An Officer & A Gentleman

D: Taylor Hackford
Paramount/Lorimar (Martin Elfand)
US 1982
126 mins


W: Douglas Day Stewart
DP: Donald Thorin
Ed: Peter Zinner
Mus: Jack Nitzsche

Richard Gere (Zack Mayo), Debra Winger (Paula Pokrifki), Louis Gossett, Jr. (Sgt. Emil     Foley), David Keith (Sid Worley), Lisa Eilbacher (Casey Seeger), Lisa Blount (Lynette Pomeroy), Robert Loggia (Byron Mayo)

Richard Gere is one of them actors I simply don't relate to. No idea what it is, I simply don't like him. However, it must be said that his performance in this romantic drama is worthy of praise.

He plays a rebellious naval recruit, Zack Mayo, enlisting straight out of a broken family from the wrong side of the tracks and instantly disliked by stern drill sergeant Emil Foley.

Mayo finds friendship with a fellow recruit however and they both develop relationships with a pair of young women working at a local paper mill, desperate to be married into the service so they can dream of better lives away from the small industrial town.

Louis Gossett, Jr. steals this film as the strict training officer, but the rest of the cast are all fine, particularly Debra Winger with a standout female performance amongst a cast mostly of men.

The love theme "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic.


Richard Gere & Debra Winger in An Officer & A Gentleman
Richard Gere & Debra Winger in An Officer & A Gentleman