“ Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 1982 / Director: Taylor Hackford / Actors: Richard Gere, Debra Winger ... / DVD released 12 December, 2000 at Paramount / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC „
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Well I have been eyeing this DVD up for some time but never bought it as hubby tells me I have seen it as I watched it with him but for the life I me I cannot remember ever seeing it. Last night I decided we would watch it as I really liked the look of it, the added bonus being that Richard Gere is in it!
The film is about Zack Mayo who has had a rough childhood, his mother killed herself and he went to live with his Dad who is a Navy man so he spent his life moving around from port to port. He finally decides that he is going to try the Navy Officers recruitment course.
Zack is accepted on the course and has to give 13 weeks of training which includes some daunting and gruelling tasks. The course is being run by a very strict Drill Instructor, who does start to have a bit of respect for Zack after he is pout through his paces but reuses to give up.
Zack and his closest friend go out for a night and spot 2 girls and they start to spend their weekends together and Zack starts to have real feeling for his girl.
Will Zack pass the Officer Course and what will become of his friends and his girlfriend when the course is over and it is time to leave?
I have to say that this film did seem familiar when I had finished watching it but that maybe because it was so predictable and I had worked the ending out after watching the first 20 minutes. Despite this I found it to be very watch able and thoroughly enjoyed it. The character were very good and I thought that Richard Gere did look very realistic in his uniform and he had to be very fit just to do the filming of all the physical stuff. His co-stars, including Louis Gossett Jr who played the drill instructor, he did have a great chemistry with the guys on screen. Also the character which was Zack's best friend was good. Debra Winger played the role of Zack's love interest and I though she was great in her role and the pair worked very well together and I did believe in their relationship.
I though that there were a few good twists in the film which did involve Zack's best friend Sid but I will not spoil the film by telling you what they are. The film was given a little bit of depth with the other recruits which was good as it was not just centred around the 5 main characters.
The soundtrack to the film was good but I have to say I did loose count of how many times they played the title track, Love Lift us Up Where We Belong, and how many different styles it was played in! There were a few other songs which were good but nothing really stood out to me.
The Navy theme for the film was tackled very well and the uniforms and navy base did look very authentic, a believe that a retired navy personnel was recruited to help with this as they wanted to get everything right.
The DVD which I have does not have any bonus material.
The running time of the film is 119 minutes which was a great length as I found the film continued to move at a good pace and I was not getting bored at any point. The certificate for this film is 15 which I feel is may be slightly too high, there is strong language and violence but nothing which cannot be see near enough on normal television at about 9.30pm. I would have personally given this film a 12 certificate.
The film was released in 1981 by Paramount Pictures. It was Produced by Martin Elfand and Directed by Taylor Hackfield.
I paid the great price of £3 for my DVD in Tesco and I would recommend all whop enjoy a great love story with sexy men in uniform to go and get themselves a copy!
Review of the special edition DVD:
Fed up with his own life, one that is spent in seedy hotel rooms with his father and numerous prostitutes; Zach Mayo heads off to join the Navy.
Zach has a dream of being a pilot, he fantasises about the "glamorous" life that this will provide him with. The Navy it first does not provide him with much relief, however with a bit of training and discipline from Mayo's Gunnery Sergeant, Emil Foley, things soon seem to be heading off on the right track. Warned about local girls Mayo and his good friend Sid Worley decide not to heed the warnings, and engage in relationships with two girls. Things are pushed to the limits during both work and play, and for one of the two men the expression about love never running smoothly is about to have a tragic meaning.
Not a very manly thing to admit to I know, but An Officer And A Gentleman has been one of my favourite movies for a good many years. I first saw the movie back in 1983, and although I skip a few years in between viewings it's a movie I watch again and again!
Why do I enjoy the movie, I hear you cry?
For me it's the mix of genre's; primarily the movie is a romantic movie, but at its heart it's a movie about Navy trainees preparing to go out and fight for there country. This synergy of the two genre's is what I believe is the winning success to this movie. It's a movie that keeps both sexes perfectly happy, while the woman loves the love story, the men can go all macho on the action element.
Director Taylor Hackford the husband of Helen Mirren; claims that An Officer And A Gentleman is a movie aimed more for the male audience. Its themes are close to many a mans heart, the need to be the "alpha male", the desire to succeed, the love of a good woman, or in some cases the love of a bad woman. Hackford describes the movie as a mans love story.
Richard Gere plays the part of Zach Mayo, although he was by this time an established actor his part here spring boarded himself into the Hollywood A-List category. His performance here is totally convincing, he begins the movie full of himself, butch and full of hatred for a variety of things around him. As the movie progresses you see the change in his character take place before your very eyes. You go from disliking this character, to loving him. Interestingly the role very nearly went to John Travolta but he felt that the role would ruin his career.
For his co-actress and love interest for the movie is played by Debra Winger, at the time nobody really knew who she was. She was not the first person, on the producers mind when selecting the person for the role, a whole host of A-list actresses queued up for the part. While Winger portrayed the role very well, there was one thing blocking her way; Don Simpson the movies producer was annoyed because he did not find her "f**kable". Somehow Winger was able to prove this was not the case and Winger got the role. Winger has a great convincing quality to her acting, to the viewer she looks and acts just like someone you meet on the street. This was a key part in her selection for the roll Paula. While all the other women in town are looking to marry an officer it's not Paula's key goal in life; she just wants to be happy and have a loving man by her side.
The most notable role of the movie comes from Lou Gossett Jnr, as the drill sergeant. Having been trained by a genuine drill sergeant for many weeks prior to filming Gossett pulled off the performance of a lifetime. He was fair but tough, with an element of compassion that's rarely seen in similar movies. So impressed were the fans of the movie that Gossett found himself up for an Oscar and won the award in one of the best standing ovations in Oscar's history.
The movie plays with your emotions on a grand scale, just over half way through the movie one of the cast has to deal with the consequences of unrequited love. And the spiral of this characters emotions is stunningly acted out on screen. For me it's the second most memorable thing about the movie. The actor who played the character (who's name I'm emitting so as not to ruin the story) spent a great about of time working with and talking to people in similar circumstances and actually ended up clinically depressed as a result of the trauma.
There is one very big reason why An Officer And A Gentleman is best remembered, and that's because of the massive feel good ending; an ending that belongs in a movie from the 1950's. The musical score that accompanies this ending "Up Where We Belong" rocked the charts, won an Oscar and became the trademark song for disco's end of the night slow dance to this very day.
* "An Officer and a Gentleman: 25 Years Later" Retrospective Documentary - This look back on the movie features many of the main cast and crew. Together they share some good times and bad times as well as to toast the memory of some of the people who are no longer with us, who made the movie possible. Its interesting to see how some of the characters have aged and how some of the actors obviously have great plastic surgeons.
* "The Cadets Reunite", featurette on stars who played the military officers and the men who inspired them - A sort of reunion show, with some of the smaller cast members meeting up with real soldiers. In particular you meet the real life drill seargent that trained Gossett; R. Lee Ermy, who now is an actor in his own right.
* "Return to Port Townsend" visit the town where the film was shot - This is actually quite tragic to see, as in places the town is a wreck; while in others progress has made the town almost unrecognisable. For me this is the best feature of the DVD because I love to see the comparisons, I enjoy seeing change whether its for the good or the bad.
* "Lifts Us Up" The Music of an Officer and a Gentleman - A look at the writing of the song, the performers and the fame that went along with creating one of the most well known movie scores in cinema history.
* Movie introduction from Richard Gere - A brief chance to see Gere in a special feature, he basically comes on and thanks the fans for the success of the movie as well as recalls what the movie did for him.
* "Military Advisor" Scene analysis Featurette - A run through on being a Drill Instructor.
* Commentary by Director Taylor Hackford - Quite nice as is all of Hackfords interviews. Hackford addresses the problems they had with certain actors/actresses for example Lisa Eilbacher when she pretended to be unfit when she was actually in the best shape. He explains that time after time they had to redo shoots because she kept forgetting she had to be bad.
* "Officer Candidate School: Inside and Out" - A look at a real school, as well as setting up the fake school used in the movie.
* "Gere and Gossett: Hand To Hand Combat" - A look at the fight scene towards the end of the movie, from rehearsal to the real thing.
* 3 Easter eggs - Although I only found two, one was a brief discussion of plot, the other a deleted scene which made little difference to the movie so was removed.
An Officer And A Gentleman is a great movie that you can purchase pretty much anywhere for £14.99 that's online and on the high street.
WARNING! The Packaging is card with a sort of silver foil effect, this marks very easily and can annoy you.
The title of this film is in itself relevant. It refers to the code of conduct that an officer of the US armed forces is supposed to follow; to be both an officer and a gentleman. failure to uphold their duty as a commanding officer or failure to behave as a gentleman are both actually cause to be chastised or even decommissioned if already an officer, and in an officer candidate, a reason to be removed from officer training. As one can expect, this dual demand can put a lot of pressure on a human being, with the few coming out with distinction.
Thus it is that when young Zack Mayo decides to become a naval aviator, he has taken on a challenge. It is not only a career challenge, but quite a personal one. The son of a career naval enlisted man, who was an uninterested womanising single father, he has perhaps not had the best introduction into what it is to be in the Navy. Nor is his temperament a help. He is aloof and seethes with an inner rage that has simmered ever since his early teens when his mother committed suicide. He is committed to the idea however, and duly goes off to Navy, arriving at officer's training camp for an intensive 13 week course. The officers training camp is the way those serving in the Navy are able to be commissioned as regular officers if they did not graduate from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and it is pretty well much a one shot deal.
There Mayo and the other young men in his group are put through their paces by the very able but no nonsense Marine drill sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant Foley. His irascible temper and sharp tongue coupled with the harshness of the demands of the training put a heavy weight upon the minds and souls of the men under him. It is a weight they try to shake off by hanging out with local girls and having a good time. Many of these young women come from hard working but low skilled backgrounds, and live close to the poverty line. Thus we get the ever too present notion that the servicemen may be a ticket out of misery, and an officer a ride to happily ever after. This may seem implausible to much of the British public, but I have to say that sadly, it is an often true tale. US military personnel get free or mostly subsidised housing and other benefits attached to their identification cards such as free medical, discounted grocery and general shopping on bases, subsidised day care on base, education, etc. Thus, that i.d. card is often seen as a kind of golden ticket, with an officer being social standing icing on the cake. The truth of the emotional and physical wear and tear of the life and the actually low by comparison wages that cause these benefits to be offered is often overlooked, as the wages can also eclipse those of the local unskilled or unemployed workers.
Zack becomes the best of friends with a young man named Sid. Sid is from a "good" family with the usual trappings. Well educated, 2 parent family, enough money to pay the bills, he seems to be a poster boy for the ideal of a a naval officer. Zack and Sid meet two of the local young ladies, and they begin to date the girls together. The two women, Paula (Zack's girlfriend) and Lynette (Sid's girlfriend) are intent on not only bedding the boys, but to escape the dreariness of their factory work life by bagging themselves an aviator. Paula genuinely falls in love with Zack, but his cold aloofness frustrates her. Sid is madly in love with Paula, but she sees him as a means to an end, and he becomes severely unhappy over the way the romance is progressing, frustratingly sensing the truth of Paula's feelings. The climax of the resolution of this issue leads Zack to face some truths deep within, and so matures past the childish rage he has kept inside for so long. In so doing, he realises the potential that Gunnery Sergeant Foley has seen within him and he graduates. He also famously goes to give his heart, arriving on the factory floor in his dress whites to carry his beloved to their happily ever after.
This is a film of turmoil rather than happy go lucky romance Gritty and unshying, places in the film have the capacity to shock. This is not done so much for thrills, but rather to plumb the emotional depths deep within, serving to move the story along to its next phase. The scenes underscore the solitude that Zack feels, despite those around him, and how he must bridge the gap. The cast each play their parts to perfection, enhancing the mood of the storyline greatly with their performances.
Richard Gere is wonderful as the brooding Zack. I personally find this his seminal role, with his impassive face looking cold and aloof yet somehow vulnerable. Lou Gosset Jr. shines as the Gunnery Sgt, bringing a gritty realism to the training scenes and providing a wonderfully abrasive personality foil Zack's coolness. David Keith as Sid is also spot on, bring a poignant portrayal of a young man who seems to have it all, and who is so much more than just a buddy type sidekick to the lead. Debra Winger's chemistry with Gere sizzles so much onscreen that it has you reaching for the hankies at the end, and such is the realism, it comes as a surprise to learn that Gere and Winger really did not get along that well at all during the filming and had many conflicts of epic proportions. Lisa Blount does a star turn as well, bringing the core of the ensemble cast to perfection. For it is truly an ensemble cast. Though Gere's character is the main focus, none of the story could occur without any of these others and it would have been very one dimensional indeed. As it is, the actors' characterisations speak volumes past the mere dialogue, and make this film shine brightly. Now over 20 years old, it is a classic film that makes for a great Friday night at home.
The musical score itself is quite pleasant, with the soppy ballad "Up Where We Belong" being a huge hit from the soundtrack. The rest are not so overly memorable, but does what a soundtrack should in this sort of movie, namely help generate the mood for the scenes they are played in. Interestingly enough, the director hated "Up Where We belong" with a passion and wanted it cut from the film, insisting that it was a dud. The song however went on to number 1 and won music awards, and has remained a wedding, anniversary party, and karoke night mainstay ever since.
The DVD of this film is easily available from Amazon and on the high street. The release itself is in the original aspect ratio, so a widescreen televison is reccomended. The picture and sound have been remastered, but don't expect to suddenly hear this in surround sound. Being over 20 years old, it was originally done in mono, so is now in Dolby Digital mono. This means you get a nice crisp sound, but no surround sound effect. Other than having the original theatrical trailer and having several languages available as subtitles, the only other special feature the disc has is you can select to watch it dubbed into German. So, a good basic release, and priced to suit, being towards the higher price end of budget titles, retailing about £13. It is also widely available as a DVD rental, So if you have not seen this recently or at all, you can easily put this on must get list.
DONT GET FILMS LIKE THIS ANYMORE !!!
Awards: Won 2 Oscars
I had a friend who joined Indian Air force, his officer used to say to him before using equipments worth millions of dollars, you have to pass the test and gain the trust that you are capable of handling this responsibility. Zack Mayo joins Navy Flight school to become a navy pilot. The title of the movie prepares you to expect that you will find some military life in this film, it is there but is beautifully weaved in the military training and the life inside is the life outside a personal life, where the training effects you emotionally, it builds your character, it lets you understand your character and gives you emotional evolution to higher planes or baser rounds. All this is being tempered by Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley, this role was well played by Louis Gossett Jr who won an Oscar for best supporting actor.
What this film gives you is your participation in the scenes, there are no hidden conspiracies nor deep useless facts to remember to understand the movie, you just see the images and visual and you are in the film, just what is being said by Zack Mayo, Paula Pokrifki, Sid Worley, Emil Foley, Perryman, Lynette Pomeroy is what is required by you. You have a knot forming in your throat so many times in the movie you loose count and you wonder are there any movies capable of evoking such emotions in you. I mean I always considered it very silly to emote with the story of a movie, but there I was sitting with some very crazy and funny friends and everyone of us is silently watching the movie, nobody is carving for a cigarette to go out of the theater, it was a first experience for our gang to behave so well during the movie. Everyone comes out in the end and says they enjoyed it immensely. Some say the training was very real and the conflict between the personality of Zack Mayo and the Drill Sergeant was very relatable, some say the love and the spectrum of emotions shown relating to love were very close and enjoyable.
I mean Debra Winger (Paula) done a very fantastic job of portraying a homely and sweet girl who just needs love from the person she is in love, I mean how simple this feels and how complicated we all humans are, all our wants are the same but do we get what we want ? How difficult we have made our lives to just get this simple comfort.
The balance this film strikes between drama and simple romance is quiet remarkable, we have 2 cases, Sid Worley ( David Keith) with Lisa Blount (Lynette Pomeroy) and Zack Mayo (Richard Gere) with Debra Winger (Paula Pokrifki) not only this but Mayo giving up the chance to become the star of the whole unit and helping his unit mate Lisa Eilbacher (Casey Seeger) to qualify as a candidate for navy pilot.
This is the evolution of Zack Mayo from a pornography seller to a gentleman who is helping his mates see the fruits of their struggle. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one
Mayo learns to be part of a team and in the process inspires us to take a second look at our life, he learns to care for others and cease being a exploiter of people, which he hated when his father did it to his mother. I am not so much concerned about what the story is saying not even how beautiful big black eyes of Debra Winger are looking in her pink shirt, I am only connected to this movie with how it is making me feel, a heart which is very much in my control is being influenced by someone other than me, that is me loosing control on myself and I cant do much about it. Whenever I experience some such feelings I am sure the thing which caused this effect is good and very well presented or it must be respected for its influence.
I enjoyed each role in this movie there is nothing between you to become An officer except me, I will remember drill sergeant for this dialogue, it is only limited to the things the visuals are saying, nothing beyond it or above it or under it. All events of this film we can relate to or understand the emotions in it. The boys night out in the town, the only girl cadet in the unit with her physical weakness this is a visual poem we are looking at, I do not know how else to describe this film, the story, the love story, the story of cadets, the story of drill sergeant, the punishments, the insubordinations, the mother and daughter equation, its a story of coming to terms, its the study of self discovery of a person, a person who will become a guardian of a nation and a representative of his kind in the world at large.
I had a knot in my throat when I saw one of the cadets swallowing engagement ring, man the scene was so well filmed, it wrenches your heart at the failure, the important thing is to overcome failures like Zack did. This film needs to be seen, roles are so well developed you become a part of their whole training process, you laugh when they laugh, you cry when they cry, In retrospect the cadets each on the day of his graduation go specially to the Drill Sergeant and have a kind word to say is the cream on my milk tea. Purely we need some very simple fun and entertaining films like these to highlight the heart in us.
"left right left right / you HAD a good job and you LEFT / you're RIGHT!"
Yo severity of heart and mind makes us very severe people !!!
For a long while I had the impression that "An Officer and a Gentleman" was a very cheesy film, the sort of film, in fact, that is the preference of Mills and Boon readers. Of course, I hadn't watched it at that point. Since my opinion of a film I hadn't seen was so strong it's surprising that something happened to make me watch it and to this day I can't remember what it was that spurred me to watch it, but I did. Having done so my opinion of the film is no less determined than before but it is now a film that I cannot praise highly enough.
Richard Gere plays Zack Mayo, recently graduated from college and newly enrolled in the American Naval Officers Candidate School. Zack has had a tough life, his mother committed suicide when he was young and he then spent his life with his abusive, alcoholic father. Zack doesn't find his 14 weeks training easy. He is a stubborn and independent young man who finds it hard to trust others and his intention to "go it alone" does not impress the drill sergeant, Foley.
Louis Gossett Jnr's portrayal of the seemingly harsh Foley is one of the high spots of the movie and earned him a much deserved Academy Award for best supporting actor. As the story develops the viewer's perception of this character changes and we see that all his apparent bullying and shouting is carefully considered to get the best out of his recruits.
Early on in his training Zack and his friend, Sid (David Keith), meet two young local women and they pair off. Sid and Lynette (Lisa Blount) throw themselves headlong into a relationship which is essentially based on sex. Zack and Paula (Debra Winger) embark on a relationship which is more controlled and deeper than that of their friends. At times the relationship comes under pressure because of Zack's inability to open up and this is in complete conntrast with Paula who finds it easier to trust others.
Lynette's discovery that she is pregnant is perhaps the key episode of the film and is one which has devastating effects, not just for herself and Sid but for Zack and Paula too.
While "An Officer and a Gentleman" is undoubtedly a romance it is much more besides. While the lead characters are a little older than those who you might normally associate with the genre, I would still say that this is a "coming of age" movie. From his fellow recruits, Sergeant Foley and Paula, Zack learns how to trust others, how to be part of a team and that he cannot take on the world alone.
On the downside, "An Officer and a Gentleman" is predictable - VERY predictable. The characters are stereotypical and do not offer up any surprises. You just know that Zack's father is going to be a good for nothing old drunk and you know instinctively that Foley is really a good guy and not the bully he first appears. However, the things that are done well are done very well. The acting is great - Louis Gossett Jnr and David Keith stand out in particular. The screenplay too is excellent. There is nothing here which does not need to be included and the sub-plots of the two couples interweave easily.
The locations (the movie was filmed at Fort Worden State Park on America's north west coast) are a major factor in making this a truly romantic film. When Zack and Paula spend the night together, they do so in a wooden house on the edge of the beach, so close you can hear the waves lapping against the shore. The decision that Zack would be a naval recruit, whilst not intrinsic to the plot, is an inspired one: the sight of Richard Gere in his white uniform is one that many women I know would find hard to resist. It is details such as this that add up to a romantic extravaganza which has me in tears every time.
Jack Nitzsche was nominated for an Academy Award for best original score for the movie but did not win. However the film did scoop best original song for "Love Lift us up Where we Belong" a song which is perfect for this movie even though it's not the type of thing I would usually listen to.
I wonder if people who are as sceptical as I once was would think differently if they knew just how highly regarded this film has been. Being nominated for 4 Oscars (and walking away with two) and 8 Golden Globes is no mean feat. This1982 romantic milestone is a film that I think will continue to win new fans and continue to delight those watcing it again. The old cynic becomes a born again romantic - so shoot me....every time I hear the closing line "Way to go, Paula!!" I feel a tingle and want to watch it all over again!
"An Officer and a Gentleman", 1982
Director - Taylor Hackford (husband of Helen Mirren)
Available on DVD from 7.99 Pounds and on video from 5.99 Pounds
This is an excellent film which shot Richard Gere to fame. He plays an american soldier who joins up to train to fly jets, but he has a huge chip on his shoulder. He thinks that life is about using people and proceeds to do just that. The sergeant major in the form of Louis Gossett Jnr is brilliant and some of his dialogue is most amusing. He initially tries to get Richard Gere DOR'ed (dropped on request) from the army but sees that there's more to him than the user image which he portrays. There subsequently develops a mutual respect between them which is touching. There is a predictable happy ending with the 'good' girl getting her man and the bitch being left with no one - not like life at all is it girls?
Richard Gere plays an enrollee at a Naval officers candidate school and Debra Winger is the woman who wants him.That's pretty much it, story-wise, in this romantic drama, which is more effective in a moment-to-moment, scene-by-scene way, where the two stars and Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr.--as Gere's tough-as-nails drill instructor--are fun to watch. Sexy, syrupy, with occasional pitches of high drama (Gere having a near-breakdown during training is pretty strong), An Officer and a Gentleman proves to be a no-brainer date movie. --Tom Keogh