Grade B +

A mega-hit from the early 1980s, “An Officer And A Gentleman” is a story of a young hustler, played by Richard Gere, who enters the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School and gets a lot more than what he bargained for.

Fresh out of college and carrying a ton of emotional baggage, Gere is off to a rough start in OCS with his loner personality, money making schemes, and defiant nature.  Although he cruises easily through the physical parts of his training, there are still many things that can trip him up: a tough, ever vigilant Drill Instructor (played by Louis Gossett, Jr.); a factory worker (played by Debra Winger) who falls in love with Gere; and a fellow candidate –who is carrying his own set of destructive, emotional problems — who befriends Gere.  OCS isn’t just a test to see if Gere has what it takes to be a Naval pilot, it is also a journey to see if he can open himself to accept life’s most precious gift.

My most memorable, movie moment of “An Officer And A Gentleman” is the scene when Gere and Gossett take their differences to the extreme and engage in a brutal, karate fight.

People looking for accurate, basic training of soldiers will find many faults in this movie; but “An Officer And A Gentleman” is not a documentary on the U.S. Navy.  It is a story of romance and emotional growth, and it hits all the right emotions and sentiments for those who love this genre.

— M