Ever since the movie came out, people have been talking about the subtext inside the movie Top Gun. I mean, even a month before the film's release, Pauline Kael’s review dropped in the New Yorker and said, “The movie is a shiny homoerotic commercial: the pilots strut around the locker room, towels hanging precariously from their waists. It’s as if masculinity had been redefined as how a young man looks with his clothes half off, and as if narcissism is what being a warrior is all about.”

There was also the 1994 movie Sleep with Mein which Quentin Tarantino actually played a small role where he talks about the movie's repressed gay themes. 

If you didn't watch the video, you see Tarantino’s character say, “You’ve got Maverick, all right? He’s on the edge, man. He’s right on the fucking line, all right? And you’ve got Iceman, and all his crew. They’re gay, they represent the gay man, all right? And they’re saying, go, go the gay way, go the gay way. He could go both ways… Kelly McGillis, she’s heterosexuality. She’s saying: no, no, no, no, no, no, go the 'normal' way, play by the rules, go the 'normal' way. They’re saying no, go the gay way, be the gay way, go for the gay way, all right? That is what’s going on throughout that whole movie."

This fun monologue expands on what people have been saying since the movie came out. As Top Gun celebrates its 35th anniversary, producer Jerry Bruckheimer finally talks about that subtext. 

In a recent sitdown with Vulture, Bruckheimer said, “When you make a movie, people can interpret it in any way they want and see something in it that the filmmakers had no idea they were tapping. So we’re surprised every time we hear something talked about, or written about, the films that we make that have no real context for the filmmakers or what the filmmakers wanted to do. And yet there’s a relevance to them, because people believe it.”

He finished with,  “[Director] Tony [Scott] and Quentin were very good friends. In fact, Quentin came in and helped Tony and myself on Crimson Tide. He came in and wrote a couple of scenes for us. So there was a great camaraderie and respect between Quentin and Tony. Coming from Quentin, it’s always a compliment.”

I think that's a really nice way to look at another person's comments about your work overall.

If you're interested in other critical readings on Top Gun's sexuality, check out this article from Jezebel which analyzes the same scenes and contains a deeper dive into the connotations and framing of the characters in the movie. 

Did you think any of this while seeing the movie? What's your read on it? 

Let me know in the comments.