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Cultural Impact of ‘Top Gun’

Top Gun is rightly regarded as a classic example of American cinema, but what is not often talked about is the massive cultural impact of the film.

Few would have imagined when Top Gun came out in the 1980s that, around 35 years on, it would be thought of as such an important movie.

After all, Top Gun was released to mixed reviews with critics unconvinced, but it was a massive smash hit at the box office, where it grossed over $350 million from a $15 million budget.

That showed how much Top Gun resonated with audiences, helping to explain why the movie has had such a vital cultural impact.

Incoming sequel adds to Top Gun legacy

It is perhaps surprising that it took so long for a Top Gun sequel to come to fruition.

After all, a lot of the other comparable smash hit movies of the 1980s spawned a range of sequels and spin-offs, whereas for a long time fans of Top Gun only had a single film to enjoy.

That did not mean there were no other options, though. Board game aficionados loved the chance to play the Top Gun Strategy Game and there is even a slot game based on the movie that can be played at various online casinos these days.

Those who check out Top Gun at will find a slot by industry giants Playtech that includes both footage from the movie and songs from the soundtrack, for a great experience. 

There was also a Top Gun video game for platforms such as the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, as well as a Top Gun arcade game. 

More Top Gun video games have continued to be released, including PC titles Top Gun: Fire at Will, Top Gun: Hornet’s Nest and Top Gun: Combat Zones.

Top Gun‘s legacy is finally about to grow with the release of a sequel, too. Plans for a second movie have been in place for a decade but the death of the original Top Gun‘s director Tony Scott delayed its production for a long time. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the release date being pushed back on a number of occasions, Top Gun: Maverick is finally set to be released into cinemas in the summer.

Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer confirmed he has been trying to make a Top Gun sequel since the original came out. Now he has his wish.

Cruise shoots to superstardom 

Tom Cruise has been one of the world’s biggest movie stars for so long that it is easy to forget he has not always been operating at the top of the industry.

Indeed, he was only in his early 20s when Top Gun came out and, though he had already made Risky Business and All the Right Moves, he was not particularly well known.

That all changed almost overnight when Top Gun was released, however, with Cruise instantly becoming one of the most recognizable people on the planet. Cruise secured his status as one of the top movie stars of all time with appearances in flicks like Born on the Fourth of JulyVanilla Sky and the Mission Impossible series.

Impact on military recruiting

Top Gun was so successful that the movie was said to have an effect on recruitment to the American military, particularly the Navy.

Movie producer John Davis even described the film as a recruiting video for the Navy.

It was announced by the US Navy that there was a 500 percent increase in the number of people wanting to be Naval Aviators, a rise that was partly attributed to Top Gun.

A soundtrack to match the movie

Top Gun the film was a huge hit, but so was the movie’s soundtrack. While this was true for many of the most popular films of the era, Top Gun stands alone at the top of the tree.

Songs including Berlin’s hit Take My Breath Away – which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song – and Danger Zone are considered classics, helping to ensure that the Top Gun soundtrack sold millions of copies in total.

The 1999 special edition version of the Top Gun soundtrack added bonus tracks like (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, while Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now is on the 2006 deluxe edition.

Fashion trends from Top Gun

Even now, many years after Top Gun came out, the film influences fashion.

The trend for Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses can be traced back to them being worn in the movie, while bomber jackets also spiked in popularity, partly due to how good Cruise looked in one.

It will be cool to see whether Top Gun: Maverick can match the original for cultural impact.

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