Top Gun - by Chip Proser
April 4, 1985
NOTE: Aerial dialogue in CAPS is UHF radio;
plane to plane, plane to carrier.
Aerial dialogue in small case is ICS;
an inter-cockpit system; a live mike,
heard by pilot and RIO only.
TG1 REVISED 04APR85 .
1. EXT. NIGHT. - THE PACIFIC IS ANYTHING BUT
WINDS HOWL. Rain drives horizontal. The sea surges up,
nearly to the flight deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty
Hawk. The carrier plunges, driving its bow into a wall of
grey water. The deck pitches forward and back, rolls left to
right, and yaws in a corkscrew motion. The entire 93,000 ton
behemoth rises and falls in the TYPHOON-DRIVEN SWELL.
2. SOMETHING DROPS DOWN OUT OF THE NIGHT
A ROAR. Silver wings flash by, a cockpit, fiery jet
exhausts. A forty ton monster drops at 120 knots into an area
the size of a tennis court in a CONTROLLED CRASH.
2A. A SHOWER OF SPARKS, A SCREECH OF RUBBER AND METAL as
the gear hits the deck. The hook catches the 3 wire and the
F-14 TOMCAT is slammed to a halt. It's the scariest thing
you've ever seen, the most dangerous maneuver in aviation and
just another day at the office for a Naval Aviator.
HARD DRIVING ROCK AND ROLL - THE CARS - RIDE ME HIGH
3. FLIGHT DECK - THE LANDING SIGNAL OFFICER - (LSO)
Leans almost horizontal into the winds. He holds the pickle,
controlling the landing lights and speaks into a mike. His
calm, professional commands belie the extreme conditions.
POWER, POWER...DON'T CLIMB...
OKAY, HOLD WHAT YOU GOT.
4. ANOTHER TOMCAT FLIES OVER THE RAMP
It slams in. The pilot hits full power, catches the wire, slams
to a stop, cuts his engines.
6. AIR OPS - BELOW DECK
Lots of scopes and electronic gear. The CARRIER CONTROL APPROACH
OFFICER (CCA) watches a blip on radar, reaches for his mike key.
7. EXT. THE TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING - (AERIAL)
We float like gods, above the storm, above the cloud cover,
looking down. From overhead, a probe slides into frame, then
a graceful nose. The cockpit sides by, Pilot, then Radar
Intercept Officer (RIO) barely illuminated by the orange glow
of their instruments. The fuselage gracefully swells to two
enormous air intakes, then variable angle wings, swept back
for high speed flight. Twin tailbooms cant outward,
horizontal stabilizers make constant adjustments. Enormous
twin jet exhaust ports glow red in the moonlight.
8. INT. COCKPIT - (AERIAL)
We become aware of WIND WHISTLE, JET ENGINE SOUNDS, RADIO
STATIC. The pilot, COUGAR, is calm, steady. The Radar
Intercept Officer in the backseat, GOOSE, is a wildman,
always an edge of humor in his voice. A UHF transmission
STRIKE (V.O. filtered)
GHOST RIDER, THIS IS STRIKE... WE
HAVE UNKNOWN CONTACT INBOUND,
MUSTANG. YOUR VECTOR ZERO NINE ZERO
Almost immediately the RIO picks up a target and responds.
CONTACT 20 LEFT AT 25, 900 KNOTS
8A. ANGLE - SECOND F-14 - 115 - COUGAR'S WINGMAN
Come in on the cockpit with stenciled name and call signs: LT.
EVAN MITCHELL is the pilot, MAVERICK. In flight suit and oxygen
mask, we can only see his eyes. they are confident. In his
mid-twenties, he is lean, hard, athletic...the archetype fighter
pilot. His rear-seater is LTJG. WALTER MERLIN; WIZARD.
I'LL I.D. HIM, YOU HOOK 'EM.
Maverick peels off to right, to high cover position; 5 o'clock.
9. INT. GHOST RIDER 117 - COUGAR'S POV
HEADS UP DISPLAY (HUD) glows dimly on the windscreen. Directly
in front of the stick, two CRT screens display data. The bottom
screen shows a radar sweep. Wedged between the instruments is a
snapshot of a pretty young woman with a 2 month-old baby.
Closing fast. MUSTANG, THIS IS
GHOST RIDER ONE ONE SEVEN. CONTACT
ONE BOGEY, 090 AT 15 MILES, 900
KNOTS OF CLOSURE.
Look for the trailer.
I don't see anything. MAVERICK,
YOU HAVE A TRAILER?
10. MAVERICK'S F-14
Flying in combat spread, 1 mile abeam, higher.
NEGATIVE, COUGAR. LOOKS LIKE HE'S
11. INT. 117 - COUGAR'S COCKPIT
HANG BACK AND WATCH FOR HIM. HERE
12. EXT. SKY
Closing at 900 knots, The MiG is a speck, then a flash and a
ROAR, a knife-edge pass at 300 feet. It rockets past his left
wing tip and disappears. Cougar kicks rudder, whips the stick,
screams into a tight turning roll and dives after him. He slams
the throttle forward to ZONE 5 AFTERBURNER.
13. EXT. - MAVERICK'S F-14
Maverick sees a SECOND MiG drop from above onto Cougar's tail.
BOGEY ON YOUR SIX. I'M ON HIS.
Maverick swings after him, lights it.
13A. ALL FOUR JETS SCREAM DOWN IN A POWER DIVE.
They punch through cloud cover into the soup.
14. EXT. COUGAR'S F-14
He is closing on the first MiG when a shocking BLIPBLIPBLIPBLIP
tone breaks into their headsets.
I've got a six strobe. I think
he's locked on us.
It's a MiG 21. They don't have
Let's hope you're right!
What is he doing?
He's pissing me off!
Cougar swings mad gyrations, cutting back and forth across the
front MiG's tailpipe, trying to break the lock-on. The TONE grows
Can't shake him.
WHAT'S MIG ONE DOING?
Maintaining course. Straight for
Stay with him.
The tone grows steady, BLIPBLIPBLIPBLIP.
That's missile lock!
He better be kidding!
Lordy! Eyeball to Asshole.
Hope nobody burps!
14A. INT. MAVERICK'S F-14
I'LL LOCK ON THEM, COUGAR. (to himself)
Gotcha covered, don't nobody move.
I'M UP HERE TOO, MAVERICK.
ROGER, COUGAR. (to himself and his RIO)
Okay boys, pull out with your hands up
and nobody'll get hurt.
14B. INT. COUGAR'S F-14
Up front, Cougar checks his gunsight...He gets I.R. lock...
We're locked on MiG ONE. Why
doesn't he disengage?
These guys are getting on my
14C. FINALLY, MIG ONE TURNS AWAY.
GHOST RIDER TO MUSTANG. BANDITS
But Cougar presses forward, and MiG TWO stays on his tail.
COUGAR, BREAK LEFT. TRY A HIGH G
ROLL UNDERNEATH. BREAK OUT THE
Anger gives way to discipline. Cougar's Tomcat breaks left,
dives into dense cloud. MiG TWO still follows.
HE'S STILL ON YOU, COUGAR.
15. EXT. COUGAR - IN THE CLOUDS
Still hears the tone, BLIPBLIPBLIP...
I KNOW. I KNOW.
He rolls over into wild evasive maneuvers, finally breaks lock.
16. INT. MIG
Breaks out of cloud, looks around, startled. There is nothing,
no F-14. He scans the sky frantically, while rolling the
aircraft. ...Suddenly, he feels a presence. He looks straight up
and behind him. A few feet away, a TOMCAT slides into position
canopy to canopy, an incredible feat of flying. Maverick and
Wizard stare at him. Maverick slides even closer, canopies nearly
touching. The MiG pilot acknowledges them with a weak wave.
Maverick stares for a moment, then flips him the bird.
The MiG pushes negative G, hard down and away. He heads for the
He's running for it.
Ah, the thrill of victory and the
agony of defeat.
Speaking of feet, fuel's down to
4.0. We're gonna get them wet
unless we find a Sonoco station.
COUGAR, THIS IS MAVERICK. I'M
GETTING HUNGRY, LET'S HEAD FOR THE
BARN. ...COUGAR, WHERE ARE YOU?
17. EXT. KITTY HAWK FLIGHT DECK - THE LSO
Stands the on plunging deck, peering into the roaring night.
GHOST RIDER ONE-ONE-FIVE, THIS IS
MUSTANG. WX THREE HUNDRED. ONE
MILE VISIBILITY WITH HEAVY RAIN.
FINAL INBOUND BEARING THREE-FOUR-
ZERO. DECK IS MOVING.
18. INT. COCKPIT 117 - COUGAR
This is crazy. How the hell we
supposed to land on something we
can't even see!
Hey, if it was easy, everybody
would want to come up here and do
it..... Instead of just us.
MUSTANG (V.O. filtered)
MUSTANG TO GHOST RIDER 115...110
SPIN, 42 LOCK. AT 5 MILES READ
19. INT. COCKPIT 115 - MAVERICK
NEEDLES READ DOWN AND LEFT.
CCA (V.O. filtered)
CONCUR, FLY YOUR NEEDLES.
CCA (V.O. filtered)
ROGER. CALL THE BALL.
Call the ball? I don't see the
20. INT. COCKPIT 117 - COUGAR'S POV
BLASTS slam the airframe. Rain tattoos the canopy. A gust rolls
the Tomcat, he straightens it, A gust flips it again.
20A. MAVERICK'S POV
The Carrier lights appear and disappear through the storm.
21. INT. COCKPIT 117 - COUGAR
A walk in the park, Mustang. You
with me, cat man?...Cougar...you
Goose is thrown about as the wing dips, straightens, dips.
Help me with this one, I'm really
Bring it left. Bring it left,
This is crazy!
Wait! Hell!..Something's wrong!
What? What is it?
Were upside down!
You're crazy. We're level.
Can't you feel it? I'm hanging in
You're not. We're level. Look at
the instruments, we're okay!
They must be broken. I'm hanging in
my straps! We're inverted!
We're not! Trust me! We're okay.
22. FLIGHT DECK - LSO CONTROLLING 115 - MAVERICK
A LITTLE POWER...FLY THE BALL.
LOOKING GOOD...HOLD WHAT YOU GOT.
23. MAVERICK'S F-14 - ON FINAL APPROACH.
24. INT. COCKPIT - MAVERICK
He hears Cougar's chatter over the air.
COUGAR (V.O. filtered)
WE'RE UPSIDE DOWN! WE CAN'T LAND!
GOOSE (V.O. filtered)
WELL, WE CAN'T STAY UP HERE EITHER.
25. FLIGHT DECK
Maverick's plane settles in over the ramp, suddenly, BLASTS FROM
IT'S AFTERBURNERS...it ROARS over the deck without touching and
off into the night. The LSO is shocked into comment.
WHERE THE HELL YOU GOING?
26. MAVERICK'S COCKPIT - (AERIAL)
What the hell you doing?
Helping him in.
What makes you think we can get
back in? We don't have the fuel
Just get me to him.
He's nine o'clock high. We're two
thousand pounds low!
27. DARK TURBULENT CLOUDS
Maverick's plane pulls up behind Cougar's. Cougar's plane
suddenly flips over, flying inverted.
I'm pulling up.
No! Now we're inverted!
Maverick pulls up off the wing of the inverted aircraft. His
voice is calmness itself.
HEY, ANY OF YOU GUYS SEEN AN
AIRCRAFT CARRIER AROUND HERE?
Cougar looks over, surprised.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
EVERYBODY'S GOT TO BE SOMEWHERE.
..NOW WE'RE RIGHT WITH YOU.
YOU ARE INVERTED. ROLL IT, COUGAR.
COUGAR, THIS IS MAVERICK. HALF ROLL
Cougar's plane completes the roll, is now upright.
We're on vapor, Cougar, you got to
put it down.
It's crazy, man. Instruments are
crazy. We're gonna have to eject.
TELL HIM, WILL YOU TELL HIM? OUR
INSTRUMENTS ARE OKAY.
YOU'RE STRAIGHT AND LEVEL, COUGAR.
I'M HANGING IN MY STRAPS. I TURN IT
OVER AND I'M STILL HANGING IN MY
STRAPS. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON
YOU'RE NOT IN THE STRAPS. IT'S
VERTIGO, THAT'S ALL IT IS. STAY ON
MY WING. I'LL DROP YOU OFF.
Maverick pulls up wing tip to wing tip, inches apart.
YOU BETTER NOT BE RAGGING ME...
IF YOU'RE FLYING UPSIDE DOWN...
NO JOKE, COUGAR. ON THE LEVEL.
EVEN I WOULDN'T DO THAT TO YOU.
I'M UPSIDE DOWN. I KNOW IT. I'M
Look at the weather! They'll never
find us! We're near out of fuel.
Put it down.
COUGAR, YOU'RE ON THE BALL.
OKAY... OKAY. BUT IF I LAND THIS
THING UPSIDE DOWN. AND I LIVE. I'LL
HAVE YOUR BUTT!
You'll have mine, Cougar. It'll be
where your head used to be.
28. EXT. FLIGHT DECK
All eyes are on what they can see of the approach of the two
planes. Maverick drops him off at the pattern and circles. The
LSO watches the approach. The Tomcat drops a wing, straightens,
drops the wing, straightens ... the approach of a pilot
experiencing vertigo as Cougar tries to satisfy his inner ear.
LEVEL...YOUR WINGS... EASY...
YOU'RE SETTLING....FLY THE BALL.
A wind shear just off the ramp drives the plane suddenly down.
WAVE OFF WAVE OFF!
AFTERBURNERS BLAST, but the Tomcat horrifyingly settles tail-low
toward the deck. The deck crew watches in terror as the plane
wallows in toward them. The LSO'S turn, take a few steps and
throw themselves off the flight deck.
They sail into the night toward the surging seas a hundred feet
below, then are caught in safety nets hung off the side.
28A. THE PLANE
Settles, settles, standing on it's engines, trying to arrest
it's downward momentum. The hook raises sparks as it skids across
the deck... The plane stops falling and hangs for a moment, about
to blast back up, when the hook catches the last wire.. The wire
snags it, plucking 45,000 pounds of fuel, metal and men out of
the air and slamming it all to the deck. WHAMMMM! Right wheel
flies up the deck and over the side...the gear collapses. The
plane SCREECHES sideways. The crew watches helplessly as it skids
slams into it and comes to rest in cloud of fuel vapor and steam.
The LSO runs up, shouting into the mike.
COUGAR, GOOSE...COME IN COUGAR!
SHUT YOUR ENGINES DOWN, YOU'VE
GHOST RIDER! ACKNOWLEDGE!
GHOST RIDER! ACKNOWLEDGE!
Crash crew leaps into action. The fire crew is there. The man in
the Silver Suit jumps up on the wing and crawls to the cockpit.
The figures inside are not moving. He hits the canopy release.
The canopy pops open. Silver suit grabs at the rear seat harness
release. He screams through his suit's aluminized cloth...
Goose, can you hear me? Goose!
Nothing for a moment. He's dead! Then the RIO'S helmet
moves...His head turns. He tears the mask away from his face,
looks up at Silver Suit. His head clears.
Oh, Hello... Valet parking?
Silver suit is stunned for a moment. He straightens up, his head
inclines quizzically. Then it hits him.
Son of a bitch!
You will put it up front,
with the Porsches?
He grabs him under the armpits, drags him out of the plane.
Hey...easy...Take it easy...
I'm a veteran!
Goose grabs a passing crewman by the arm.
Can you check under the hood. I
thought I heard a funny noise.
Other crewmembers help Cougar out. He seems stunned, but Goose
reacts to his fear with frantic one-liners. He grabs a crew
member's radio, as Silver Suit helps him away and looks to the
figures of the Admiral and the Air Boss far up on the bridge...
He waves to them, does his best impression...Desi Arnaz.
28B. BRIDGE FLIGHT DECK
A moment of disbelief... Then hysterical, tension relieving
28C. FLIGHT DECK
Goose spots Cougar being helped out. He pulls away, reaches back
into the cockpit and grabs Cougar's snapshot of wife and kid.
They lead Goose away as firemen blast the aircraft with foam.
Is it extra for the hot wax?
28D. BRIDGE - FLIGHT DECK - AIR BOSS
Clear the flight deck.
29. FLIGHT DECK
A TILLIE, a four wheel mobile crane, slams up to the plane and
slings its lifting harness. Goose turns to Silver Suit.
Well...there goes your tip.
30. INT. MAVERICK'S PLANE
They have monitored the chatter.
It's Goose. He's alright. Bring it
left...You're settling. IS THE
LSO (V.O. filtered)
ROGER, BALL, LITTLE POWER...DON'T
CLIMB...OKAY, HOLD WHAT YOU GOT!
Wizard does a quick sign of the cross, reaches down, grabs his
30A. FLIGHT DECK
The TOMCAT slams onto the deck, clearing the wreckage by inches.
31. INT. CARRIER HATCHWAY - FLIGHT SURGEON, OTHERS
Watch as they bring a shaken Cougar past. Goose, eyes wild,
waves at Maverick and Wizard, rolling up. They flame out -
VVOOOMMMMM! They sit there, immobile, waiting for a tow, looking
numb. Goose does his "stewardess".
On behalf of your Captain and your
crew, I want to thank you for
flying VF101. And next time your
plans include the middle of the
goddamn ocean in the dead of
frigging night, I hope you'll think
of Naval Aviation.
The surgeon looks into Goose's eyes.
Check his head.
Never mind my head, check my
32. SICK BAY - LATER
Cougar lies alone in the dimness, staring at the overhead.
33. 03 LEVEL - BELOW DECKS - OFFICER'S COUNTRY
The usual CLANGS, WHISTLES, ENGINES of Navy life sound FORLORN
ECHOING through the dim, deserted passage. From the distance, a
single figure passes in and out of the glow of the overhead
lights. Cougar comes closer, hobbling unsteadily.
He reaches a door, pulls himself erect and knocks on the sign:
Commander Tom Otawoczek
CO VF 101
34. STINGER'S CABIN
The skipper works at his desk, responds without looking up.
He looks up. Cougar stands in the doorway, a strange, dazed look
on his face.
Cougar, what is it? You should be
in sick bay. What are you doing?
He walks over to the skipper's desk. His eyes are glazed, but
his jaw is firm.
Thinking of my wife and kid.
A determined movement. Hand to chest.
Something metal hits it, skids across the polished surface and
clangs up against the coffee mug: gold wings.
Cougar comes out of Stinger's room, bumps into Goose, and
Maverick. He turns the other way.
He stops, turns to them. There is nothing to say. Goose hands
him his snapshot. Cougar looks at his wife and kid for a moment,
then looks up at them. He turns away.
Cougar? STINGER (O.S.)
Maverick, Goose...Come in here.
36. STINGER'S OFFICE - DOORWAY
Maverick appears, followed by Goose. They stand at
The Skipper says nothing. Maverick sees the wings on the
desk. He enters, walks over, stares down at them. He picks
Don't worry. I'll talk to him.
He's a good pilot.
I talked a man back once. Three
months later, we lost him. It's his
decision. Only he knows.
He's the best you have. He's going
Was going. (Turns to Maverick.) Now
Maverick stares at the wings, lost in conflicting emotions.
Well, he's going (indicating Goose)
and he needs someone to fly the
Skipper, you can't do this!
I didn't do it, he did it himself.
Something about a wife and kid. The
fact is, he's lost it. He knows it.
I know it. You were up there, you
know it, too.
Give him a break, Skipper. It was
raining snakes up there. He'll be
alright, soon as all the gorillas go
The Skipper stares at Goose, non-plussed for a moment.
I know some RIOS are a little
wiggy...but you abuse the
priviledge! I don't believe I'm
going to have to put the two of you
in the same cockpit...but there it
is! It may be good for the Navy. It
might be good for you, but most of
all, it's good for me. It'll get
you out of my sight.
But, Skipper, Cougar's been picked
for Top Gun...He's the best of the
Well, you'll just have to make do
with him (indicates Maverick).
Goose and Maverick exchange looks.
Mav's a great flyer but....
He's a hell of a flyer. In fact,
he's so damn good he might have
been picked for Top Gun himself.
Except for one thing. (SCREAMS) He
just can't seem to follow orders!
Stinger moves slightly, to stand now, directly in front of
Maverick and speak eye to eye at four inches.
You just did an incredibly brave thing!
What you should have done was land your
plane. You don't own that plane, the
taxpayers do. I should ream you out for
it. But it just doesn't work with you.
You're a hell of a flyer. You are maybe
...too good. You never really stepped in
it yet. So this is your chance. I'm
gonna send you up against the best. They
are better than you. Maybe they'll knock
that shine off your eagle and you'll
see, finally, where discipline and
teamwork fit it.
Maverick hasn't really heard anything but TOPGUN. He snaps out
That is all. Tell me about the MiG
some other time...
He snaps off a salute and does an about face.
He turns back.
He looks down at the wings in his hands, slowing walks over
places them gently on the Skipper's desk.
His facade cracks just slightly.
37. INT. PASSAGEWAY
Maverick and Goose push through a gauntlet of aircrews. They
have become notorious. Guys grab at them...questions...the
MiGs?..What happened up there? How close did they get? What did
the MiGs do? One word is heard over and over..."TopGun". Goose is
left behind in the crowd. Maverick pushes through. He walks
fast...faster. Up ladders, around turns, down ladders, through
passageways. Faster. He breaks into a trot, then a canter,
squeezing past enlisted men, parts lockers, then he breaks into a
38. EXT - CARRIER - NIGHT AND STORM
A hatch slams open on the side of the Carrier. He's out on a
catwalk, instantly soaked, running on rain slicked stairs
cantilevered high over the breaking seas. He plunges forward to
the bow of the ship, stands on the very peak. He is yelling
something. He stands there as the bow plunges terrifyingly into
the trough. The water rises like a green mountain, up, up to
break just a few feet below him, showering him with spray. The
noise is incredible.
Come around on his face. It is maddened. He raises his fist and
punches the night.
The foaming slope of the wave rushes up, changing color as it
Desert Sand whipping by...
39. MOJAVE DESERT - 1 WEEK LATER
A big bike, a real big bike, a turbo...rockets across the
desert. Fast. Real fast. Aviator shades low above the handlebars
--Maverick. Goose hangs on in back. It cranks faster, pulls
closer...ENGINE SCREAMING. It cranks up a notch, it's going to
explode. It can't go faster, but it does. It SCREAMS HIGHER. It
ROARS under, by and away, leaving dust...
39A. THE BIKE - STILL
Silence. Just the HISS AND POP OF METAL COOLING. Maverick sits
on it, staring out past us. Goose looks over Maverick's shoulder.
We see why. Feet come into the frame. Then the uniform:
California Highway Patrol.
40. COUNTRY ROAD - NEAR SAN DIEGO
40A. ANGLE ON MAVERICK. CHP enters the frame, the usual
hypercivil arrogance tinged with awed disbelief. The usual
questions are spaced for effect as if he might be talking to some
other form of life. Maverick is off the bike, standing at
attention. Goose follows more slowly.
Son. Do you know why
I stopped you?
Maverick has some good idea how to deal with authority.
Yes sir. I do sir
The CHP adjusts his own aviator shades.
Well... What is it?
(more than sincere)
Sir. You are going to give me a
CHP - A touch of a smile, quickly surpressed.
License and registration.
Maverick hands them over with his Navy ID. CHP scans them,
hesitates a moment over the last, looks up with a touch more
Lieutenant, do you know how fast
you were going?
Yes sir. I do, Sir.
Sir. I was going Mach point one
CHP nods sagely.
One SIXTH the speed of sound!
Lieutenant... What do you...
A long pause. Respect in the cop's eyes. He taps the Navy ID on
the handlebars...staring at this sincere young man.
Lieutenant... Is there...
a Russian attack?
No sir! But you have to be ready.
The cop nods and stares at him.
41. EXT. MIRAMAR NAVAL AIR STATION - LATER
The bike is BLURPING... barely going fast enough to stay
upright. Maverick cool in shades and campaign cap dorks past the
hanger with the sign: FIGHTERTOWN, USA. He pulls ahead. In back
of him, escorting with flashers...the CHP. They pull up at the
gate. Maverick and Goose salute the guard, hands over their ID.
The CHP gets out of his car, leans against the door.
Maverick turns to him.
Remember one thing.
Outside of this gate...
I...am Top Gun.
He salutes. The CHP returns a snappy one. He gets back in his
car and turns away. Maverick receives his ID and clearance. As he
passes through, a couple of pilots in flight suits (ICE AND
HOLLYWOOD) stare at him. The taller, dark, cool one speaks in a
dry voice, meant to be overheard.
Uh oh, police escort. This one must
be a real killer.
The second pilot grins big at them. Maverick turns slightly
stares over his shades at them as he passes. Goose grins back the
42. AERIAL COMBAT - VIETNAM ERA - F4'S, MIG 17'S - STOCK
The Doors on the soundtrack. Jets swoop, missiles fire, a plane
explodes. Gun camera views of MiGs, SAMS, flak, bombing runs...
During the Korean War, the Navy kill
ratio was twelve-to-one. We shot down
twelve of their jets for every one of
ours. In Vietnam, this ratio fell to
three-to-one. Our pilots depended on
missles. They lost their dogfighting
F-14's fighting with F-5's. Music becomes current.
Top Gun was created to teach ACM. Air
Richthofen, Guynemer, Rickenbacker,
Galland, Rudel, Bong would envy us. We
do just what they did, but we do it
beyond the speed of sound.
43. INT. DAY - TOP GUN ORIENTATION ROOM.
VIPER - A tough-looking, confident leader in a blue flight suit,
stands before a video-tape monitor. Behind him, on the monitor,
the dogfighting continues.
By the end of Vietnam we upped our
kill ratio to thirteen to one.
He turns on the lights. We see his audience in F.G.
You're here 'cause you're the top
one per cent of all naval aviators.
Sixteen young men - eight flight crews - sit at attention. They
are trim, fit and confident - high school heroes, college jocks.
You're the elite, the best of the
best. We're gonna make you better,
because you're job is damned
ANOTHER ANGLE - THE MEN
The camera moves among them. Hold on one of the men; the one who
greeted Maverick at the gate, Ice.
With the tensions in the world today, the potential for confron-
tation is greater than ever, and
carrier pilots will be the first
ones there. Air combat excellence
Ice is not looking at the speaker, but, rather, in our
direction. HOLLYWOOD, a blond, good-looking pilot, whispers
something to him, and gestures. Ice is getting the lowdown on
someone. The camera moves and we see who that someone is, as
Maverick enters the frame.
...Someone once asked me if
training men for air combat made
the world less safe--flying loaded
guns... an accidental confrontation
and so forth...
Maverick feels the stare of the other man and glances in his
direction. Their eyes meet. Ice smiles coldly.
ANGLE - VIPER
My answer is: the dangerous thing
is being unprepared. You want
trouble, that's what you get when
things don't work out, when you
can't do what you say you can. When
you don't know what you can do. And
when your opponents aren't sure
either. We are not policy. We don't
make policy. Elected officials
...civilians, do that. We are the
instrument of policy. The tip of
the spear. So we had best be sharp.
Maverick has turned to look at Ice. Ice glances back in his
direction. Maverick looks at the back of the room where guys in
blue flight suits stand. They are the instructors. They look
relaxed, poised, mean. Goose is looking up front...Where Viper
has stopped. Goose nudges Maverick.
What are you doing?
Singer, isn't it?
Turn around, pay attention. What
are you doing?
(musing to himself)
...Just wondering...(turns back)
...who is the best.
He's shocked to find Viper staring right at him, with a killer
grin on his face. He's feels caught like a naughty schoolboy.
Ya know. We'd like to know who's
best too. That's why we've got that
plaque on the wall... with the Top
Top Gun crew from each class. You
think maybe your name's gonna be on
Maverick knows he's in trouble, considers the social
alternatives, then tells him the truth.
A couple of ooo's and aahh's from the guys. The instructors
stare the challenge at him. He slides lower in his seat.
Considering the company you're in,
that's a pretty arrogant attitude.
I like that in a fighter pilot.
(couple of laughs from the guys)
It's okay to be confident. You have
to think you're King Kong to want
to try to land on carriers. Just
keep in mind the other component of
Viper gathers his notes, the lecture is over.
Viper turns back for one more thought.
Gentlemen, this is about combat.
Remember, there are no points for
second place. Dismissed.
Viper walks out. Maverick finds Goose looking at him,
quizzically. Others mill around the plaque. A big, friendly bear
of a RIO speaks.
It's not the plaque. The winner can
get assigned here as instructor. He
gets to fight every day.
They move closer to examine the names on the plaque.
44. EXT. "O" CLUB - NIGHT.
Fast cars in the driveway, fast music blares into the
night. It's Wednesday; Animal Night. Maverick, Goose
Hollywood and Wolfman walk to the entrance.
45. INT. WOXOF BAR
Loud music, low ceiling, plaques of the squadrons line the
walls. A dancer gyrates on stage, largely ignored by pilots
talking with their hands. Every pretty girl in San Diego
seems to be here. It's a noisy, rowdy place--a "steam
releaser" for people under pressure. Nevertheless, there is
a control to it all, there are none of the usual bar types,
just pilots and Naval Officers.
The Ghost Riders enter. The place is on fire: a mob of
dancers, flashing lights, blaring HARD ROCK MUSIC. Beer
flows. Pilots talk flying and hustle girls.
NEARBY - AN A7 pilot stands by the bar. He knows Goose and
speaks loudly for his benefit..
You know the Fighter Pilots motto?
It's better to be dead than to look
They grin broadly. Goose replies as they brush past.
I don't know, Frank, anybody gets
off on bombing the shit out of dirt
has got to be queer.
Goose exchanges friendly punches with the attack pilots.
Maverick's introductions and friendly barbs are drowned by the
music. Maverick is a bit reserved. He doesn't move among the
crowd as naturally as Goose does. Hollywood and Wolfman drift
away, searching for quarry. Goose orders beer. He nods toward a
TALL YOUNG MAN across the room.
Keller, Black Lion Squadron. I knew
him at Pensacola. He's damn good.
Is there anybody in the Navy you
Gotta keep track of the
Goose suddenly reaches out and grabs a guy moving past.
Slider -- they let you into Top
Gun? If you're among the best in
the Navy, I tremble for the
security of this country.
Why Goose, whose butt did you kiss
to get here?
The list is long, but
So's my Johnson.
This is Maverick.
Smiles good-naturedly, shakes hands with Mav.
So I've heard.
Who's your pilot?
No shit. The Iceman....
Mister to you.
You think you can stay up with us.
I think, yeah, we'll show you a
thing or two.
This is Evan Mitchell, he steers
So I heard. Steers it pretty close.
Sorry to hear about Cougar. He was
a good man.
Yeah. That's what I meant.
Suddenly, behind them, a flame shoots up. Someone ducks his head
and swallows it. The pilot sets an empty glass on the bar.
What was that?
Flaming Hooker. Sort of an
institution around here. Or maybe
this is the institution, I forget
which. It's the house drink. It'll
warm the cockles of your heart ...
and other things depending on where
you spill it.
He motions to the barmaid and she moves over, sets them up.
GOOSE holds a demitasse glass. The barmaid pours Drambuie. They
look at Goose apprehensively. Goose looks at nearby flyers in
You can't show fear in front of
Marines...They're like Doberman's
they'll go for your throat, it's
He takes out match and lights it. Maverick holds his arm.
You ever done this before?
What, been drunk? Sure! Plenty!
He downs it all in one gulp, slaps the glass on the bar, still
aflame. He stands there, blinking.
How was it?
Could use a dash more jet fuel.
The others are duly impressed. Maverick's gaze falls on Ice
watching from the end of the bar - Slider takes one, Maverick
takes one too, downs it in a gulp. Sundown, taking up the
challenge, motions for one. The barmaid pours it.
Careful, don't make an ash of
He tries to drink the flaming concoction. He tries to go for a
sip, but it's too close to his face, he tries to tilt the flame
away, but that doesn't work. Finally he goes for the gulp. He
burns his lip and misses. He sets his hair on fire. It goes up
in a WHOOOSH!!
Mayday! Down in flames!
He throws a beer in Sundown's face, quenching the fire. Sundown
blinks through the beer.
Thanks, I needed that.
You guys are not only crazy, you're
Ice comes up from the end of the bar. He motions the Barmaid for
another; it comes. Goose lights it. He gulps it down, cool as
He walks away. Slider goes after him.
Who is that guy?
No shit! That why they call him Ice?
Nope. It's the way he flies - Ice cold.
No mistakes. Wears you down. After
enough time, you just get bored and
frustrated, you do something stupid, and
he's got you.
Maverick moves in Ice's direction. He passes Wolfman dancing
with a girl with bright purple fingernails.
ANGLE - DANCEFLOOR.
Why do you all have such funny
You gotta have a call sign that's
just your own...never changes...you
have to recognize it immediately.
Then, if someone shouts "Wolf,
break left!"..you react right away.
Why do they call you Wolf?
Oh, I don't know.
Goose comes up with his arm around a girl.
Hey Mav, this is Sally. She doesn't
believe a word I say. Tell her I'm
married, will you?
Yeah, he's married--but then again,
he,s not dead.
Sally laughs and tries to pull Goose back toward the dance
floor. Something in Maverick's eyes makes him hang back with his
ANGLE - THE DANCE FLOOR - DANCERS
Could I get a call sign?
Well, I don't know. That depends.
Well, it doesn't just happen, you
gotta do something famous.
Oh...I'll think of something.
Maverick smiles at this, but seems on edge... He watches a few
pretty girls enter and eye the pilots in their flight suits, then
turns and walks up to Ice, who sits, drinking with Slider.
Maverick walks over to him. Ice notices Slider's attention going
to Maverick. He turns and grins at him.
Figured it out yet?
Figured out what?
Who is the best.
Need a hint?
I think I can work it out on my
You like to work alone. I've heard
that about you.
I've heard of you, too. You were in
124 with Bargamian.
And you were with Cougar. He was my
roommate in flight school.
He's a good man.
You must have soloed under a lucky
star. First the MiG, then you slide
into Cougar's place.
It's not Cougar's place. It's ours.
What do you think it was? Was it
that MiG contact that did it?
Got you here.
We're here because we're the best
flyers in the wing. Not because of
some MiG encounter.
What luck! Guys fly their whole
career without seeing a MiG up
You mean notorious.
Something in the way he says it. It's not quite a joke, more an
insult. Maverick's about to take the whole conversation too far
when something...someone catches his eye. She catches quite a few
eyes in this room. She is very pretty and she's walking in on the
arm of a Commander. Maverick turns back, but the moment has
passed. Ice dismisses him with a nod and weak smile. Goose pulls
What do these guys think, I made
Pay no attention to it. They're
just trying to rattle you. It's all
psychological. Sit down..and drink.
He deposits Maverick at a chair by a table where other pilots
cluster watching and listening to Bugs shoot down his wristwatch.
We were just really diving down and by
then we were right over downtown
Haiphong. It was some great shit. Jack
says, "What are you doing?" "What, what
am I doing, Jack?" He says, "What are
you doing?" I said, "I'm rolling in,
Jack." "Bugs, we're at thirty-two
hundred feet. Oh shit, we were like
zooom... So we scraped down at hundred
feet right over--downtown Hanoi! Oh
shit, goddamn it! And blowing down the
river. And so once we were there we let
down to about fifty feet just going down
the river and Jack says... "Bugs...
don't ever do that again!" "Okay, right,
Jack, I'll never do that again!"
Maverick pays little or no attention. He broods and drinks.
Suddenly, Hollywood nudges him, he turns.
What, what is it?
Target passing. Check your six.
Never mind mine. Check hers.
They turn. Long legs, great ass, beautiful.
Her six is a ten! Uh oh, a turn to
HIS POV - ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM
Maverick sees a stranger, and somehow he knows, he knows even
then. Wolfman turns, sees her walking too.
Bogey...9 o'clock level.
Nine thirty. Bogey? You presume
Well, we should contact and check
She has turned toward them. She passes by. They start to make a
move for her. But just then she finds her date at the bar; a
distinguished man with Captain's stripes. Their smiles freeze and
they slide back in their chairs. Maverick can't stop looking at
her...After a while, the intensity of his gaze draws her
attention. She feels him. She is nodding and smiling to her date,
but her eyes scan the room like radar. A warning tone goes off in
his brain dolu dolu dolu as they lock on him. He feels that
thrill of excitement and fear you get when you know you're
targeted in someone's scope. Her eyes hold on him for a long
moment...long enough, and then sweep by the rest of the room. She
turns her attention back to the Captain and laughs at something
Over in a corner, Goose chats up a couple of San Diego girls.
The family unit -- that's the most
important thing. It's the only
thing you can count on. I'm married
--did I tell you that?
Four times. We don't believe you.
I've been married since I was
eighteen. Why don't you believe me?
Because you don't look married.
You're not even wearing a ring.
I take it off when I'm chasing
women. It's the only honorable
thing to do.
ANGLE - MAVERICK
He's half listening to Bugs rattle on. His eyes are drawn back
to the woman. He tries not to stare. She seems to know a lot of
people in the club. He looks away. Hollywood is chatting up a
girl with a sincerity that cannot be taught. His line is just as
polished as his appearance.
You don't think about death up
there, but you think a lot about
the danger. One mistake and you're
a smoking hole in the ground.
I never knew it was so dangerous.
Oh yeah, it makes everything down
here more meaningful. You feel a
certain intensity of life, and you
want to grab onto every moment.
Maverick looks up at the bar again. A shock. She (Charlie) is
staring right at him, intensely, as her date whispers something
in her ear. She notices him, staring back, quickly looks away,
embarrassed. She says something to the man. He nods and turns
away as someone else grabs his attention. The woman, now wouldn't
look this way for anything. She picks up her purse from the bar
and walks through the crowd and out of the room. Impulsively,
Maverick's up, he follows.
46. INT. HALLWAY - OUTSIDE THE BAR
He breaks out, looks around, doesn't see her. Someone disappears
around a corner. He moves after.
CORNER - A door slams shut. Impulsively, before he realizes what
he is doing, he's through it.
47. WOMEN'S ROOM.
A feminine GASP! He should have looked at the sign on the door.
The realization of where he is hits him too late. She is standing
by the mirror, with her make-up out, looking back at him. He's
not quite sure what to do. A hasty retreat would be appropriate,
if embarrassing. Ah, what the hell, he is a fighter pilot! He
just walks right over to her...no idea what he will say. She's
got her lipstick out, twisting it. She looks over at him with an
Long cruise, was it?
She leans over the sink, puts on lipstick, sees his eyes cover
Anything I can do to help, Lieutenant?
Lots of things.
She laughs. He is sort of attractive, but there are other girls
in the room, she doesn't want to be too encouraging...She tries
not to grin at his embarrassment.
Uhhh...Anything I can do for you?
She laughs again, doesn't know what it is...could be chemical,
but she's instinctively attracted.
Yeah. Hold this. It might be safer.
She hands him a makeup mirror. Starts redoing her lipstick. He
just stares at her...She looks up at him, than back to her
warpaint. Finally, when it comes, it is cool and amused.
Now I know why all the girls come
here. They know how horny you guys
get. But this...is ridiculous.
It's not that.
Mock anger. She's toying with him.
Well, it is. It is that, too.
That's a big comfort to me.
I could be, too.
Save you from a big mistake with
that other guy.
And on to a bigger one with you?
Yeah, most likely.
Was there ever a girl who didn't
like fighter pilots?
I heard of one once.
She laughs again, shakes her head...another cowboy! She gently
takes the compact out of his hands, snaps it closed.
I'm really flattered, Lieutenant,
but I don't go out with pilots.
Then what are you doing here?
Three pretty blondes enter and look at Maverick quizzically but
not without interest.
I think the question is...what are
She tries to keep a straight face as she walks out of the room.
The other girls look at him expectantly. A beat. He just
stands there, then realizes he's holding her lipstick.
Hi. I'm here to talk about a new
concept in cosmetics...
47A. WOXOF BAR. She returns, spots the Captain, motioning to
her. Maverick enters, goes to the other end of the bar. He
orders a drink. It comes. He drinks it, pays for it, moves off
toward the door. Someone backs into his path, he moves quickly
and bumps into someone else; her.
She sees it's him.
My fault. Should have watched
where I was going.
Her hand goes to his collar. She adjusts his insignia. She
Where's your wing man? Who's
watching your six?
Uh, nobody, I guess.
One final adjustment.
She breaks the spell abruptly, turns away.
See you around.
Maverick finds his voice.
Can I walk you out?She turns back to him, a smile.
I'm with someone.
48. EXT. "O" CLUB - LATER THAT NIGHT
From a car in the parking lot, we see Charlie and the Captain
leave the club. They walk directly toward us and stop. She turns,
says something polite...a peck on the cheek. He turns away. A
dome light briefly illuminates the interior of the car as a door
opens. It rocks slightly as someone gets in. Charlie turns back
and walks over, taking her keys out. She opens the door to the
car and gets in.
48A. EXT. CAR - NIGHT
She starts the car and pulls away. Suddenly, a figure sits up in
I thought he'd never leave.
Startled, she nearly drives off the road. She turns to him,
You! What are you doing here?
Everybody's got to be somewhere.
What if Captain Dawson had come
It would have been really
How did you know this was my car?
Simple deduction. It's fast. It's
pretty. Sleek and stylish...It's
your color...matches your lipstick.
And I asked someone.
You think you're pretty smart.
I think I'm in love.
49. EXT. GUARD GATE
She pulls up at the guard gate, a MARINE CORPORAL is on duty. He
sees the pretty girl pull up and stop, leans over helpfully.
Can I help you, Ma'am?
She smiles even more sweetly.
I don't know, Corporal. Can you do
anything about this lunatic?
The car door swings open. Maverick gets out. The car roars away.
He stands in the glare of the spotlight...rocking on his heels,
looking across at the guard, who snaps to attention and stares
holes in his chest.
50. INT. TOP GUN - NEXT MORNING.
Two guys in flight suits run down stairs past stencils of MiG
kills on walls, then down corridor.
Not so fast...my head.
They skid to stop outside a door.
51. INT. HANGAR
Ground crews work on planes in B.G. Jester in middle of lecture.
Door bursts open. Sundown and Flex skid to a halt when they see
whole class looking at them.
Who are you?
Yeah, right. You're late.
Viper breaks in, indicating Flex.
And who are you?
Flex...? You don't look like Flex
to me. You call that muscle?
Doesn't look like muscle. Looks
They laugh. Even Sundown has to laugh, scratching his chest.
What're you laughing at? You're
Don't make an issue of it, it'll
It'll stick anyway.
Viper turns away...
Now to continue. In this class we
will be dealing with F-5's and
A4's, as our MiG simulators.
Technically the F-5 does not have
the thrust to weight ratio of the
MiG-21--it also does not bleed
energy below 300 knots like the
MiG-21 does. The A4 does not turn
as well as the MiG-17 but has
significantly better visibility.
Maverick looks back to his notes. SFX footsteps...door
opening. Viper looks up to back of room door.
Hi, Charlie. Good, our TAGREF's
here. Charlie's the most qualified
to get into P subs and curves, and
Maverick turns to see the TAGREF walk forward. Maverick
stares at her as she passes without acknowledging him. He is
Charlotte Blackwood--code name Charlie--
not your ordinary TAGREF. Charlie has
her Ph.D. in astrophysics--she's a
civilian contractor so you don't salute
her...or anything else. Is that clear?
She walks to the front and starts her presentation. She
talks about something very technical, arcane. MiG tactics,
technology. As the briefing rattles on, Maverick reacts to
her. Goose glances over at him. He, too, recognizes the girl.
He looks at his partner. Maverick feels his stare.
Hello, I think I have some new data for
you...Now a MiG 21 has a problem with
the inverted flight tanks. It won't do a
Negative G push over. Even below one G,
they risk a flame out. Operationally,
they will do a zero to one G only.
A snicker from the audience. She hesitates momentarily, goes
The latest intelligence shows that
the most they will do in operation
is one....is there something wrong,
I don't think you're altogether
right...about the MiG, that is.
She stops--some of the pilots look at him. Viper glares.
I beg your pardon.
No, I beg yours. But I don't think
you're right on that.
I saw one.
You saw a MiG 21?
I saw a MiG do a 4 G negative dive.
(She doesn't believe him)
Where did you see that?
Nervous buzz in the room. Viper goes rigid. Charlie can't
It's classified. Like Hollywood
says, I could tell you, but then
I'd have to kill you.
Pork stifles a laugh, the others chuckle. Viper is
She stops Viper with a glance.
It's all right.
She can handle it. She is very cool, not overbearing. She
says it calmly. She doesn't want to embarrass him any more
than he is, but she has to get the facts straight.
Lieutenant, I have a top secret
clearance. The Pentagon sees to it
that I know more than you.
Not in this case.
You saw a MiG push negative 4G?
Where were you?
On his six.
Little stifled laughs.
He was in a 4G Negative dive and
you were on his six?
Yes, ma'am, At first. Then I was
directly above him.
She stares at him for a moment, then she has him. She goes
for the kill.
If you were directly above him, how
did you see him?
I was inverted.
A real buzz in the room. Ice laughs audibly.
You were in a 4G inverted dive with
a MiG 21? (She can't believe it.)
At what range ?
Chuckles, barely suppressed. Goose pipes up to deflect
One and a half, actually. I got a
What were you doing there?
Giving him the bird.
Open laughter. She thinks it's at her. She grows red.
You know. The finger.
He shows her, but she can handle this.
So you're the reason those
SALT talks failed.
The room breaks into laughter. At him. Now he grows red.
Goose puts his hand on Maverick's arm, shakes his head as if
to say: "Let it go, pal, she got you".
She looks at Viper. He doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.
He knows there's something here he doesn't control.
It's just like he says, sir.
I don't care!
51A. CORRIDOR - OUTSIDE LECTURE HALL
She walks away. He runs up and stops her.
Why didn't you tell me you were a
She studies him coolly for a moment, like a specimen.
It never came up.
You let me make a fool of myself.
You seemed determined to do that
anyway.. Why didn't you tell me you
were a famous MiG insulter?
Would it have made a difference?
You know, I'm assigned to this
school. I see sixteen new hotshots
every eight weeks. Your attention
is flattering, but not really
productive. Why don't you keep your
mind on flying.
She reaches over and aligns his collar insignia.
Why can't you keep this straight?
She smiles at him and walks away. Maverick turns, sees the
others sizing him up. Most of them grin. Maverick moves down
the corridor past the CO's Office. Viper leans against the
doorsill. He lights a pipe, laconically eyes Maverick. His
tone gives away nothing, like an ELINT probe eliciting a
Maverick... Where'd you get that
Ahhh... Runs in the family, sir.
You're father was Marvin Mitchell..
A good man. Good flyer.
Viper turns away.
Yes sir. Thank you sir.
Maverick watches him for a beat, he's been tested, but he's
not sure how or why. He turns to catch up with Goose and the
EXT. SKY - LATER
At twenty-eight thousand feet, the two planes circle each
other, going in opposite directions. As they jockey for
position, they snap past each other like ends of bullwhips.
The earth spins, the horizon appears and disappears. With
each hard turn, Maverick and Goose can be heard "grunting" to
keep blood in their brains, to keep from passing out.
The fight is hard, physical, and exhausting. The extreme G
forces--6.5--flatten them against their seats, causing their
heads to weigh over one hundred pounds. Maverick strains to
turn his head and track the other jet as it streaks past at
I've lost him -- where is he?
On your six -- coming hard. Four
hundred. Losing airspeed! He's on
your six and closing fast!
Hard left! HARD LEFT!
Maverick jerks the stick left, and the F-14 takes an
astonishing turn. Jester ROARS past into a wide arc.
Great move. Great
He should've had me.
Take it down. Let's bug out of
here. Call for a draw.
No way. I'll nail him this time.
THE PLANE EXPLODES INTO AFTERBURNER - rocketing toward
space. Jester is left in direct line with the sun, and his
canopy is sprayed with a blinding glare. Going ballistic is
dangerous. The plane flys like a bullet, obeying the laws of
physics, not the pilot's touch on control surfaces. The
ballistic call warns other aircraft that he is, for the
moment, out of control.
He's blind -- you got him!
NO JOY! NO JOY! WHERE ARE YOU?
I'VE LOST SIGHT.
He's out of energy! You got
The F-14 peels over the egg, in a backward dive. It rockets
down the outside, gaining energy. Over the ROAR of jets, the
SCREAM of the wind, Goose shouts data, but it is muffled, a
distant voice in a typhoon. Through the canopy, we see
Jester, and he hangs in the air like a sparrow in the path of
PILOT'S POV - HUD in windscreen - a diamond in a box.
Maverick lines up the diamond with Jester, and we hear the
high pitched tone BEEPING.
WE'RE BELOW THE HARD DECK. FIGHT'S
He's right. We're at ten thousand.
No way. I got you, sucker. You're
Jester maneuvers, but Maverick keeps him in the gunsight.
The BEEPING is louder, faster.
In the envelope. FOX TWO MISSILE
SHOT. YOU'RE GONE, JESTER, DEAD!
Goddamn! We beat him!
There is an edge of anger in Jester's voice.
ROGER FOX TWO. GET YOUR BUTTS ABOVE
THE HARD DECK. RETURN TO BASE
They are brought up short for a moment, then the thrill of
victory gets the best of them. Goose lets out a war whoop.
The F-14 sweeps up, rolls into an Immelman..
We did it!
Look, Ma, top of the world!
52A. EXT. MIRAMAR - LANDING PATTERN.
Maverick's Tomcat breaks hard and high, rolls over on its
side, wings perpendicular to the ground. Goose sees the world
Ahhh...A little high on the left,
don't you think?
He aileron rolls another quarter turn. Inverted, they pass
right down the runway. Goose looks out and insouciantly
watches the world go by at 300 knots, upside down.
Right. Much better. ...Ahhh...what
do you call this?
It's a victory roll.
I wouldn't call it victory. It's
more like...self immolation.
52B. INT. CONTROL TOWER
Controllers work. Officers watch the landing activity. One
old salt, turns from the coffee machine, a cup of steaming
Java microns from his lips. A ROAR. VABOOM! The Tomcat roars
over. He yelps as hot coffee flys all over his shirt.
EXT. MAVERICK'S F-14
They complete the roll, bank left, zoom right by the tower,
level with the observation window.
52D. F-14'S POV. Controllers look out at the F-14, mouths
52E. ANGLE GOOSE
He waves jauntily.
Hi...Hi there. How ya doing in
there? Mav... Ahhh...you know, at
one point I did want a Navy career.
Come on, relax...
You see all those guys with gold on
their shoulders!!?... Oh, no, I
think that was Johnson, Air Boss of
the Kitty Hawk!
Come on, we beat an instructor. How
many times in your life do you get
to do a victory roll?
Just once, if they take your plane
They roll out, break over the runway.
52F. EXT. FLIGHTLINE.
Maverick and Goose walk by parking Tomcats...Ice is
unstrapping, Slider is climbing down. Ice looks at Maverick,
says one word.
Maverick keeps walking...Goose hangs back.
Nice. Always a good idea to show up
He nods toward Jester, glaring at them from his A4. Goose
indicates the backseat of the Tomcat.
Hey, see any controls back there?
(thinks about team loyalty,
reacts to Jester's glare...)
And anyway...we beat the Son of a
He turns and runs to catch up with Maverick.
53. INT. LOCKER ROOM - DAY
Pilots half undressed. Maverick and Goose enter the room,
carrying their helmets. The students look up at them, and
Goose suddenly flashes a thumb's up sign with a grin. The
students react with clenched fists, ad libs, high fives,
"Oooo" -- they all go "ooo" and laugh.
No, we...got our butts kicked.
Thirty seconds. That's all it took
to blow us out of the sky.
We went like this, he went like
that. I say to Hollywood: Where'd
he go? Hollywood says: where'd who
And he's laughing. Right over the
radio, He's laughing at us.
Attention turns to the doorway as Ice and Slider enter. Ice
gives a brief dramatic pause, then flashes thumbs up and
smiles. The students celebrate Ice's win. Ice handles the
attention with the easy composure of one who is used to it.
Maverick ignores him and begins to peel out of his G-suit.
Ice moves toward his locker.
Maverick and Goose won too.
Ice talks into his locker.
That's not what I heard.
Ice turns back, stares them down, then turns back into his
locker, dismissing them.
Below the hard deck doesn't count.
You guys are the second team,
Maverick gets up, moves to him, starts to say something,
when Jester, breaks into the room.
Maverick, Goose. Viper's office. Now!
53A. INT. TOPGUN CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CO'S OFFICE.
SCREAMING AND YELLING. A lot of screaming and yelling,
muffled by the door.
53B. INT. ANTEROOM.
Enlisted Yeomen and Chiefs go about their clerical duties in
acute embarrassment mixed with curiousity. Behind the CO'S door,
someone is screaming his head off.
BOOM! The door bursts open. A big, brawling Officer - Johnson,
the Air Boss - blasts out, nearly smashing into a female petty
officer. She almost spills her coffee. Johnson looks right and
left in fury too strong for words. He looks like he wants to
smash something. They move out of his way, but he justs blasts
through the door and disappears down the hall.
The enlisted men turn to Viper's office.
53D THEIR POV
Jester stands inside stonefaced. Maverick and Goose are
rigid. Viper...with excess calm deliberation, softly walks
over, grasps the doornob. He glances in this direction. The
glance is totally without expression, and even scarier for
53D. ANGLE ENLISTED (MEN)
In a flash, each man finds something totally engrossing in
his work, or something terribly important to do elsewhere.
Slowly, steadily, Viper swings his door closed.54. INT.
He moves over to face Maverick. There is a SILENCE like
after a train wreck; nothing but the POPPING of sprung metal
and the low GASP of escaping steam. Viper speaks quietly,
like a funeral director consoling the living. Makes you want
Well....That about covers the
Jester almost breaks into a grin.
Now...in addition...you broke two
major rules of engagement. And...
That's ...not good.
Maverick gives no response. Viper continues.
Lieutenant Candela lost sight of
you, and called "no joy". You
failed to respond.
He stops and looks at Maverick... A beat. Maverick finally
Maverick is exhausted. It's been a long, rough day. His
voice is a horse whisper.
I had him in view. I was peeling
over the egg, into a dive. He saw
me when I moved in for the kill.
There wasn't any danger...
Is that how you remember it?
Yes, sir. By the time we could
respond, we were diving right into
Viper is not satisfied with the answer, but he moves on.
The hard deck for this hop was ten
thousand feet. Jester, at what
point did you call off the fight?
Just below ten thousand.
But you continued to fight.
Another pause, another grudging nod.
We weren't below for more than ten
seconds. There was no danger. I had
the shot. I took it.
The rules of engagement are not
flexible. They exist for your
safety. You will obey them.
Is that clear?
Maverick thinks about continuing the discussion, but the
thought is momentary. He quickly cuts his losses, gives Viper
what he thinks he wants...He is just on the cusp of too
Yes sir, perfectly clear. I guess
we were ...I was... just a little
Viper measures him for a moment, then lets it go.
I guess you were. Dismissed.
Maverick and Goose leave the room. Viper looks at Jester,
picks up Maverick's fitness report. Doesn't read it, looks
back at Jester.
I don't know what to tell you,
Tell me one thing.
...If you had to go into combat,
would you want him with you?
Jester turns, walks slowly around the room. The walls are
lined with pictures; planes and pilots...history. There are
MiG killers, attack squadrons, ground personnel...There's one
picture of a Phantom in flight with the backseater mooning
the camera. Other pictures show carriers, famous flyers,
previous CO's. Finally Jester replys.
Viper slaps shut the fitness report.
He's seat of the pants...
Completely unpredictable -- nothing
by the book. All over the sky. But
I don't know, Skip, he's really got
Yeah, we get one of these guys
every damn class. (laughs)
He throws the report on the desk.
Yup, a wild pony.
56. INT. COCKPIT - NIGHT
Wind ROAR, jet WHINE. Hollywood and Wolfman are being thrown
about as Hollywood fights the stick.
No. No. Look out, you lost it.
They depart flight. Tumble. The horizon swings wildly as
they go into flat spin.
A face appears at 12,000 feet, right in front of their
canopy. Goose's eyes bug at them.
Man, you guys gooned it. Your laser
butts are scattered across KANSAS.
(disgusted with himself)
Come on. I died enough for one
56A. EXT. COCKPIT
They climb out of the simulator - A cockpit sprung on
moveable rams, surrounded by a dome on which video images are
As they climb down, Maverick and Goose climb up into the
cockpit to take their place.
Have you guys ever considered
56B. SIMULATOR CONTROL ROOM - Filled with computers, tape
transports and video screen representations of computer
generated combat. Now Maverick flies it as Charlie and other
Maverick flys the heck out of it. It's real. It lurches and
bumps, the NOISES and sights look real. He gets on the tail
of a MiG. It breaks, he breaks, then what he does is just too
fast to follow. It screams around in a turn. Suddenly, there
is a WHUMMP...ALARMS...the lights come on.
TECH (V.O. FILTERED)
What did you do in there?
What did you do? You broke it!
58. COMPUTER ANALYSIS ROOM
Maverick and Goose enter. The techs cluster around the
keyboards trying to reprogram, to figure out what went wrong.
You flew it off the template.
Nobody ever did that before.
That's what she said last night.
She stares at Goose until he grins and moves off to give the
others his valuable opinions on how to reprogram the
What is it about you?
He just shrugs at her and smiles.
What would you say, too fast...too
And far too aggressive.
It is combat. Every second counts.
The hottest moves in the world
aren't gonna help you if you wind
up alone. Your wingman's got to be
able to follow you. Trust you. Know
that he can depend on you. It's
more than just fancy flying.
Well, what you need...what you have
to keep looking for...what you want
to get is a wingman who can stay up
with you. Who can match you move
for move. Then you've got
something. I'm sorry.
That stuff about the MiG. I was out
Is that all?
What else do you want?
There you go with those moves
I don't mix with the boys. I work
here. Let's keep it professional.
Yes. I'll give you that!
Give me a break, I'm asking you
I thought there was something...
That night in the club...
Evan... or Maverick.
Maverick...you know the rules of
(can't believe it.)
Some one comes up hot on your six,
what do you do?
What are you talking about?
You turn into him, check him out,
identify friend or foe.
I'm not your foe.
And if he's harmless, you
What if he's not?
You have to shoot him down....If
he's smart, he'll turn away before
Harmless. Nobody ever called me
And probably never again. It's
nothing personal. It's just...I
know a lot of pilots. Maybe I'm
Don't worry, I'm a new strain. And
I don't give up. Everything I've
ever wanted I've had to work like
hell for. Well, how about it?
How about what?
How about anything, anything you
want to do.
Hard to argue with that, isn't
A date... Coffee... A drink...A
walk in the park.
What about the plane?
Most of them invite me to sit in
the cockpit...play with the levers
Well, get used to it.
Used to what?
I'm starting to sense that now.
You're slow to engage. But you'll
She pushes him out the door
Let's make it at eight.
Okay, anything. Just...go. I've
She closes the door, turns back to her screen.
59 thru 61 OMITTED
59A. BEACH LA JOLLA - DAY
A day off. Pilots, other personnel are enjoying a day at the
beach. There are bikinis, and beer, sunfishes and water
skiing. The annual Over-the-Line (a variation of softball)
tournament is in progress. The team from the Teddy Kennedy
Driving School is whipping another known as Scum de Terre.
The pilots are doing pretty well at blowing off steam.
Undulating sea grass. Muffled HISS of the surf. A pretty
fish comes into view. A spear shoots through it, and nails it
to the ocean floor.
Two figures pop to the surface and wade in to the beach.
Maverick holds the wriggling fish. Charlie is repulsed. She
pulls off her mask and snorkle, follows him in to shore..
59D. THE BEACH
They flop down. He drops the fish in front of her, sees her
reaction at watching its death throes.
Why'd you do that?
I had the shot.
She looks at him for a moment, then turns away, fiddles with
It dies. We live.
You're an animal.
That's true. What are you?
I don't enjoy watching things
He smashes the fish on a rock. It is still.
It's not suffering anymore.
(she looks at him strangely,
You're not, cause you eat frozen
meatballs? (he puts it down)
Things die. Every time you breathe,
you kill millions of tiny
organisms. Every time you eat,
something had to die.
You don't have to kill it.
Somebody does. It's more honest
this way. You do your own dirty
You ever think about killing
another human being?
About as much as they think about
Does it bother you?
They know the rules...(this is too
strong for her, she turns away, he
comes around to her.) That's the
deal. That's why you're up there.
It's him or me. That's the price of
admission. (she draws away) It
bothers you, why? You're part of
it. (She stiffens, he's losing her.
He softens) Everybody dies. Most
people don't get to die for
You don't want to confront it, do
you. You want to keep it all clean,
cerebral... velocity vectors,
wing-load diagrams...You ever been
You use your mind to keep things at
a distance. You ever just let go?
She doesn't answer.
You know what really scares me?
Living too long. Losing my hair and
my teeth...and my guts and my wind.
And my brains...Sitting in a room
with my hands in my lap, watching
You don't believe any of this. You
don't think you'll ever die.
That's it, of course. When I'm up
there and doing it, I'm cheating it
every second. I'm subverting all
skating the edge of it.
What he said..."There's nothing so
exhilarating as being shot at
All you've got is one life. I guess
it's worth about the same to every
body. You ever see an old woman
after her husband has died? And the
meaningless years of decline
stretch ahead... When you're in
the air and doing something really
dangerous, you can look ahead...
maybe ten seconds. That's your
whole future. That's as far as it
goes. But imagine what those
seconds are worth.
What if you kill yourself? Think of
everything you'll miss.
There is lots of stuff I don't know
about... Fine wine... great art...
the opera. I guess if I live long
enough, I'll get to it. If I don't,
I'll never miss it.
Are you really that brave?
(shakes his head no.)
I watched my mother die. Cancer.
She had a long time to think about
it. They say you reach an agreement
with death. Come to accept the fact
that pretty soon you won't be here.
I didn't see that. She... was very
brave...braver than I am. You go up
there, there isn't time to think.
If you make a mistake, you're just
a smudge on the ground. Simplifies
It's just as I thought.
You're totally insane.
Thanks very much.
(he lifts the fish)
Care for some suchi?.
59E. THE OTHER END OF THE BEACH - LATER
A killer volleyball game in progress. Maverick and Charlie
wander toward it, talking softly to themselves. Goose runs up
and grabs him away.
Come on, we're next.
Come on, I got over six bucks on
Maverick looks up and sees the other two-man team, the
victors, waiting on the other side of the net for them. Of
course it had to be Ice and Slider.Charlie sits and watches
as the game gets immediately out of hand. In moments,
Maverick and Ice rotate to forward positions directly
opposite each other across the net. Other revelers turn to
watch as it degenerates (?) to more than a game. Maverick
glances at Charlie. He seems uncomfortable, but irrevocably
drawn into the confrontation. She says nothing, but her
attitude is apparent. Back to the game: Slider and Goose set
them up, as they try to spike the ball in each other's face.
The final point...up over the middle. They both go up,
Maverick smashes, Ice blocks, but the ball sails away, off
his forearm. For the first time ever, Maverick beats him. He
looks over at Charlie, she is staring out to sea. She looks
back at him and he's suddenly had enough competition. They
call for another game, but Maverick turns away...
Come on, come on! It's double or
nothing.. We're talking twelve
bucks American, here.
I've had enough...for now.
He grabs Charlie and his gear..
You want to go ballistic?
I don't know. I don't like being
out of control.
He looks back at Ice, bouncing the ball and staring at him.
Stick with me, you'll get used to it.
59F. EXT. DESERT
The Bike doing 130, 140, 150 mph. Charlie is unfazed. He
turns to check her out, she smiles back at him.
59G. EXT. RUSTIC ADOBE CANTINA - SUNSET
The bike is parked in front.
MONTAGE ON LOCKED OFF CAMERA - to show the passage of time...the
latticed terrace, streaks of light. Maverick is feeding a dog.
Charlie sits on a rail watching him.
I always wanted to fly... ever
since I first saw a jet. I wanted
to fly jets, then I wanted F-14's,
then I wanted to fly off carriers,
then I wanted Top Gun.
And now I want you.
You always get what you want?
I don't know yet.
He puts money in jukebox. She watches him...eye to eye
contact. The music comes on.
I want it understood.
No fooling on base, no signs,
no comments, no talk. By anyone.
I'm a professional. You guys are
in my line of work.
A long beat. He looks at her -- makes the pact: like a
She looks at his eyes for any sign of a put-on, insincerity.
Finally he smiles at her but she can read it. It's time. She
moves in and covers his grin with a gentle kiss.
To them sitting within striking distance at a table. The dog
sleeps beneath. Their eyes are now locked. The electricity
almost arcs between them.
TCU Scrub pine table. Their fingertips touch.
TIGHT SHOT. Waist to head. Holding, close together, swaying
in time with the music. Their lips gently brush.
60. 61. OMITTED
62. EXT. DAY - DESERT - TACTS RANGE
An F-14 swoops over the desert, ROARS over an antenna
The JET.- In it's missile rack, it carries a TACTS
transponder. The TACTS Range is an area of the desert
completely enveloped by computerized radar. The computers
calculate a number of aircraft's positions and velocities by
means of transponders in the ships and ground stations that
talk to each other thousands of times a second. Using this
system, it is possible to track aerial combat instantaneously
and give pilots directions and also to play back the combats
63. INT. TACTS RANGE TRAILER - DAY
The double viewing screens are five feet high; high
technology, state of the art. On the screens are computer
animated figures showing jets from various angles. Flight
data is displayed. The operators punch buttons to show
various points-of-view of the battle: a pilot's p.o.v.; God's
p.o.v. from overhead, a long range p.o.v., showing topography
of the landscape and height of mountains.
Students and instructors sit on chairs in the peanut
gallery, facing Viper at the front of the room. Charlie is in
The bandit has good position right
here. All right, freeze here. The
moment of choice -- Maverick is
defensive. He has a chance to bug
out right here....Better to retire
and save your plane than force a
bad position. Stay in the diamond
another three seconds, the bandit
will blow you out of the sky...make
a hard right, select zone
5...(turns to Maverick to drive
point home) you can extend and
escape. You make a bad choice. Roll
The computerized rendering resumes on the screen.
You perform a split S. That's the
last thing you should do. The
bandit is right on your tail --
Freeze there...the bandit has you
in his gunsight. What were you
thinking here, Maverick?
I wasn't thinking. I just did it.
Big gamble with a thirty million
No guts, no glory.
It's a joke. Viper doesn't like that answer at all, but some
of the students laugh and mockingly whistle at the cockiness
of it. They give Maverick the high sign. Slider leans forward
Your guts. His glory.
Maverick slumps down in his chair under Viper's glare. The
computer rendering rolls forward again. He glances back at
Charlie. She smiles sympathetically at him.
Unfortunately, the gamble worked,
or you might have learned
something. The bandit never gets a
clean shot...Maverick makes an
aggressive vertical move here,
comes over the top and defeats the
bandit with a missile shot. The
encounter was a victory, but we've
shown it as an example of what not
to do. Ice is next.
Another computerized rendering comes up on the screen.
Hollywood leans close to Maverick and speaks quietly.
Gutsiest move I ever saw.
Maverick gives him a small nod of appreciation.
And the dumbest...Okay, look at
this. It's textbook. Ice takes
control of the battle immediately.
He never gives the bandit a chance
to take the offensive. An early
turn here -- excellent. He goes for
the jugular, and it's over just
that quick. Let's run that again,
it's exactly how it should be done.
64. through 75B. OMITTED
76. EXT. MIRAMAR RUNWAY - DAY
In full flight gear, carrying their helmets and trying to
stuff food down their gullets, the students rush/stumble
toward the flight line. Hollywood takes a bit of a sandwich
and makes a face.
What the hell is this?
Don't chew it, you won't have it
that long. Easier to clean the
cockpit if it comes up in big
Jester yells from the distance.
On the run. Let's go. Move it!
A fighter pilot's lunch... a hot
dog and a puke.
They scurry ahead, overtaking the others.
I was a victim of circumstance.
They should have warned you about
She's kinky for flight suits--said
that she'd never seen so many
zippers--played with them all
night. The noise alone kept me up.
What'd you do?
Pulled left, rolled out,
It's kind of ironic. All you guys
have women troubles and I don't.
That's because you don't have any
Until last night. Did you see the
moves I was making on that girl at
The girl with the purple
That's her--tall hungry woman with
fire in her eyes. It was great.
It was bad.
The girl with the purple
fingernails was Coogan's sister.
They all laugh. Wolfman looks stunned.
Coogan spent half the night looking
for her. He said he was gonna kill
the son-of-a-bitch who ruined his
I didn't ruin her.
You didn't help.
No, really. She came ruined!...
Ya think he knows it was me?
Seemed not to. But it's hard to
know. You never can tell what's in
the mind of a psychopath.
Wolfman looks very unsettled.
Hear about Ice?
He won again.
Goose walks beside Maverick now.
Something bothering you?
Nothing. Let's just go fight.
Wolfman looks very apprehensive as they approach the F-14's.
MECHANICS surround both planes, making last minute checks of
all systems. Among them is COOGAN, six and a half feet tall,
looking mean. Maverick tosses him a wave.
How's it goin', Coog?
Ever find your sister, Coogan?
You guys know somethin' about that?
Wolfman swallows hard and hurries quickly into the plane.
Coogan glares at them all with a look that could kill.
78. EXT. F-14'S - DAY
Hollywood leads, Maverick follows. They point their noses
down and dive. Two bogies fly side by side at five thousand,
outlined against the blue Pacific. Smaller, slower, they seem
helpless for a moment. We hear the instructors in the F-5's.
VIPER (V.O. filtered)
TWO AT SEVEN O'CLOCK, JESTER.
ROGER. COMING LEFT.
Holy shit, it's Viper.
Keep your shirt on, he's saying
holy shit it's us.
The bogies split. Bogey One hard left. Bogey Two hard right.
Hollywood sweeps left, pursuing Bogey One. Maverick hangs
back to cover him.
Bogey One makes a strong vertical move. Hollywood stays on
STAY WITH HIM, WOOD... YOUR SIX
Bogey One loops and comes down, and Hollywood almost loses
him for a moment before regaining the angle.
STAY WITH HIM! TIGHTEN YOUR TURN!
Bogey at three o'clock high! Nose
Maverick looks quickly at three o'clock high, sees Bogey Two
returning to the fight. He jerks the stick right, and the two
planes make a quick pass.
ENGAGING THE OTHER GUY.
WOOD, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN.
Just cover Wood, Maverick.
Mutual support, man!
I'm gonna take him, Goose.
Don't be greedy. Stay with Wood.
I want him!
Maverick goes suddenly vertical, zooms straight up.
Hey, come on--hey!
Maverick loops the F-14 down to get the quick angle on Viper
in Bogey Two. Viper takes off, running from the fight again.
Maverick looks over his shoulder and sees that Hollywood
still has a good position on Bogey One. He takes a hard right
and streaks off after Viper.
What what are you doing?
Wood's okay. I want Viper.
Goose looks back at Hollywood and Bogey One.
But we're cover!
Viper streaks across the sky with Maverick close behind. He
pushes the throttle forward to ZONE 5 - full afterburner.
Viper shows all his tricks...hard left, hard right, rolling
into vertical, flipping into a dive. Maverick stays with him.
VIPER (To himself)
Goddamn, rookie, you're all right!
79. INT. F-14
Maverick turns to get Viper in the diamond. He hears a
SIDEWINDER GROWL in his headset.
What's the range, Goose. I've got a
Viper jinks but Maverick stays with him. Viper is in the
diamond, and the TONE GOES CRAZY. But suddenly....
Two bogies ! Three o'clock high,
nine o'clock high! Break!
They come out of nowhere, flashing down toward Maverick--a
crossfire ambush. Maverick's eyes are startled.
ATOLL ON THE NORTHERN F-14. HE'S
OUT OF THE FIGHT..
Maverick is stunned. He has been tricked, humiliated.
There's a little salt for the wound as Viper and Jester
WALKED RIGHT INTO IT.
NOT ONLY THAT, BUT ZORRO GOT YOUR
WINGMAN. NICE GOING.
THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REGRETS TO
INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SONS ARE DEAD
BECAUSE THEY WERE STUPID!
Slaps his helmet like a dolt...
KNOCK OFF THE CHATTER, TOP GUNS.
LET'S RTB. VIPER HAS THE LEAD.
80. INT. LOCKER ROOM - DAY
Silence. Several pilots in various forms of undress.
Maverick and Goose sit with their heads down, a hangdog
expression on their faces.
81. INT. DIRTY DAN'S - A BAR -
Maverick mopes at the bar, a figure comes up behind him.
Ya know, that was the best flying
I've seen since Nam...(He grins)
...Right up to that part where you
Viper sits down. He's in a jovial, taunting mood. Maverick
watches him guardedly.
Twenty years' experience, I
couldn't shake you. You may be a
great flyer. I mean that.
Of course you did. I said a great
flyer, not a smart one. You fly
reckless. Great instincts. No
discipline. That ambush today, you
followed your emotions instead of
your wingman. Of course you got
killed...and well deserved to. It
was a really stupid mistake. In
battle, it gets people killed.
Maverick nods and stares at his beer.
I can take care of myself.
Talent is no holy shield. Von
Richtofen was killed by a farm boy.
Instincts are not enough. Do it our
way. We've worked these things out.
The good pilots can become better
and the great ones can learn how to
stay alive. (he studies him for a
moment) Why do you have to do
everything the hard way?
It's my own way. It works for me.
I don't care about the rest of that
Then why are you here?
For the same reason you are.
Oh, you mean the thrill!
The flying. The fighting. I'd go
up there ten times a day to fight.
I'd win at least nine of them.
That's all I want to do. It's what
I do best. I am real good. Just
give me the jet.
Viper studies him,
It's not a gift, just a loan...
He finishes his beer, then rises.
Nine out of ten is okay, as long as
it's only fun and games. But this
isn't about that. This is serious
business. It is dangerous up there!
At 500 knots, things can change a
lot in a second. Discipline is what
He signals the bartender and drops some money on the bar. He
stretches, looks around.
It was a good day. You learned
something. You lost and you're
still alive to think about it. And,
you lost your wingman. That's a
cardinal sin...don't ever do it
again. You owe Hollywood an apology
and you owe me a beer.
Viper touches Maverick's shoulder as he moves away. It was
just the gesture Maverick needed, for he seems to relax from
his tension. He sips his beer alone.
82. INT. SAN DIEGO AIRPORT - NIGHT
Maverick and Goose move through the terminal,
anxious/expectant looks on their faces.
Relationships are a bitch, here.
It's hard enough to concentrate
...under the pressure. Having a
woman here is asking for it.
I guess that's what I'm doing,
Where do you find the time? Where
do you find the energy. It's tough
enough to keep your mind on school.
A woman here is a real pain in
A pretty woman emerges from the crowd and spots them first.
She rushes them, happily, carrying her sleepy four-year-old,
RICKY. Goose undergoes an immediate change, beaming a big
smile that he has practiced on her for years. She sets down
...butt...Hi, honey, God, am I glad
to see you! I missed you.
Goose wraps his arms around Carol, smack, a kiss. She smiles
at Maverick, turns back to Goose.
I had to come, Willard, I got so
lonesome I just couldn't stand it.
Sure, honey, I understand. It's
great to see you. Hey where's your
backseater, where's the world's
He looks all around and then down at the kid, hiding shyly
behind his mother's skirts. Goose grabs up the kid and zooms
him around, a game they've played before, every six months or
so. The kid laughs happily. Maverick just sort of smiles to
himself and shakes his head.
84. A POOL (OR BEACH)
Maverick comes to the surface. She enters frame by the side
of the pool. She hands him a split fresh pineapple. He eats
it in the most salacious manner possible. He's so contented,
Food...and you...my F-14!
In that order?
Well no...inverse order.
I'm still second best.
You ever fly an F-14?
I don't fly in anything that
doesn't show movies.
He gets out, grabs a towel, moves over to some chairs. His
flight suit is draped over one. He moves it to sit down.
Ahhh, you'd love it. Night carrier
landings! The most dangerous thing
you can think of! ...next to
you...And the most exciting. You're
living at one hundred and ten per
cent. Greatest high in the world...
Doesn't it ever bother you?
Why, what's gonna happen?
His flight suit slips onto the ground. Charlie retrieves it.
As she lifts the suit, something falls out of the pocket.
Looks like a gold coin. She picks it up. Maverick is drying
his hair. She holds the object out to him, questioning. He
sees it, quickly takes it, stuffs it back into his pocket.
What do you take me for? It's a
Just good luck.
Where'd you get it.
Pawn shop. What's to eat?
He roots through a picnic basket.
84A. MONTAGE - PREFLIGHT ACTIVITY
...MiG sweep over the water. You
will proceed down the one-seven
-zero degree radial looking for
MiGs. You will engage all that you
find, destroy them, and return to
base. Maverick, has the lead. Any
questions? All right, let's go.
Move like you've got a
85. EXT. CLOUD COVER -
20,000 FT. - DAY
Four F-14's fly in formation over the Pacific, searching for
(MiGs). They spot them, engage. The combatants fly scissor
patterns, slashing past each other, angling for position.
We hear the VOICES OF COMBAT from the planes, a barrage of
information exchanges between pilots and RIO's. Maverick and
Ice swoop close together on each other's wing--moving on each
other, testing, they glance at each other and nod. The
Challenge...the fight is on. Suddenly an F-5 rises up out of
the clouds in front of them--Ice has the advantage and rolls
in on him.
ENGAGING BANDIT 12 O'CLOCK.
The F-5 sees his pursuers. Goes into a hard left.
MIG'S IN A LEFT. MIG'S IN A
LEFTHAND. I'M ENGAGING.
Ice struggles against the G's to bring his nose to bear.
They go around into a Lufbery--a tight circle, Ice has the
advantage. He is closer to the F-5's tail than the F-5 is to
his. But he can't close, can't line up the shot. He grunts
and strains as the G force pushes him down.
COME OFF RIGHT--COME OFF HIGH--I'M
STAY WHERE YOU ARE. HE'S MINE. I'M
ENGAGED. I'M IN.
Maverick maneuvers close to their left circle.
GET OUT OF THERE, YOU'RE UNSAFE.
GET OUT OF THERE.
FIRE, OR CLEAR OUT, ICE.
YOU GOT TOO MUCH NOSE TO TAIL --
I'M COMING IN.
IT'S MY SHOT.
COME OFF--COME OFF RIGHT. I'M ON MY
WAY IN. YOU GO FREE, I'M ENGAGING.
STAY OUT OF IT. STAY OUT OF IT,
YOU CAN'T SHOOT HIM, I CAN. I'M IN.
MAVERICK - ABOVE.
ICE, ROLL OFF, I CAN SHOOT HIM.
NO, NO, NO, HE'S MINE.
Maverick is pulling a log of G's, but can't target his
weapons, he continues to turn in a hard circle, going round
and round without gaining. He can't bring his nose to bear.
IF YOU CAN'T SHOOT HIM, I CAN.
NO, I GOT HIM. I CAN TAKE HIM.
Maverick dives down between the two planes pulling 6.5 G's,
exposing his underside to Ice. All Ice sees is belly.
Obviously, in this attitude Maverick can't see him.
He slams the stick hard right in toward Maverick.
Ice quickly rolls up right, in front of him.
Maverick sees him flash into his view. He has to slam the
stick forward to avoid collision. He swings by real close.
They pass through Ice's turbulence. The blast distorts the
airflow to Maverick's left engine. BOOMBOOMBOOM. The engine
flames out. Full thrust on the right, engine swings the tail
around in a yaw. Maverick slams the stick right to correct
but too late.
Plane's coupling up! Plane's
The plane couples one yaw to the next--the tail swings
around-- which becomes an ever increasing flat spin, like an
out-of -control frisbee.
This is not good!...(Rising panic)
Maverick is pinned to the instrument panel by centrifugal
force, desperately tries to reach back for the ejection
lever--but is falling short by about a foot.
I'm pinned to the panel.
Time to go.
I can't eject.
The plane is spinning ever faster, out of control. He drops
the gear. Still spins. Goose is closer to center of spin--G
forces are less. He reaches behind him for the eject handle,
starts the eject sequence.
3000 feet. I'll do it.
Go ahead. I can't reach. 2000 feet!
85A. BOOM - A HURRICANE OF WIND AND NOISE
The canopy BLASTS away--but is held spinning above the
cockpit by the vortex of the sinking jet. Goose glances up at
Let's go. Eject.
Goose yanks the ejection handle. Things happen in a split
second. Goose is fired up and out by the rocket under his
seat. Almost instantly he impacts the spinning canopy. A
sickening CRUNCH. The canopy is knocked away. Maverick is
slammed back in his seat as the ejection seat straps wind up.
He is BLASTED out of the plane just before it spins in.
85B. TIGHT ON MAVERICK AS HE TUMBLES IN SLOW MOTION
He's in shock..the loud THUMPING of his heart, labored
breathing, a scream that stays in his mind.
Instinctively, he gropes for straps. He releases the pilot
seat, it tumbles away. His chute streams, balloons open,
snapping his body like a bullwhip. He drifts momentarily,
then plunges into the sea.
His face, distorted in the water; wild eyes, disoriented,
choking for air. He reaches out, finds nothing to grab.
Suddenly, he is yanked hard to the side.
The parachute is caught by the wind, and dragged, pulling
Maverick along beneath the surface. He is twisting in the
water, turning over and over, trying desperately to slip out
of the tangled straps. He finally hits the surface of the
water and sucks air into his lungs. With the end of his
strength, he hits the release snaps and breaks free from the
parachute. It whips away like a kite in a typhoon.
The sea is choppy and rough. He struggles as his equipment
drags him under. He twists, finds the inflatable raft
attached to his harness. Maverick pulls the cord, and the
raft hisses open. He pulls his body into the six-by-two foot
raft and collapses, completely exhausted. The survival has
been almost without thinking: an instinctual physical
Maverick begins to focus on the situation. He stains the
water with dye, then sees another parachute floating nearby.
Paddling to the parachute, he reaches over the side and
begins to pull on the heavy cords that are submerged in the
A great struggle. The weight is extremely heavy. Finally, he
pulls a body to the surface. Goose. Goose is dead. Maverick
releases the parachute and pulls Goose into the raft on top
of him. He holds Goose in his arms. His mind shuts down
From high above the ocean, we see the debris on the water.
An oil slick, pieces of honeycomb titanium, and the small,
helpless figure in the raft.
86. EXT. OCEAN - NIGHT
Searchlights skim over the black ocean. A brilliant light
flashes as Maverick pops a pencil flare. Helicopter blades
flick powerfully. The lights of the choppers descend toward
the wreckage area, scanning the debris, searching for life.
The spotlights find Maverick and Goose in the raft.
The draft from the chopper churns the water. A FROGMAN drops
from the chopper and hits with a heavy splashes. He surfaces
and swims to the raft as a rescue harness is lowered.
Maverick watches curiously as he starts to examine Goose. He
hugs Goose closer and looks threatened.
Let him go, sir. Take it easy.
He tries to pry Goose free, but Maverick has a death grip on
Sir! Let him go. It's all right.
Let him go.
Maverick glares at the man as he bobs in the water.
Another long moment, then Maverick releases Goose. The
frogman quickly straps Maverick into the harness.
HIS POV. - He watches the lifeless body in the water as he
is pulled up and away. He shivers from the cold.
87. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
Extreme CLOSE ON Maverick's face. He is emotionless. His
eyes are flat and absolutely without expression. There is
complete silence in the room. Then we hear the quiet, calm,
probing voice of Viper.
How do you feel?
Goose is dead.
I know. I was there.
Not one sign of emotion from Maverick. Not one tone of
expression. We see Viper now, and his face is strained from a
very long day.
If you fly jets long enough,
something like this happens to you.
No one escapes it. It touches us
Maverick looks at Viper, and his eyes are very disturbed.
He was...my responsibility--my RIO.
My first squadron in Vietnam, we
lost eight out of eighteen planes.
Ten guys. The first one kills you,
but there'll be others--you can
count on it.
No reaction from Maverick. He can't quite face up to that
reality right now.
You've got to put him in the box.
Maverick is watching Viper, but he doesn't have anything to
88. EXT. CHARLIE'S SPORTSCAR - NIGHT
The RADIO plays John Lennon; "Stand by Me". Maverick opens
his eyes, doesn't know where he is for a moment.
...they say you're alright.
This is it, then.
The dark side. The price you pay
for all the fun you're having. You
knew about it, of course. Didn't
He was a friend of mine. A good
guy...great guy. It was my
That's not what I hear.
I was flying...my responsibility.
That's what you get flight pay for.
Maybe I shouldn't take it.
Why? You act like you didn't know
one day this would happen.
Not to me.
You knew it. You all do. It's part
of it. Maybe the most important
88A. ON THE BEACH - NIGHT AND FOG
Charlie's car pulls up. They get out and walk down toward
the water. Maverick seems dazed. She is softly taunting.
Where are we?
Where are we? You know where we
are. It's called the beach. It's
where life first crawled up out of
the sea. I come here sometimes...
when I feel like crawling back in.
You don't have to do this.
Do what, show you a good time?
I'm not good company. I should be
I don't think so, but if that's
what you want...
They stand there, not making a move.
What do you want?
I want it back.
She turns, nods out, past the moon.
You look way out there. Out past
the date line. West becomes East,
all things change. You cross the
line...today becomes yesterday...or
tomorrow, I forget which.
That's what I want.
Of course the line's just
imaginary. You can cross it twenty
times...nothing really changes.
She turns and walks along the surfline.
On the beach... It's what they say
when Navy men retire...He's "On The
Beach". I always liked that. I had
a picture...in my head... all these
old guys wandering around here,
looking out into the past.
He walks to the surf, kicks the sand with his bare feet.
If we knew then, what we know now,
we might never have come up out of
He turns to her. She just looks at him.
You don't believe that.
Only when you're depressed. Then it
Everything passes. Immutable law of
He picks up a piece of flotsam, a twig, worn smooth.
This too...shall pass. You put as
much life as you can between it and
you. You start piling up experience
between then and now.
He turns and walks.
What do you do when you come here?
I sit. I think. I play games.
What kind of games?
I like to play "reality".
She stops and turns.
How do you play reality.
It's strip reality, actually, like
what the pilots always want to
(this gets a small laugh)
Strip reality! How do you play
It's like strip poker, only,
without the bluffing. (he laughs
again) One person says something
and if the other one accepts that
it's true, the one who says it,
gets to take one item of clothing
You're crazy. (She stops, he goes
on, softer) That's a pretty silly
Not as silly as some. You know the
silliest one? ...that we are gods.
That we control events on the
beach... that we can turn back
She moves in close.
Want to play the game?
How does it go?
You say the truth. (a beat...)
Go ahead. Don't be afraid. You want
to win the game, don'tcha?
The big one. The one that's most on
A long pause...it comes hard.
Goose is dead.
Take something off.
Off me or off you?
That's up to you.
He takes the ribbon from her hair. It falls down over her
face and shoulders. Now it's her turn.
It's dangerous...what you do.
He nods. She slowly loosens his tie and pulls it from around
It was my fault.
She says nothing, stands looking into his eyes. He slowly,
as if in a trance, takes her blouse off.
You can't bring him back.
She takes off his shirt.
It was my fault.
He starts to reach for her. She pulls back.
Nope. Already used that.
She turns and thinks for a moment, looking at the moon.
Your life goes on.
Rather than struggle his T shirt over his head, she grabs it
with both hands. She leans in close and bites it. She grabs
both sides of the tear and slowly rips it off his body.
What does it mean?
(shakes her head no)
That wasn't fair. It was a
question. Penalty round!
She drops her skirt.
You didn't mean it. You didn't
think. You'd do anything to take it
And that's one!
She unbuckles his belt, slowly slides it off. She unzips his
pants, they fall.
She unbuckles it.
You owe me one.
He rests his head on her shoulder, unhooks her bra. She
shrugs it off.
They stand on the beach in shorts and bikini bottom, looking
into each other's eyes.
Looks like a tie.
Who's gonna win?
We'll say it together. On the count
Leaning in, softer and harder...they both jump the gun.
I love.ove y.you.
They embrace madly and sink to the sand. From the distance
it looks like a strange slithering creature crawling back to
89. INT. GOOSE'S ROOM - NIGHT
The lights are out in Goose's room at the Bachelor Officers'
Quarters. The door opens, and Maverick enters. He sets a
cardboard box on the bed.
Silently, Maverick gathers together Goose's few personal
possessions. He fills the box with clothes, books, a clock, a
radio, a walkman, and articles from the bathroom. He examines
each closely, like an artifact...as if he might find some
message or meaning in them. He fumbles them into the box. He
can't see too well, his eyes are full of tears.
Maverick closes the box and carries it to the door. He takes
one last glance around, then leaves and closes the door
89A. INT. BOQ RECEPTION AREA *
Carol and the kid, stand, staring at a silent TV. Carol
looks dazed, lost. Maverick walks in, finds her. An awkward
silence while they both try to think of something to say.
Maverick hands the box to Carol.
89B. CLOSE UP - MAVERICK.
He sits staring right through us...the thousand-yard stare.
A strange white unreal light washes over him. The only color,
the Navy and gold of the stripes on his shoulderboards. A low
rumbling mumbling filters through the HISS of surf or fans or
something...Snatches of low whispered
conversation....disregard of...basic air-safety
principles...too aggressive...incident.... 29 July...within
performance parameters... disciplinary action...tactical
doctrine.... even reckless at times...
conjecture...unsupported ...benefit of the doubt...
eyes slowly focus. The light attenuates. The surrounding
image becomes denser. Things become real.
89C. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY - MAVERICK'S POV
A BOARD OF INQUIRY, a COMMANDER and other NAVY OFFICERS
seated behind tables at the front of the room. Maverick faces
them, wearing dress whites. Viper is also present. The
Commander looks at each of the Officers. They each nod, in
turn, indicating readiness. The Commander turns to Maverick,
and states for the record:
The Board of Inquiry finds that Lt.
Evan Mitchell was not at fault in
the accident of twenty-nine July.
No response from Maverick, one way or the other. Viper
studies his face with concern.
Lt. Mitchell's record will be
cleared of this incident.
Still no response from Maverick.
Lt. Mitchell is restored to flight
status without further delay. These
proceedings are closed.
Maverick doesn't respond.
91. INT. MAVERICK'S ROOM - NIGHT
Maverick lies on his bunk and stares at the ceiling. The
phone next to his bed is RINGING. It RINGS EIGHT OR NINE
TIMES, then stops. He makes no move to reach for it.
92. through 95. OMITTED
94A. INT. COCKPIT - F-14 ON FLIGHT LINE
Maverick sits in the cockpit staring at the controls while
the ground crew preps the aircraft for flight. Coogan helps
him strap in. He speaks solicitously to Maverick. It is
unheard over the JET NOISE and RADIO BABBLE. Maverick looks
at the cockpit as if it's a strange territory, suddenly
foreign to him. He grabs the stick like it's some peculiar
talisman. He turns and looks aft. He seems surprised that it
moves the control surfaces in the tails.
96. INT. F-14 - DAY
BOGEY AT TEN O'CLOCK LOW. YOU'VE
GOT THE ANGLE -- PIECE OF CAKE.
Maverick checks ten o'clock low. He is disturbed. He tries
to make the move, but he is a man with no secret: he is
ENGAGE, MAVERICK - ANYTIME.
The bogey abruptly turns into him. Maverick hesitates. Then
suddenly, he jerks the stick hard right and takes the F-14
away from the bogey at great speed. Fungus is startled.
WHAT? WHERE'RE YOU--HEY, WHERE IN
THE HELL ARE YOU GOING?
DIDN'T ... AHHH...LOOK GOOD.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN? IT DOESN'T GET TO
LOOK MUCH BETTER THAN THAT?
NO. NO GOOD.
96A. INT. FLIGHT LINE - DAY
Jester walks up to Viper who waits near an F-5.
He just won't engage. He can't do
it, Skipper. He can't get back on
It's only been a week. Keep sending
I've seen this before.
So have I.
Some guys never get it back.
He walks off.
97. through 102. OMITTED
103. INT. LOCKER ROOM - IMMEDIATELY AFTER
Maverick grabs his stuff out of the locker, throws them in a
bag. He glances up as Fungus enters, continues to pack.
What are you doing?
Saving them some paperwork.
Since when did you care about
Maverick walks away. Fungus hesitates, then follows him.
If I could fly like you I'd have
everything I want. If I could fly
at all. I can't fly. I can't fly
like that. Nobody can. Whatever it
is, you've got it!
So, you're scared--so what? You
ever get a good look at me in the
back seat, I'm goddamn terrified.
Grabbing the suitcase, Maverick brushes past Jester and
walks up the corridor. Jester and Fungus watch him go. Fungus
goes to the phone.
104. EXT. SAN DIEGO AIRPORT - NIGHT
Charlie parks her car, jumps out, and runs toward the main
entrance to the terminal.
105. INT. TERMINAL
Charlie hurries through the crowd, bumping past people,
searching frantically for Maverick in the huge terminal. She
moves past bench after bench, and her eyes flick in all
directions. A quick glance at the souvenir shop, the coffee
shop, and then she heads for the bar.
Maverick is there, sitting alone in a booth with his
suitcase beside him, staring into a drink. Charlie composes
herself, then walks to the booth and sits down across the
table from him. Maverick does not look pleased.
Never liked fighter pilots anyway.
He looks up trying to be angry, but he can't help it, she
makes him laugh.
You came to the right place.
The waitress comes up.
MAVERICKWhat are you having?
Turns to the waitress.
I'll have what he's having...
Hemlock, is it?
The waitress departs. He tries not to smile, but can't help
You weren't gonna say goodbye?
I was, later.
Long distance? I wouldn't do that
to you. I'd at least talk to you.
I didn't want to see you. I mean, I
did...but I didn't..
I know exactly what you mean.
How could you?
I've got a gift just like you do.
My gift is I just know what people
mean, even if they can't say it. It
helps when you're trying to
communicate with fighter pilots.
Like what you just said was "I'm
embarrassed, I feel I've done
something wrong, that I've failed,
and I don't think I can live up to
the expectations of a wonderful
interesting, intelligent woman like
yourself." That about it?
...Something like that.
And I'm gonna sneak off, and be by
myself for awhile, like until I can
think of a new career...hotel
management or something...
Big talk for someone who's never
been shot off her computer.
Hey, I never said I was a fighter
pilot...I never claimed to think it
was fun to be shot off the end of a
ship in a storm. I can find
contentment in a good book. I don't
have to roar by someone at Mach two
with my hair on fire. Sometimes...I
just get happy being with the right
I hope you find him.
I think I have... I could be wrong.
I have been before. Just remember
one thing. If you're not Top Gun,
if you're not fighting jets, you're
not gonna be able to act like a
fighter pilot... You're gonna have
to act like the rest of us. You're
gonna have to master humility. For
you guys, that's the toughest
maneuver of all.
She gets up...lays a bill out for the drinks...
So long, Sailor. See you on the
She swings away. Her wake sucks in the stares of every man
in the place. Then they look over to Maverick, quick flicks
of envy in their eyes. He stares them back and can't quite
meet their eyes.
106. EXT. BEACH AT VIPER'S HOUSE - LATER
Viper is tugged down the beach by a three year old kid. They
come across one creature who's had a bad night...Viper spots
him, he spots Viper, and Viper moves toward him. Tim, Viper's
kid, wants to head for the sea and pulls his father in that
direction. He stops, puts his hand on his hips like he's seen
the pilots do.
Dad...Of all the aminals in the
ocean, which one's the baddest?
I don't know, Tim. You'll have to
Viper turns to the creature, Maverick, and shrugs.
Runs in the family...
Maverick stands up.
Skipper, sorry to bother you.
I called your house.
My wife's house.
She said you took your kid to the
each. Every second Sunday. Zoo or
beach or the ballgame. Y'have the
option...(Maverick thinks for a
beat. Segues to the question...)
What about me?
Viper turns, they stroll together.
We can send you back to your
squadron with nothing noted on your
record except "CNC" --course not
completed, no explanation required.
Theoretically, it doesn't hurt your
career, but people always wonder
about things like that.
Or you can quit.
I don't know...
I didn't know either. That's why I
told Jester to prepare your papers.
Maverick looks irritated. Viper stops at an icecream vendor
and orders three with a gesture.
You've already made up your mind.
It's no disgrace, kid. That spin
was hell. It would wreck anyone's
confidence. You could be a good
pilot again someday...
(starts to get his back up)
You think I should quit?!
I didn't say that. That's up to
you. But I have responsibility for
the other guys up there, not just
you. They need to know you're all
right...that they can depend on
The vendor hands them icecream, they take it.
Here, let me get this. We'll be
He reaches into his pocket for change, comes out with a
handful. Slams it on the counter, stars picking the proper
change out. Viper spots something and reaches for
it...Maverick sees and tries to block it, but Viper comes up
with the Navy Cross.
But Viper recognizes it for what it is.
Sometimes it's luck, but in this
case, he earned it... I served with
your old man.
VF 51, the Oriskany. You remind me
of him. You're just like he was,
only better...and worse.
I'm nothing like him.
You may not think so, but you are.
He was by the book, all the way.
They waved him off. He thought he
knew better. He hit the
I never heard that.
Not something they tell dependents.
It's not true.
Viper looks at him, for a long beat, throws his icecream
Why would I lie?
He turns, walks away. Maverick stands there for a moment,
thinking, then catches up to him, stops him...struggles with
the thought...as Viper breaks in...
You start on a wrong heading... the
more you stick to it, the further
you get from your target. A good
pilot always questions himself,
always questions his judgments,
stays alert for drift and makes the
corrections...You may find a little
discipline helps with the fear. You
don't have to be alone up there.
A pause...quiet intensity.
How can I go on? I feel so...
Kid, the plain fact is...you are.
I'm not gonna stand here and blow
sunshine up your ass. Technically,
they absolved you. You and I know
what really happened. You pushed
it. You are responsible and you'll
always carry that. You know what,
I'll carry it too. I should have
taken you out of that cockpit.
I guess I'm a hopeless romantic...
I always try to find something
worthwhile in someone's death. It's
no trade-off. It's not one for one.
What you learned isn't worth his
death. It couldn't be. But maybe
there is some value in it. I know
it's the first thing I've ever seen
that's really gotten to you. Now
the question is, what will you do
with it. If it gets you out of
flight status...so you don't kill
yourself or anybody else...that's
good. That's one good thing. You
were an accident waiting to
You think I shouldn't fly.
I didn't say that. That's up to
you. I think that if you do, if you
choose to come back, you'll be a
better pilot... a better man.
Would you take me back? Would they?
I'll have to think about it. I
don't know about them. I do know
one thing, We've got a lot invested
in you. We'd hate to lose it. Even
more than those other guys, Naval
Aviation needs a very few, very
107 through 114. OMITTED
115. INT. TOP GUN OFFICE
LOUD ROCK AND ROLL. The graduation ceremonies are in full
swing...They consist of informal ribbing, laughing, and a lot
of talking with the hands. every now and then, the name Goose
comes up and a shadow passes across a face. For the most
part, they press on, having a good time. Fungus shrugs at
someone's question and looks around.
I don't know where he is...
What are his plans?
I don't know.
Ice stands proudly holding the Top Gun plaque as others
congratulate him...Hollywood looks up as the door opens,
Maverick is there. He looks uncomfortable, unsure. He sees
Ice with the plaque. Fungus moves over to him, brings him in.
Good to see you, man.
One by one, they come over, shake his hand. Viper stands
there, looking pleased but gruff. Maverick walks over, shakes
his hand. The party starts to pick up. A real celebration,
Jester enters, a sheaf of messages in his hand. He takes
Viper aside for a word. Viper nods at him. The group's
attention gradually swings onto them. They quiet down
instinctively. Viper finally turns to them.
Gentlemen, you know how I hate to
break up this party before it has a
chance to get really out of hand...
...but there's a major flap on.
We're being called back?
You're on your way. Don't bother
going to BOQ. Your bags are packed.
He hands them orders. Someone turns the music back up... as
they shake hands all around, the music grows, becomes purer
as the background voices drop out.
115A. TIGHT ON MAVERICK'S
WIDEN OUT -
To include his helmet. Stereo headphones from his walkman
carry the same music from the party as he sits in the cockpit
and stares at the grey water rushing under. He sits in his
Tomcat on Ready 5 Alert. In the back, Fungus plays a hand
computer game - Jet Attack.
116. EXT. USS KITTY HAWK - SOMEWHERE AT SEA
Maverick's Tomcat sits waiting for a launch order on the
116A. ANGLE - MAVERICK
He goes over the briefing in his mind...Stinger's voice
breaks through the music.:
...Navy oceanographic ship...
international waters... fired
upon... unknown forces...
117. INT. READY ROOM - USS KITTYHAWK - MOMENTS BEFORE
In full flight gear, sixteen teams of fighter pilots and
RIO's pay close attention to the Squadron CO, Stinger.
...by unknown forces...by Migs. We
don't know who they are. All I
know is that it's our ship, and our
orders are to escort it out of the
Stinger circles an area on the map.
117A. TOMCAT ON THE DECK - MAVERICK
He studies his copy of the same map, headings and vectors
This is "Bullseye". A rescue
operation is to begin within the
hour. Your mission is to give air
support to that rescue. There are
MiGs in the area, and tensions are
high. If you witness a hostile act
you will return fire. We will be
covering 360 degrees of the compass
by section. Be prepared for
117B. INT. READY ROOM
Stinger is speaking to individual pilots.
Ice and Hollywood, sector two.
He turns to Maverick who stands nearby.
And Maverick. You'll back them up,
on Ready Five.
117C. CLOSE ON HIS FACE
A moment's disappointment passes so fleetingly, you hardly
As the aircrews file out, tense but excited.
118. ICE AND HOLLYWOOD FLY TOGETHER AT TEN THOUSAND FEET
Their eyes search the horizon, while Slider and Wolfman
watch their instruments.
MUSTANG, THIS IS VOODOO ONE,
WE ARE ON STATION.
The two jets streak across the sky.
118A. INT. COCKPIT
Suddenly, there are BLIPS on the radar scope.
CONTACT. TWO BOGEYS 20 RIGHT. AT 12
118B. INT. COCKPIT - THEIR POV
Two MiGs flying low to the deck.
TALLY HO. TWO MIGS AT TWO
118C. THE MIGS SUDDENLY PULL VERTICAL, STREAK STRAIGHT UP.
118D. ICE AND HOLLYWOOD WATCH CAREFULLY.
WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS,
THEY'RE JUST HASSELING. LET'S WORK
THEM OUT OF THE AREA.
I'VE GOT TWO MORE BOGEYS COMING IN
AT FOUR O'CLOCK HIGH.
118E. THE FOUR MIGS
Join together in a box formation, begin to circle the area.
TWO MORE -- TWO MORE CONTACTS.
2-7-0 at 10 MILES. WE NEED SOME
HELP HERE, MUSTANG.
MUSTANG, WE HAVE FOUR MIGS IN THE
AREA OF BULLSEYE. REQUEST YOU
LAUNCH THE ALERT 5 FOR SUPPORT.
119. DECK - KITTY HAWK
Maverick sits in his Tomcat on the Catapult on ready alert,
listening to the message traffic. He gets a launch order,
turns to the LSO. The LSO salutes, Maverick salutes and flips
him the bird. The LSO drops to the deck. Maverick is slammed
back as the F-14 is fired off the deck and rockets into the
CCA (V.O. filtered)
120. EXT. SKY - HOLLYWOOD AND ICE
The two MiGs cross in a scissor pattern in their path... a
provocation...they join together again and fly level at ten
thousand feet. One of the MiGs does a sudden canopy roll.
BOOM! A FLASH! Suddenly, Out of nowhere, Hollywood's hit.
WHAM! Just that fast, he's hit and goes down. His f-14
disappears into the clouds.
WOOD! WOOD, ACKNOWLEDGE!
Ice puts his nose down and follows him.
VOODOO ONE, MUSTANG. VOODOO THREE
IS HIT. GOING DOWN. WILL ATTEMPT
He comes out of clouds at 1500, nothing but empty water
Do you have them? Did they get out
No contact. I don't know.
121. EXT. MAVERICK'S F-14
VOODOO, GHOST RIDER ONE. I'M ON THE
WAY. WAIT FOR ME.
122. THE SKY - MIGS AND TOMCATS CIRCLE
THEY GOT WOLF, THEY GOT WOOD. THEY
MUSTANG, GHOST RIDER. PERMISSION TO
GHOST RIDER, THIS IS MUSTANG.
PERMISSION TO FIRE. PERMISSION TO
ROGER. ENGAGING. I HAVE THE LEAD.
122A. INT. MAVERICK'S F-14
Let's go! Dive on those bastards!
Come on, man, engage. This is it.
Get your nose in there.
Maverick hesitates again. He sees the hornet's nest below;
planes all over the sky.
Bandit at seven o'clock low--solo.
Take him. Pull on the goddamn
Don't tell me okay. Do it!
Maverick draws a breath, then forces himself to pull the
stick over. The F-14 rolls in hard toward the battle.
Suddenly, the cluster breaks apart. The MiGs break in every
direction as Maverick BLASTS through their formation.
Something comes up through the clouds. A MiG BLASTS by.
Another rolls in and locks onto them.
The MiGs swarm toward the TOMCATS, coming from every
direction. CANNON FIRE erupts from one of the MiGs.
MAVERICK'S EMGAGED. HARD LEFT, ICE,
PADLOCK THE EASTERN SECTION.
The F-14's execute a left oblique turn in unison. They come
down in a section attack with their cannons blazing. From
Maverick's cockpit, everything looks choppy: MiGs slide past
at incredible speed. Cannons BLAST, as the planes scramble
Out-numbered four to two, Maverick and Ice fight
defensively. Maverick has the angle on a MIG, when Fungus
spots a missile launch.
BREAK LEFT! BREAK LEFT! CHAFF!
Maverick releases a flare as he takes the F-14 into a hard
left. The missile tracks the heat of the flare and sails out
of the area, missing the Tomcat and falling toward the sea.
TWO MIGS ON MY TAIL, MAVERICK. I'M
Maverick jerks his stick right and streaks toward Ice. He
cuts off one of the MiGs with CANNON FIRE, driving it down
toward the deck. Ice goes into vertical and comes around to
gain an angle on the other MiG. His RIO is in position to
check Mav's rear.
MAVERICK! SIX O'CLOCK!
Maverick turns to look and jerks a hard left. The MiG is on
him, CANNON BLAZING. Ice Yo Yos inside and cuts the MiG off.
He fires a sidewinder. The MiG turns hard, the missile sails
BANDIT, THREE O'OLOCK HIGH!
Ice's F-14 is suddenly caught in a HAIL OF CANNON FIRE as a
MiG sweeps down from three o'clock. He breaks, dives. The
jets streak across the sky, low to the deck, skimming the
ICE'S DEFENSIVE, HELP HIM OUT.
Maverick's F-14 Rollaways in and intercepts the bogey on
Ice turns right, the MiG bugs and jerks into vertical.
Maverick swoops after him.
STAY WITH HIM. YOUR SIX IS CLEAR.
Maverick closes, jerking left, right, twisting and turning,
staying on his tail.
122B. MAVERICK'S COCKPIT
ONE ON OUR SIX! BUG OUT! BUG OUT!
BULLETS fly by Maverick's F-14 from the MiG on his six. He
pulls a hard left, then takes the plane straight up. We hear
instructions shouted by Fungus, but it is all obscured in the
SOUNDS AND FURY OF THE BATTLE. Maverick peels over the top
and comes down like a comet. A series of passes at the MiGs.
As they come by, one of the MiGs pulls up,
OKAY, GOING UP. ICE, GO HIGH.
They look up. An MiG 21 is coming down, belly to them, close
to a mid-air collision.
He pushes down. The MiG ROARS BY. The whole airplane goes
"BOOOMMMM" it's that close.
The shock, the air pressure SLAMS them as it goes by,
missing by 4-5 feet. Maverick pulls back in, sees a MiG 21
below. It takes off, bugging out. Ice goes after him. The MiG
maneuvers, jerking hard left, hard right, twisting up, down.
Ice is right in his shadow. They come in hard and low over
the sea. He has the MiG in the diamond.
GOOD TONE, FOX ONE
The MiG starts turning.
The missile goes by the tail.
Son of a bitch!
Then his tail comes off, the airplane goes over, a chute
comes out. The MiG EXPLODES into a thousand small pieces.
They roar by the MiG pilot hanging in his straps.
JESUS! HEY SPLASH ONE, SPLASH ONE
BANDIT! SPLASH THAT SUCKER!
I GOT ONE HERE. ON THE NOSE.
Rolling down on him, good SIDEWINDER TONE. The MiG'S sense
him, they break, one guy down low.
ON THE NOSE?
GOT 'EM. GOT GOOD TONE.
He squeezes the trigger.
123. EXT. THE MISSILE STARTS TO GO
The vapor trail comes off, the MiG 21 turns like he's been
bounced off a rubber wall, comes around on the missile, beats
it. The missile flies by him.
AH, SHIT! GODDAMN IT!
MiG comes back turning into him.
THERE'S ANOTHER ONE UP THERE!
I GOT ONE COMING UP.
AND HE'S GUNNING.
He looks back. 30 millimeter tracers go by; they just kind
of float. He breaks, hits airbrakes, the trailing MiG dives
Suddenly another MiG appears, rocketing straight for him.
They close at 900 knots--VABOOOM!--They pass nose to nose,
canopy to canopy. Both planes pitch straight up, trying for
the altitude advantage.
Zone 5 burners.
The F-14 outclimbs the MiG sitting on its tail, full
thruster, it rockets straight up, away from the planet.
Maverick has the advantage. Suddenly, his F-14 runs out of
energy. FUNGUS is the first to call it.
We're ballistic! Ohhhhhh Shit!
The plane backs down on itself, backs into its own smoke as
it flips over, falls away...He catches it, just regains
control, when...A ROAR. He looks up.
SECOND MIG coming down. Right on him. It fills the Canopy!
Instinctive - A Push to miss him, Maverick breaks fast down
into him, a last ditch maneuver, and the airplane
DEPARTS...the roll rates and the pitch rates combine and it
tumbles over the top; the airplane just goes end-over-end.
They are being slammed and rattled all over the
cockpits...bone-jarring, neck-snapping whips. SHRIEKS and
SCREAMS from the airframe. Terriflying?
Goddamnit, Mav, you really are a
slow learner. Don't worry, Fung,
I've got it.
Fungus is getting his teeth rattled. He's helpless, he has
no controls, there's nothing he can do but hold on.
Don't WORRY!!!? You've GOT it!!?
Are you CRAZY?
Roger, I've got it.
The plane's gyrations are rattling Fungus's helmet off the
You've got it? Good! Cause for a
minute there, you had me worried.
It yaws and rolls, starts into a spin.
Now have you got it? Have you
still got it?
Rudder's left, stick's forward.
Swell! Passing ten thousand!
I've got it -- hold on!
Passing 8. Passing 6. Lock your
I can recover. Hold on!
They're in a progressive spiral, nose low. The altimeter
unwinds, speed picks up. The G forces are forcing them away
from the axis of spin, jamming Maverick against the
instrument panel at the front of the cockpit.
You with me?
Fungus, also, is jammed to his panel.
Right behind you.
He is closer to the center of spin and less strongly held.
It doesn't do much good, however, he can't control the plane.
The only thing he can reach is the yellow and black loop; the
ejection handle. He reaches for it.
Speed's up to 150.
Fungus's eyes are wide. The earth grows larger as it rises
towards them. G forces flatten them. They've long since lost
the MiG. Nobody but an idiot would try to follow them in this
5000 feet. Speed two hundred.
The earth grows larger.
4500. Critical point.
FUNGUS grabs the ejection handle with both hands.
No! Not again!
What are you talking about,
we gotta go!
I'm not losing it again!
The jet is standing on its nose, gaining speed, plunging
towards the ocean.
Gotta go, man.
280, 290, 300 knots.
3,000 feet. We gotta go, man.
3,000 feet, we gotta go!
You go. I'm staying with it.
I'm gonna go! THREE...TWO...ONE...
Then, just as suddenly, as he's about to pull...Maverick
catches it. The plane responds. They're out of the spin. He
gets control. Fungus sits there dumbly, hands on handle.
Still not believing...
Maverick stops the tumble, pulls the nose up quickly and the
F-l4 sweeps into level flight no more than a hundred feet
above the deck. He comes up and looks right at Ice. Ice is
down low. He comes around, a MiG-21 all over him like a cheap
suit. A flick, a whip, and Maverick in perfect position,
rolls right in on the MiG. Fungus looks like he just saw
What in the Christ...was that?
He looks at the Mig target set-up in front of him in awe.
Did you plan that? Was all that
something you planned?
Maverick's acquired the target and is all business.
ALL RIGHT, ICE. COME HARD
STARBOARD, THEN EXTEND TO THE EAST.
Fungus is still lividly frazzled.
Because...if that was... Next time
you tell me first.
Maverick breaks down, Ice zooms up, breaks in and takes the
MiG the other way. Maverick Yo Yo's in, comes right up behind
the MiG, as the MiG starts acceleration.
Maverick rolls in on Ice and the MiG.
I GOT A WINDER LEFT, BUT NO GOOD
TONE ON IT.
I CAN'T LOSE HIM, CAN YOU GET OFF
I GOT NO TONE. IT MIGHT GET YOU.
WHAT CHOICE DO I HAVE? SHOOT IT.
WHEN I SHOOT, YOU BREAK LEFT..3..2
The MiG fires.
HE FIRED, BREAK NOW!
Ice breaks left, drops flares. The MiG's missile follows the
flares. Maverick FIRES. The missile doesn't twitch. It flys
right up the tail pipe of the MiG, the canopy flies off, the
pilot comes out of it, and then the MiG blows up, We go right
through the fire ball. VVVARRRUOOMMM!
He's out! We got him!
The MiG rolls into the ground...KABOOM! They swoop by the
pilot, hanging in his straps...He watches them, dumbly.
What a dope! Maybe they'll
give him another plane...and we
can shoot him down again.
Maverick and Ice join up, light it, stand on their burners
and blast straight for the sun.
Without warning, a triple roll, as the elation hits him.
125. INT. MAVERICK'S COCKPIT
What is it? What's wrong?
Fungus nervously looks around at his circuit breakers.
Is there something I should know?
Is it the plane?
The plane is fine.
Is it you?
Yeah, I guess it is. We did it! We
did it...Damn! We sure did it!
HELLO MUSTANG, THIS IS MAVERICK.
I'VE GOT A MESSAGE FOR STINGER.
ROGER, MAVERICK. GO AHEAD.
TELL STINGER MAVERICK HAS GOOD NEWS
AND SOME BAD NEWS. THE GOOD NEWS IS
THAT ICE GOT A MIG. THE BAD NEWS IS
THAT MAVERICK GOT TWO!
He looks over at Ice.
I GOTTA HAVE ONE.
126. INT. ICE'S COCKPIT
We're low on fuel, Ice.
Ice considers for a moment, then responds.
I know. I know....Aw hell, let's do
127. INT. MAVERICK'S COCKPIT
You're not supposed to...
But I have to!
Then...shit! Go ahead. I'm right
MUSTANG, THIS IS MAVERICK, REQUEST
128. PRI-FLY BRIDGE - (Primary Flight Control) USS KITTY
The Air Boss speaks to Maverick over the UHF. The Admiral,
the XO and other officers watch and listen.
NEGATIVE, GHOST RIDER, THE
MAVERICK (V.O. filtered)
MUSTANG, THIS IS GHOST RIDER.
REQUEST A FLYBY FOR TWO.
Who is that guy?
(surpressing a grin)
...Likes to break at 600, 'stead of
300 knots. The Air Boss hates him.
One time, he came over the deck at
two hundred, shakes the shit out of
the bridge. Lifted Johnson right
off his feet.
129. INT. MAVERICK'S F-14
He glances over at Ice, who gives him thumbs up.
BOSS, YOU BETTER CLEAR IT OUT,
WE'RE FIVE MINUTES OUT
AND WE'RE DOING IT!
130. INT. PRI-FLY BRIDGE
The Admiral looks out over the water and smiles.
MAVERICK (V.O. filtered)
TEN MILES ASTERN, BOSS. HOW ABOUT
The Air Boss is livid. He clenches the mike.
MUSTANG TO GHOST RIDER!...
Just then the Admiral pipes up.
Yes, Sir, Admiral?
Give him his flyby.
The Admiral looks at the others, tries to surpress his own
grin. He slides into his (borrowed) command chair, looks into
the wind. On the back of the chair, a clue; his name and
rank: RADM. Buford Clancy, "BOOMER"
The AIR BOSS burns, but has no choice.
(really pissed off)
ROGER, GHOST RIDER, YOU'RE CLEAR.
KITTY HAWK DAY
Sailors line the deck and search the sky. They crane their
necks from their battle stations, sweating into the sun,
watching for the approach of F-14's. Someone sees it--he
points and SHOUTS. The F-14 appears, and every man stands and
132. POV -
WE COME SCREAMING IN, 5 FEET OVER THE WATER, throwing up
rooster tails behind. WE SPLIT OFF and ZOOM along each side
of the carrier, at 100 feet and ROLL IT.
133. INT. PRI-FLY BRIDGE--VVVAAAAABBOOOOM!
It lifts the Air Boss right off his feet. The walls warp,
dust sifts from the overhead. The whole tower just goes BOOM!
Goddamn that guy!"
134. EXT. FLIGHT DECK
They break at 500 knots. Ice is first down over the ramp,
waved in. The F-14 comes in a little rocky. It bounces hard
but grabs the wire, then jerks to a sudden halt. The sailors
CHEER AND APPLAUD, throwing fists of victory into the air,
straining to get a look at Ice as the crew directs his plane
off to the side. Opening the canopy, Ice and Slider unstrap.
Stinger and the others are there. Guys are climbing up,
climbing all over the airplane. They're already painting a
MiG on the side, and they're looking at Ice in awe.
135. POV - MAVERICK - THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD - AS HE LANDS
He catches the wire, the view slams down toward the deck as
the plane arrests, then comes up...He releases the cockpit
and can hear the ROAR OF THE CROWD...
136. EXT. FLIGHT DECK
He swings the nose around past Ice's. Ice's plane is covered
in colored jerseys as the ground crew pulls him out.
Maverick's plane swings towards the PRI-FLY BRIDGE. Pilots in
flightsuits pour from the deck hatch APPLAUDING...
137. HE CUTS HIS ENGINES AS THE GROUND CREW SWARMS
As Maverick and Fungus climb down, they see their wingmen on
the deck. Ice is looking in Maverick's direction. His face is
inscrutable. Maverick gets mobbed, but pushes over to Ice.
They stare at each other for a moment, eye to eye even as
they are buffeted by the crowd. Finally, Ice breaks...a grin.
I guess I owe you one.
You don't owe me anything.
We're on the same team.
You saved our lives. You did it!
We did it.
You're a hell of a flyer.
(he can't resist)
You can be my wingman any time.
No. You can be mine!
Now Ice laughs. Nobody's ever gonna win on this one. But Ice
smiles at him...It's now a running joke between them.
Whatever you say, Commander.
He and Slider snap to and proudly salute. Maverick
hesitates, then returns it. As Ice and Slider snap it off, it
turns into the pilot's salute, they give them the bird.
Maverick and Fungus laugh and return the compliment.
As they are mobbed by sailors, Maverick is elated to see two
familiar figures: Hollywood and Wolfman turn from their
battle damaged TOMCAT on the forward elevator as it sinks out
of sight below decks.
138. EXT. FLIGHT DECK
What happened to you?
He got our radio, and an engine. We
were lucky to make it back.
Not luck. Skill.
Stinger rushes up, grabs Ice and Maverick in a bear hug.
MiG killers! You name it, boy.
Sky's the limit. You name it. A
medal. Anything you want. Anything.
MiG killers! What else is there?
Maverick grins, turns away from them. He he looks out, at
the dying sun glinting over the sea. He thinks how beautiful
it is out here! Fungus grabs him from behind.
You hear that? Anything we want.
What do you want?
What do I want?
What do you want?
Any more MiGs?
Stinger shakes his head no.
They don't seem to want to come up
anymore. There's nothing on the
scopes. In fact, everybody's
denying the incident ever happened.
So...what is it? What do you want?
Maverick turns away, considering the options.
139. EXT. FLIGHT DECK - ANOTHER ANGLE
Another Tomcat rolls up to park nearby. He looks
at the plane. Over the deck LOUDSPEAKER, comes the
final call to the F-14:
LSO (V.O. filtered)
(a touch of sarcasm)
OKAY, GENTLEMEN. YOU CAN CUT YOUR
ENGINES...YOU HAVE ARRIVED....
AS THE ENGINES FADE, SO DOES THE PICTURE.
FADE IN - WEEKS LATER
140. EXT. DAY - FLIGHT LINE MIRAMAR - TOPGUN
Viper, Jester and others walk out of hangar to watch a wing
141A. EXT. MIRAMAR RUNWAY - DAY
THEIR POV. Suddenly an F-14 breaks, ROARS in over the field
inverted, a hundred feet off the ground.
142. FLIGHT LINE MIRAMAR - DAY
Who's the hell is that?
Well, he's in trouble and he didn't
even get here yet.
Jester looks over at an admiral, who steps out of a staff
car, squints up at the swooping plane, turns, barks an order
to his driver, jumps in the car and SLAMS the door, the car
143. EXT. MIRAMAR RUNWAY - DAY - FURTHER DOWN THE RUNWAY
MP jeeps - lights flashing, pull out and head for the flight
They head for the hangar
144. OVER THE END OF THE RUNWAY
The jet breaks at 500 knots and sets down neatly on the
tarmac. The rest of his flight follows in perfect formation.
145. EXT. MIRAMAR RUNWAY - DAY - MAVERICK'S JET -PULLING UP
He unbuckles his straps, takes his helmet off. He looks over
at the approaching caravan.
I think they know we're here.
Let me do the talking.
Oh, no. You did the flying, I'll do
He stands up in the cockpit, gives a snappy salute.
Why Admiral....How really good it
is to see you!
Maverick turns away. As he backs down the steps, a jeep
screeches up, doors slam open, footsteps.
Who's in charge here?
He's answered automatically, but now it hits him. He knows
the voice. He turns.
HIS POV - CHARLIE, HANDS ON HIPS
Not for long, you keep that up.
He hops down, stands there speechless, grinning happily at
You got your F-14, you got Top Gun,
you got your MiGs....You're our new
Top Gun instructor...Now what?
Oh...I'll think of something...
What are you doing here?
I live here, remember?
Right on the flight line?
He's got her on that one. She laughs.
Everybody's got to be somewhere.
Maybe your somewhere's with me...
He puts his arms around her. Self-conscious, she pulls away,
a little embarrassed to show this on the flight line. He
That's okay. I always look forward
to a challenge.
Now she laughs back and puts her arms around him. She kisses
him and now she doesn't give a damn who sees it.
April 19, 1985