Tag Archives: Motion Picture

16 May 1986

“Top Gun” poster (Paramount Pictures)

16 May 1986: The Paramount Pictures motion picture, “Top Gun,” directed by Tony Scott, was released in 1,028 theaters in the United States.

The romance/action movie centered around the lives of U.S. Navy fighter pilots. The featured actors were Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards and Tom Skeritt.

The real “star” of the movie, though, was the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, a supersonic interceptor operating from United States Navy aircraft carriers.

Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Michael Ironside and Tom Skeritt in “Top Gun,” 1986. (Paramount Pictures)

“Top Gun” was widely praised for its flight sequences, although the movie’s plot was fairly juvenile. In TDiA’s opinion, the opening sequence showing activity on an aircraft carrier flight deck, accompanied by Kenny Loggins’ song, “Danger Zone,” is exceptional. Another song from the movie, “Take My Breath Away” performed by Berlin, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Art Scholl, a famed aerial cinematographer, was killed during the production of the movie.

The film is credited with a striking increase in enlistments in the United States Navy.

“Top Gun” was released on the 57th anniversary of another Paramount Pictures movie, “Wings,” winning of the first Academy Award for Best Picture.

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes

16 May 1929

“Wings” poster (Paramount Pictures)

16 May 1929: In a ceremony at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood, California, U.S.A., “Wings,” a Paramount Pictures silent motion picture released in 1927 and directed by William A. Wellman, won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. It also won an award for Best Engineering Effects.

The silent movie about combat pilots of World War I, was filmed on location at Kelly Field, Texas, at a cost of $2,000.000. More than 300 pilots were involved, and 3,500 extras in the land battle scenes.

The leading actors in the film were Clara Bow, Charles (“Buddy”) Rogers, Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper.

Buddy Rogers, Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper in “Wings,” 1927. (Paramount Pictures)

William A. Wellman, the film’s director, was himself a combat pilot during World War I,  credited with three “kills” and five probables (perhaps as many as 9 enemy aircraft destroyed). He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with two palms.

“Wings” (1927) main title. (Paramount Pictures)

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes