Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy anniversary, Top Gun!

I loved Tom Cruise. Even after the couch jumping, crazy Scientology ranting weirdness, I still get a little tickle in my stomach when I see him on a screen. It's true, he sort of went off the deep end for awhile. But I can forgive that. Why? Because I invested a good portion of my life watching Top Gun, Risky Business, The Color of Money and Cocktail, and when you make that kind of investment in another person, you can't simply turn and walk away.

This year Top Gun celebrates 25 years since its theatrical release. 25 years! It occured to me last night that by the time my daughter is old enough to watch Top Gun the movie will be celebrating its 40-something anniversary. That little factoid made me a wee bit nauseous as I reached for my undereye cream and Vicks Vaporub.

But wait, you say. This is a design blog, not a movie blog! Never fear, faithful reader. Let's talk design...and let's use my favorite scene from the movie as a place to start:


First, let's talk about what's right with this scene. Tom Cruise in uniform. That's what's right.

Now let's talk about what's wrong. Blue neon lights and glass block. Tres chic in 1986, a little "less than' in 2011. And this is coming from the girl from Florida where neon and glass block are as common as oh, say, floors and walls. And while in the 80s I would've probably been REALLY excited to go to this bar....

Oh who am I kidding? I would be SO PSYCHED to go this bar! It's the Top Gun bar, people! Who wouldn't be excited?!

Sorry, sorry...I need to focus. Remember Kelly McGillis' awesome beach house in the movie? Sad news. The house is all boarded up and slated to be torn down as part of a redevelopment plan for the city of Oceanside, CA. Such a cute little bungalow:


I was surprised to read (while looking for the above photo) that the scene in which Tom and Kelly are sitting on her back patio was actually filmed at the first aid station on the Paramount lot. Here's a reminder:



I remember being amazed that in California people had pillows and "real" furniture and flowers outdoors. In Florida any kind of upholstered piece left outside will smell like gym sock in less than 5 minutes.

Looking back what amazes me is how classic the clothes are in this movie. For the most part everything still looks pretty wearable. Well, everything except Anthony Edwards' unfortunate outfit choice in this scene:


Can't win 'em all!

Happy anniversary, Top Gun!

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