The movie takes place in and around a Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Washington state. Every thirteen weeks, a new group of young men and women come to see if they can survive a grueling session of physical and academic training. If they pass, they graduate to flight school.
Emil Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.) is the tough drill instructor whose job it is to turn out officers and who has seen them come and seen them go and is absolutely uncompromising in his standards. There's a love-hate relationship between the sergeant and his trainees.
The theme song, "Up Where We Belong", sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, climbed the pop charts to the number-one spot, holding that position for three weeks. It also won the Oscar for Best song and the music was later used by Continental Airlines as their theme song.
Richard Gere said to Barbara Walters he did the movie strictly for the money. It wound up being his biggest box office hit until Pretty Woman.
Kurt Russell , John Travolta, Jeff Bridges and John Denver turned down the lead role of Zack Mayo.
Kristy McNichol and Brooke Shields turned down the role of Paula.Pokrifki.
When Sgt Foley has the new recruits lined up and tells them that they will fail, the dolly tracks of the camera are visible. Foley can be seen to carefully step between the rails.
During the graduation ceremony, when Gunnery Sergeant Foley reports to the officer and falls out the graduates, he does an about face and steps off with his right foot. This is incorrect, as you always start with the left foot when marching.
'Officer' belongs to Louis Gossett Jr....[he] takes a near-cliché role of the tough, unrelenting drill instructor and makes him a sympathetic hero without ever softening a whit. Gossett does more with his eyes and a facial reaction than others can accomplish with pages of dialogue. Reviewed by: Variety.
If Paramount's 'Officer and a Gentleman' fails as a motion picture (and it does, regrettably), one reason is because it painfully lacks the singular ingredient most necessary to successfully orchestrate a romantic motion picture theme: chemistry between two principals, Richard Gere and Debra Winger. Reviewed by: The Hollywood Reporter.
These days good love stories are almost as hard to come by on screen as off. One problem is chemical; some of our young actors and actresses...don't know how to strike romantic sparks...Debra Winger and Richard Gere know how in 'An Officer and a Gentleman'. When they're on together the screen exudes a palpable sexuality, a bona fide romantic ache. And it's not just two actors the audience is responding to, but the plight of two well-drawn characters. Reviewed by: Newsweek.
Parents need to know that this film contains some brief nudity (female breasts and buttocks, male buttocks) and explicit sexual dialogue. The military training sequences involve homophobic and racial slurs as well as fistfights. Several of the female characters are depicted as trying to get soldiers to impregnate them. Characters drink heavily. In addition, one of the main characters commits suicide. Reviewed by: Common Sense Media.
An Officer and a Gentleman" is the best movie about love that I've seen in a long time. Maybe that's because it's not about "love" as a Hollywood concept, but about love as growth, as learning to accept other people for who and what they are. There's romance in this movie, all right, and some unusually erotic sex, but what makes the film so special is that the sex and everything else is presented within the context of its characters finding out who they are, what they stand forÑand what they will not stand for. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times.