Run time: 119 mins
Hugely popular in its day and appealing to the incurable romantic in all of us, this is a highly manipulative mixture of "boot camp is good for you" and "every girl loves a man in uniform".
Zack Mayo (Richard Gere), a new member of the U.S. Navy, has a bad attitude. When he signs up for the Aviation Academy, he is met with the strict leadership of Sgt. Emil Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.). Through Foley’s guidance – and an unexpected romance with Paula (Debra Winger), an outsider who hangs around the naval base – Zack learns some tough lessons and discovers what he truly wants out of life.
An Officer and a Gentleman is both a thoroughly rousing crowd-pleaser and a shamelessly manipulative banner-waver, a homage to the never-practiced ethics of a non-existent era. Gere looks a treat in his pristine white togs, and gives a performance more wooden than a wardrobe, but who cares! Not even the combined talents of Winger and Gossett Jr can turn this one into a “great” film, but if you’re in the mood for a wallow, it hits the spot. (Jack Whiting)