An Officer and a Gentleman
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Richard Gere plays Zack Mayo, an aloof, taciturn man who aspires to be a navy pilot. Once he's arrived at training camp for his 13-week officer's course, Mayo runs afoul of abrasive, no-nonsense drill sergeant Emil Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.). Mayo --or "Mayonnaise," as he is dubbed by the irascible Foley -- is an excellent cadet, but a little cold around the heart. Foley rides Mayo mercilessly, sensing that the young man would be prime officer material if he weren't so self-involved. Zack's affair with working girl Paula Pokrifi (Debra Winger) is likewise compromised… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It is full of bang-on melodramatics and simple, romanticized characters with carefully supplied motivations."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Macho, materialistic, and pro-militarist, it's an objectionable little number made all the more insidious by the way Hackford pulls the strings and turns it into a heart-chilling weepie."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It's a straight-out drama in the old Hollywood style. As such, it works fairly well, though its lapses in taste are sour reminders of the subtlety Hollywood has lost in recent years."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1980s version that doesn't tamper much with the formula, but it does revitalize it, thanks to the erotic teamwork of Richard Gere and Debra Winger."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Its famous ending may be hokey, but in a movie this honest, it couldn't feel more right."
‑ Pete Croatto,
"Taylor Hackford's 1982 film is an awesomely, stiflingly professional piece of work, with a fleet, superficial visual style, perfectly placed climaxes, and a screenplay that doesn't waste a single character or situation."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"An Officer and a Gentleman is the best movie about love that I've seen in a long time. Maybe that's because it's not about "love" as a Hollywood concept, but about love as growth, as learning to accept other people for who and what they are."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Phenomenally successful at the time of its release, but increasingly dated-looking."
‑ , Film4
"The performances are uniformly strong, with Gere offering some of his best work -- though it pales in comparison with Gossett's tour de force as the tough, principled Sgt. Foley."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Blue-collar fairy tale: Richard Gere is the frog-prince and Debra Winger is Cinderella in this extremely old-fashioned yet enjoyable movie, whose few modernist touches are a black sergeant, rougher lingo, and more vivid sexuality."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Rarely does a film come along with so many finely-drawn characters to care about."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A conventional but hugely compelling drama."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Not even the combined talents of Debra Winger and an Oscar-winning Louis Gossett Jr can turn this one into a great movie, but if you're in the mood for a wallow, it's perfect."
‑ Sue Heal, Radio Times
"So-so coming-of-age military flick; not for kids."
‑ Hollis Griffin, Common Sense Media
"This movie is made for the romantic in all of us, as well as the loners that we've all experienced being at one point in our lives."
‑ JoBlo, JoBlo's Movie Emporium
More reviews for Officer and a Gentleman on Rotten Tomatoes