It’s been nearly 36 years since Top Gun first took flight. Essentially a recruitment ad for the Navy disguised as an action flick, the Tony Scott-directed film is remembered for ushering in a new age of blockbuster spectacle and solidifying Tom Cruise’s ascent to movie stardom.
It’s also remembered for being pretty gay.Related: 9 genuine reactions I had while watching ‘Basic Instinct’ for the first time everEven if you’ve never seen it, you’re probably aware of the scene where a shirtless Cruise, Val Kilmer, and their hunky colleagues play beach volleyball, their well-oiled muscles shimmering in the hot afternoon sun.
The camera ogles their hard bodies to the point that many have read the entire film as a queer allegory (including, famously, Quentin Tarantino).But how gay is Top Gun, really?
With its belated and long-delayed sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, hitting theaters, it was the perfect time to revisit this era-defining emblem of male bravado and homosocial relationships.Related: All the hidden (and not so hidden) gay culture happening within the ‘Scream’ universeWe’ve gone ahead and listed the scenes you should skip to if you only care about the movie’s gay moments—the campy, the subtextually queer, and the overtly homoerotic.