An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A box office smash, essentially a fairy tale about the poor boy who makes good.

Richard Gere is the son of a career navy enlisted man who neglected him and left him to kind of a white trash life. The grown-up Gere has decided to become a naval pilot, and enlists in a rigourous OCS program.

During the soap opera plot, Gere overcomes an abusive DI, a potentially dangerous relationship, and the suicide of a comrade. We see him develop from a self-absorbed hotshot to a team player and leader, into a true officer and a gentleman.

The film has the requisite Hollywood happy ending - Gere dukes it out with the DI and they come to respect each other. He takes back the local girl he dumped. The music swells, they drive off in their cycle.


Debra Winger is seen topless from the side, and briefly naked from behind in her love scene with Gere.

Winger, Lisa Blount, and David Keith shoot a distant moon.

Gere, Robert Loggia, and Keith all show some buns at various times, but no frontals.

While the filmmakers had no intention of making any art with this film, it is nonetheless an excellent example of how to create and market a film profitably across a wide path of ages and genders.

This movie is simplistic pure formula, 100% fable, bears little resemblance to reality, yet is oddly affecting. It carries a lot of the same emotional impact of other "little guys beat the system" movies, like Rocky, so it has something for the boys, and it has a fairly tale romance for the girls. The film made a lot of money and picked up half a dozen Oscatr nominations.

DVD info from Amazon.

It's a pretty good transfer, albeit slightly too dark. Widesacreen anamorphic 1.85:1, enhanced for 16x9 screens.

The only significant feature is a full-length director's commentary.

Did you know that Richard Gere practically owed his career to John Travolta? Well, at least two of his best and most memorable roles.

Travolta was offered the lead in American Gigolo, turned it down, Gere got the job.

Two years later, Travolta was offered officer and a Gentleman, turned it down, Gere got the job again!

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: just less than three stars, I guess. Maltin 2.5, Apollo 73/100. I think that is a fair appraisal of the movie

  • Oscars: nominated for six, won two (Gossett for best supporting actor, plus "best song')

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.7, Apollo users 74/100.
  • With their dollars ... it was a super hit in the USA. $129 million in domestic box and more than $50 million in rental income so far.
My guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B.

Return to the Movie House home page