There are action movies, and then there’s Top Gun. Part fun ’80s action flick and part surprisingly serious meditation on loss and responsibility, Top Gun managed to thrill with the crazy jet acrobatics, while also ensuring that you will never forget the lyrics to “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins and “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.
Thirty years since its release, people still quote Top Gun regularly (and admire the all-time best beach volleyball scene). While cementing Tom Cruise as a movie star for the ages, his Pete “Maverick” Mitchell journeys from angry and arrogant Navy fighter pilot all the way through the Top Gun training program. As we celebrate its anniversary (and Top Gun Day), let’s take a look at what it takes to be a true Maverick.