James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Testosterone-pumped actioner meets romantic drama in the flick that launched Richard Gere as a heartthrob hero, while making a mint at the box office
As the white-uniformed trainee naval officer with a troubled past and some mean martial arts skills, Gere is in top smooching form, playing opposite Debra Winger's local girl love interest. Pouring his heart out, racing around on his motorcycle and using his fighting skills to kick some butt (all to the tune of 'Up Where We Belong'), Gere combines a hard-edged military mentality with a surprisingly soft feminine side that's just waiting to be validated by the love of a good woman.
A typical 1980s tale of self-driven success, this is Top Gun without the aerial acrobatics, a reactionary paean to the joys of Reagan's America in which Gere does as much moping as fighting before realising - in the immortal words of Tina Turner - that he really is the best, better than all the rest. As a commentary on American machismo post-feminism, this is an invaluable text, with Gere's feminine side proving that he's enough of an officer and a gentleman to get his leg over and pass his course.
Phenomenally successful at the time of its release, but increasingly dated-looking.
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