Why the famous Top Gun scam wasn’t really a scam

Many critics (and some fans) of the airborne action film Iron Eagle believe the film was a Top Gun knockoff, but it predates the most famous release.

the years 1986 Iron eaglee is mostly famous for being supposedly a shameless Top Gun Cashing in and guilty pleasure, but that’s not really the case with the film (at least the first part). Released in 1986, Top Gun was a huge box office hit. The Tom Cruise vehicle was so successful that the blockbuster increased actual Navy and Air Force recruiting rates in the years that followed.

However, despite Top Gun being such a disproportionate success story for his studio, few films have attempted to wrest the unique appeal of success. There has never been a Top Gun for the military, and few films have managed to imbue the war with the triumphant, fun tone of summer blockbusters of Top Gun in the decades since its release (making some fans wonder if the long-awaited sequel will pick up on this trick). There was one blockbuster film, however, which was accused of shamelessly ripping off Top Gun upon its release and in the years that followed.

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Iron eagle tells the story of future test pilot Doug, rejected by the Air Force because he was not a pilot strong enough. With veteran Colonel Chappy, Doug “borrows” an F-16 from the US Air Force to save his father who is stranded in hostile enemy territory on the other side of the Atlantic. Iron eagle is about as silly as its recap, and the action flick has spawned a trio of sequels despite being only a minor financial blow upon release. These days, however, the film is best known for allegedly ripping off famous action director Tony Scott. Top Gun– an accusation which has been proven to be false, despite the frequency with which it is repeated.

Iron Eagle came out before Top Gun

Despite what many fans and critics of the film think, Iron eagle actually came out a few months before Top Gun. Iron eagle arrived at the cinema in January 1986, when Top Gun arrived four months later at the start of the blockbuster season in May. Top Gun was undeniably the biggest hit, earning over $ 300 million on a budget of just $ 15 million. however, Iron eagle was not a failure in the finance department, earning over $ 24 million from its $ 18 million budget. However, despite this relative success, public perception Iron eagle nevertheless grew up to see the film as an imitation of the original Top Gun, although the tube was released before Scott’s film.

The stories of Iron Eagle and Top Gun are not similar

Iron eagle

A failed test pilot teaming up with a veteran to steal a plane and save his father from a nation that imprisons him doesn’t sound much like the story of a successful test pilot bumping into colleagues from competitive work and authority issues. Iron eagleThe story’s is more of a classic war film plot (ironically, as it was the least successful military film), following the phrase “a rebel hero faces faceless alien threats but this time it is ‘is personal “. In contrast, one of the most popular and weirdest elements of Top GunThe success of is the fact that the film does not have a major external protagonist until its last aerial fight, and Maverick is both the hero and the villain of the original film as he follows his personal growth rather than any specific mission. .

Iron Eagle was not approved by the military (unlike Top Gun)

The creators of Iron eagle was unable to obtain permission to use actual F-16s thanks to the Air Force’s long-standing policy of not tolerating depictions of aircraft flying (no matter how heroic and excessive they are ). Therefore, Iron eagle was made without US military cooperation where Top Gun depended on the US military for equipment and scenario approval. This was part of the subsequent film’s formula for success, as the actual Navy and Air Force involvement in the production of Scott’s film was proudly displayed as part of its advertising campaign. In return, the actual Navy and Air Force registered fans outside of screenings of Top Gun, further strengthening the film’s intimate relationship with the institution that rejected Iron eagleplain and simple history.

Related: Jerry Bruckheimer Is Right About Tarantino’s Famous Top Gun Take

Iron Eagle received sequels before Top Gun

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Top Gun just received its first sequel, 35 long years after the original. On the other hand, Iron eagle received a sequel just two years after the first movie in 1988. Not only that, Iron eagle soon followed this feat with another sequel in 1992, and the fourth film in 1995. Certainly, Iron eagleThe sequels weren’t box office hits, with the former earning just $ 10 million while the latter earning $ 2.5 million. That said, it remains to be seen whether Top Gun: Maverick can beat Ghostbusters: the afterlife at the box office, so the financial imbalance between the two franchises may not be that big for long.

The Bizarre Reason fans think Iron Eagle ripped off the Top Gun

Tom Crusie & Kelly McGillis in Top Gun

Despite the extensive evidence that Iron eagle did not snatch Top Gun, many fans claim the opposite online. Even generally well-informed sources make mistakes, as evidenced by a major journal’s rejection of Iron eagle: “There is no apparent logic to any of this except as a way to capitalize on the current vogue for imperialist fervor and steal the limelight from Paramount’s “Top Gun”.“(Paul Attanasio, The Washington Post). This is an extraordinary claim when Top Gun wasn’t even published at the time, although this review never says Iron eagle stole the hit starring Tom Cruise. Instead, the review contends only that the original Top Gunthe potential success of could play on the timing of Iron eagle, a reasonable claim that nonetheless contributed to the mistaken belief that the previous film copied the subsequent success.

This claim still barely holds water, however, as if the publicity for Top Gun was big enough to start in January 1986, Iron eagle viewers would have pretty much known the film was around four months before its release. Top Gun had not yet been seen by anyone, that is to say the creators of Iron eagle At worst, they could only have taken advantage of the original Tom Cruise movie hype and not base their entire project on the movie’s success. A similar misunderstanding occurred when viewers of Creatures presumed that the 1986 horror comedy stole its story of “mini-monsters go wild in a small town” from Gremlins, when in fact the original script predates the production of Gremlins although the latter came out first. Whatever the cause, however, Iron eagle deserves to be freed from its scam status Top Gun (although, like the Tom Cruise movie, it has its own flaws that are harder to ignore).

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