Movie Trivia - "An Officer and a Gentleman"
An Officer and a Gentleman "An Officer and a Gentleman"

John Denver was offered and turned down the lead role. He later said it read like a "1950's movie".

Actress Lisa Eilbacher said the hardest part about doing her obstacle course scenes was pretending she was out of shape.

In the original script, Mayo's Dad, played by Robert Loggia in the film visited his son during training and had a much bigger role.

Former Marine drill instructor turned actor R. Lee Ermey coached Louis Gossett Jr. for his role as Sgt. Foley. Ermey would later play a tough and profane drill sergeant himself in Full Metal Jacket. Ironically, he was initially hired as a coach for that movie as well, before landing the role.

During the scene at TJ's where Zack says goodbye to Paula, Seegar says "I can still taste that bug!" This refers to a deleted survival training scene (included in the novelization) where Zack goads Seegar into eating a bug that is crawling on the roof of their shelter, then is forced to eat one himself to avoid disgrace.

The motel scenes were filmed at the Tides Motel in Port Townsend, Washington. The room they used still has a wooden plaque on the door commemorating its use in the movie.

Producer Don Simpson unsuccessfully demanded that the ballad "Up Where We Belong" be cut from the film, saying, "The song is no good. It isn't a hit." The song later became the #1 song on the Billboard chart and won the Academy Award for Best Song. He wanted a similar song called "On The Wings Of Love" by Jeffrey Osborne. The song was released a few months later. It peaked at #29 on the Billboard charts.

Richard Gere rides a 750cc Triumph T140E Bonneville introduced halfway in the 1978 selling season. Two T140E Bonnevilles were supplied by Dewey's Cycle Shop in Seattle, Washington. One had Receipt no.16787 dated April 8, 1981 as sold to Paramount Pictures.

Zach tells Paula that he will later be stationed in Beeville, Texas to learn to fly jets. Beeville was actually home, until the mid nineties, of Naval Air Station Chase Field, where navy pilots trained. The base has since been closed and the site converted into a maximum security prison.

At the beginning of the movie, when a young Zack was mugged by a group of young Filipinos, their lines actually meant, "Gut the son of a bitch," and then, "How much did we get? How much?"

According to "High Concept", Charles Fleming's biography of producer Don Simpson, the producer was alleged to have said to the auditioning Debra Winger, "There may be somebody else for this part. I need somebody fuckable. You're not fuckable enough."

In the United Kingdom, Paramount successfully linked with Triumph Motorcycles (Meriden) Ltd to do a mutual promotion. Cinemas showing the film would be promoted at their local Triumph dealer and T140E Triumph Bonnevilles supplied by the dealer would be displayed in cinema foyers.

Debra Winger negotiated her own contract (no agent) before she had seen the revised script and was not happy when she found out that she would be doing a nude scene. She asked to be covered up for the scene, but was told that since she hadn't thought to ask for a "no nudity" clause in her contract, she would have to do the scene as written.

Eric Roberts was seriously considered for the lead role, but his manager, Bill Treusch, attended the meetings between Eric and director, Taylor Hackford , which led Hackford to finally have reservations that Treusch would not allow for a vital director/actor relationship to develop between Taylor and Eric.

Kristy McNichol and Brooke Shields were each offered the role of Paula, but both turned it down.

Jeff Bridges was director Taylor Hackford's original choice for the lead role in An Officer and a Gentleman, but he had to turn it down due to a busy schedule.

Richard Gere said to Barbara Walters he did the movie strictly for the money. It wound up being his biggest box office hit until Pretty Woman.

Kurt Russell also turned down the lead role.

Director Taylor Hackford purposely kept Louis Gossett Jr. living in separate quarters from the rest of the movie's cast to further his character's intimidating presence as a drill sergeant.

Meg Ryan was considered for the role of Paula Pokrifki.

At the graduation ceremony when Zack says he's going to get his "first salute", he is referring to his father. A scene was shot at the graduation where Zack's father salutes him. This goes back to a point in the beginning when Zack's Dad said he'd never salute him. Robert Loggia protested that being cut out of the movie. The footage is considered lost.

It is a Navy tradition for newly-commissioned officers to give a silver dollar to the person who gives them their first salute. In the scene where the new graduates of Foley's class receive their "first salutes," you can see them giving Foley a silver dollar prior to each salute. It is also a tradition for the D.I. to place the silver dollar of his memorable students in his right pocket; you can see that Mayo's dollar is placed in Foley's right pocket, rather than the left pocket as it is for, for example, Ensign Della Serra.