Happy ‘Top Gun’ Day! 9 facts about the film to take your breath away

It was almost 34 years ago that audiences flew into the danger zone with “Top Gun,” and our collective breath was taken away by its awesome action scenes and charming romance.

And the movie has stood the test of time. Today, May 13, actually marks “Top Gun” Day, which has become something of an annual celebration.

How do you celebrate it? The Top Gun Day site has some suggestions:

  • Update your social media profile photos to be anything related to “Top Gun.”
  • Use as many “Top Gun” lines throughout the day as possible.
  • Wear your aviator sunglasses, inside or outside, whether they’re cheap or expensive.

In light of “Top Gun” Day, we’re going into the danger zone and delivering nine facts from the film we found online.

1. The movie broke records and became the highest-grossing movie of 1986, grossing $356 million worldwide.

2. Art Scholl, a stunt pilot was killed during the production at the age of 54. He died when his Pitts S-2 camera plane failed to recover from a flat spin and plunged into the Pacific Ocean.

3. The movie is based on the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, or TOPGUN, at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. It was a response to the beginning of the Vietnam War.

4. The film’s iconic song “Take My Breath Away” won the Oscar for best song. However, it was originally considered for the movie “9 1/2 Weeks.”

5. The film has earned itself somewhat of a legacy online for its supposed LGBTQ subtext. In fact, in 2015, online publication Digital Spy referred to “Top Gun” as “an unintentional gay classic.”

6. Kudos to actor Anthony Edwards, who was the only actor who didn’t vomit while in the fighter jets. Ironically, Edwards played the ill-fated Goose in the movie.

7. This is one of Val Kilmer’s most iconic roles. However, he originally didn’t want to play the character but had to due to contractual obligations.

8. Theme park fanatics might remember that there were several roller coaster inspired by the movie “Top Gun” across the country. However, after Cedar Fair purchased Paramount’s theme parks in 2006, the “Top Gun” theme was removed, but the rides still stand under different themes.

9. The boys will be back. “Top Gun: Maverick” will hit theaters on Dec. 23 after being pushed back from the summer due to COVID-19. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer return, and Miles Teller joins the cast as Cruise’s son.



Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.