Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise wear black leather bomber jackets with patches as they sit on a motorcycle in front of an American flag and she rests her hands on his shoulders

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in a classic promo shot for the original Top Gun

Paramount Pictures

Before you head into the danger zone with the upcoming Top Gun Maverick premiere, here's a look at what made the '80s blockbuster iconic.

by Sarah Deming

The wait is over. Top Gun Maverick touches down in theaters May 27th. Tom Cruise reprises his iconic role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the hotshot Navy pilot who does things his own way.

Maverick’s new mission: to train the next generation of Top Gun graduates for a perilous assignment. Things heat up when one of the youngsters turns out to be Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), son of Maverick’s late flying partner “Goose.” Of course, no sequel would be complete without Val Kilmer as Maverick’s arch frenemy “Iceman.” Also starring are Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Glen Powell.

To get in the Maverick mood, let’s revisit Paramount’s original Top Gun. The biggest hit of 1986, it grossed over $350 million. Applications to Naval aviation school soared as a whole generation of Americans felt the need for speed. Here's a look back at what made the movie iconic.

You can stream Top Gun on Paramount+.

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