An Officer And A Gentleman


(out of 5)

After having been raised in the Philippines by his insensitive father (and I love that they show delicately lit flashbacks to it as if they were setting up for a great epic),  goes into basic training at a Navy Flight School and must survive his sadistic sergeant () in order to achieve his goal of graduating. Helping lighten things up is a new relationship with a local girl (, whose performance here made her a star overnight) who may either be taking him away from his career or helping him succeed at it. The story really doesn’t have anywhere in particular that it wants to go, but it does allow its actors to give some fine performances. Gere is amiably effective, sometimes pouting too much but overall strong, Winger completely natural in every scene and Gossett, Jr. steals every moment that he has with his incredible intensity. The film won its audiences over with its cracked sense of romance (which allowed them to overlook the rampant misogyny of ‘s storyline), particularly in the sound of the Oscar-winning theme song ‘Up Where We Belong’, but in the years since it has merely aged as a tacky melodrama that even the World War II-era audiences would have ignored as schmaltz.

Lorimar Film Entertainment, Paramount Pictures

USA, 1982

Directed by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by ,

Film Editing by

Academy Awards
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Louis Gossett, Jr. as “Sgt. Emil Foley”)
Best Music (Original Song) (“Up Where We Belong”, music by Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie; lyric by Will Jennings)

Best Actress in a Leading Role (Debra Winger as “Paula Pokrifki”)
Best Film Editing (Peter Zinner)
Best Music (Original Score) (Jack Nitzsche)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly For The Screen) (Douglas Day Stewart)

Golden Globe Awards
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Louis Gossett Jr.)
Best Original Song-Motion Picture (“Up Where We Belong”, music by Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie, lyrics by Wilbur Jennings)

Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Debra Winger)
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Richard Gere)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (David Keith)


One Comment Add yours

  1. Awful film. Debra Winger’s worst.

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