Not only that this movie was a smashing success, but it skyrocketed Tom’s career among the most famous Hollywood stars back in the time. Also, the movie was nominated for an Oscar and that soundtrack is still popular.

‘Top Gun’ earned $357 million worldwide at the box office. The line “I feel the need… The need for speed!” is officially ranked as 94 out of 100 most recognizable movie lines. Now, let’s see how many of these 20 speedy Top Gun facts you already knew!

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1. Filming Was Really Expensive

This movie cost the studio a big time. After all, you can’t film a movie with airplanes without spending an additional million here and there, right?

Paramount had to pay just for the fuel $7,800 per hour every time the aircraft were flown outside their normal duties. And how many takes were there? Well, at least all the expenses were definitely worth it.

2. The Movie Director Had To Write A Check

The director, Tony Scott, really wanted to get the perfect shot of aircraft carrier and for that, an actual ship had to be moved. That was expensive and the studio said – no.

So, Scott decided to write them a check so he can get that perfect scene. He wrote a $25,000 check. Best investment ever!

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3. Director Was Fired More Than Once

A good director guarantees success, but when he spends a lot he can be a real studio nightmare for the production company. And it looks like Top Gun’s director had a similar reputation.

Tony Scott was fired not once, or twice, but three times from the project. He ran over budget and over again. But, again, he managed to finish the movie. Luckily!

4. The U.S. Government Helped With Finance

The Pentagon worked closely with the filmmakers. That cooperation lead to great aircraft scenes and a more realistic outlook. It also helped with financing.

The Pentagon charged Paramount Pictures just $1.8 million for the use of its warplanes and aircraft carriers. Not a lot, right?

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5. The Navy Used The Movie To Recruit People

Since the movie was such a huge success, the Navy decided to capitalize on it and they had a real strategy on how to use the movie popularity to recruit people.

The Navy set up the booth outside theaters to attract people and it worked. The movie inspired so many people to start their careers in aviation, and there are entire generations living a certain way thanks to this movie.

6. Kelly McGillis Is A Real Person

Kelly McGillis’ character is based on a real-life navy employee. She is based on a woman named Christine Fox 6′ tall, blonde, and leggy. Her nickname was ‘legs’.

Originally, Fox was a mathematician who served as the acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, in 2013/2014. She was the highest ever ranking female officer.

7. Tom Cruise Had A Strong Competition

Before Tom Cruise was cast many actors attempted to get the role of Maverick and failed. Although we couldn’t imagine anyone else starring as the “Maverick”, the choice wasn’t at all bad.

The actors in the race were Patrick Swayze, Sean Penn, John Cusack, and Nicholas Cage. Is there someone you could see in the role, except Tom Cruise?

8. There Was A Death On The Set

The story of the movie involved a lot of action scenes that were hard to film either for the actors/stunts, the movie directors, but also for the use of boats and aircrafts in plenty of the scenes. The risky scenes ended up taking a life of one stunt during the movie.

Art Scholl was a stunt pilot who was killed during the production of the movie. Sadly, his plane went into a tailspin and crashed into the Pacific. ‘Top Gun’ is dedicated to him.

9. Everyone Had To Throw Up

It is reported that Anthony Edwards who played Goose had a superpower. Apparently, he was the only one who didn’t throw up while filming the fighter pilot scenes.

Considering the intense pilot scenes, it is quite strange to hear that someone really passed it so easily. On the other hand, Tom Cruise couldn’t really brag with the same superpower.

10. Cruise Is Not That Tall

Cruise had to be a few extra inched taller in the movie, especially when he was in the scenes with McGillis.

McGillis is 5’10”, while Cruise is 5’7″. The solution? Cruise had to wear some lifts.

11. There Is A Top Gun School

The Top Gun movie was based on a real flight school. The school is named U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School or TOPGUN. It was founded originally in San Diego.

Nowadays, anytime someone quotes the movie, the school will fine them $5.

12. The Movie Was Inspired By A Magazine

In May 1986 California magazine published the article ‘Top Guns’, telling about fighter pilots.

Someone thought that it would be an interesting topic for the movie and rest is the history.

13. Ray-Ban Sale Went Up

Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses were first introduced back in 1937. They have come in and out of fashion since then, especially during the ’80s.

When the movie premiered sales for Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses jumped 40%.

14. It Has A Killer song

‘Top Gun’ soundtrack is one of the best! Just the soundtrack earned millions. However, one song is popular even nowadays.

The song “Take My Breath Away,” won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was performed by Berlin.

15. Love Scene Was Not Planned

The film’s love scene was added after production had wrapped. Why? Some people shared their opinion.

When the original cut was screened for test audiences, they agreed the movie needed a love scene to develop the story.

16. Val Kilmer Hated The Movie

Val Kilmer played Lt. Tom Kazanski, but he was less than enthusiastic for doing it. He simply didn’t want to play that role.

But, Kilmer had to participate because he was contractually obligated by the studio. Once the movie reached its popularity we guess that he hated it less.

17. You Can’t Go Ballistic, Mav

There are a few inaccuracies when it comes to the technical side of the movie.

When Goose yells, “We’re going ballistic, Mav. Go get him,” it’s pure gibberish. A pilot doesn’t have control over a ballistic airplane.

18. There Were Flying Too Much

Although the flight scenes are what made the movie so unique, the movie producers had a different opinion.

Once the studio saw the film, they told producers that they thought there was ”too much flying”.

19. There Is No Top Gun Trophy

The movie made a big buzz about the Top Gun trophy. However, in reality, the trophy is completely irrelevant.

There is no Top Gun Trophy in real life. You can either pass the course or you don’t. Simple as that.

20. Kilmer And Cruise Never Actually Got Along

You probably noticed that every scene that involves Cruise and Kilmer comes with extra fire and tension. Those are real.

The two simply never interacted well or get along behind the scenes either. And they simply translated it into their roles.

21. Meg Ryan Never Told That She Was Unwanted

At the time Meg Ryan was building her superstar image and the casting director loved her. Meg was cast for the role of Goose’s wife, Carole Bradshaw. However, the movie director was unimpressed.

Tony Scott was unimpressed and he didn’t even consider her as the first choice for the role. He said that he felt uncomfortable with hiring her. Maybe he thinks otherwise nowadays?

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Conversation (9)

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  • Kim

    I think it was a great movie and the best actors were hired!

  • Dave

    The most fan mail the movie originally received was from gay men regarding the beach volleyball match, which the cast did not like the scene and was a complete surprise!

  • kathleen pogodzinski

    great movie

  • John Simpson

    Still one of my fav guilty pleasures of all time. A target rich film.

  • billie

    It was ok if you like tom cruise

  • andre

    is a great movie —no comment

  • Jeff Simmons

    I always watch movies and TV shows like JAG to see the mistakes that are made in Top Gun when Maverick shakes the missile on the F14 the way he did it he would have had weapons people jumping all over him also another mistake shows make is when they show the cockpit the pilot for some reason pulls the trigger all of the time except the pickle controls everything except the gun and the camera,If anyone has seen the movie warhead that was filed mostly on the former George AFB in Victorville .ca some of the JAG episodes were filmed there also I spent six years at George on two assignments

  • Allan Shaffer

    I think “Top Gun” was the best flying movie of all times. That and the sound track. I own the dvd of Top Gun and I never get tired of watching the movie.

  • 1Spudder

    The best five speaker sound track on a film EVER! With the plane interacting every moment…..still vibrates us with unforgettable resonance, and excites one of my sons and I 33 years later…RDR

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