As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
The elevator scene (in which Maverick and Charlie meet after his workout) was filmed post-production. Kelly McGillis's hair had already been colored for another movie role, which is why she is wearing a hat. Tom Cruise's hair is longer in the shot as well.
A test audience, who saw the movie before it was released, were annoyed that there was no love scene. The producers obliged, and five months after the production had wrapped, they summoned Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis to Chicago to film the infamous elevator scene and the sex scene. During their time away from the set, McGillis had lost approximately sixteen pounds, and Cruise was actually filming The Color of Money (1986), so his hair was much longer in those two scenes. McGillis' hair was also much darker, hence why she hid it underneath a cap in the elevator scene.
In the elevator scene as Maverick enters, there is a framed photograph of a ship on the wall behind him. The ship is the USS Los Angeles (CA-135).
In the elevator, Charlie's ear alternates between being tucked under her cap and being untucked between shots.
In the elevator scene, Maverick walks through a "closed" elevator door.
During the elevator scene, the position of the hair on Maverick's forehead changes multiple times between shots.
(At around 48m) When Maverick steps into the elevator, a crew member can be seen reflected on the picture frame on the wall behind him.
In the elevator scene the officer that enters is wearing a garrison cap. In the navy, indoors, the officer would not have been covered. Covers are only worn outdoors.
In the elevator scene, Charlie's hair is noticeably darker than in other scenes. This is because this scene was shot after principal photography, and Kelly McGillis had already dyed her hair for another film role. The filmmakers tried to hide her darkened hair with the cap, but it's still noticeable.
Jack Epps Jr.
"Top Guns" by Ehud Yonay
Tom Cruise as LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell
Kelly McGillis as Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwoo
Val Kilmer as LT Tom "Iceman" Kazansky
Anthony Edwards as LTJG Nick "Goose" Bradshaw
Tom Skerritt as CDR Mike "Viper" Metcalf
Michael Ironside as LCDR Rick "Jester" Heatherly
John Stockwell as LT Bill "Cougar" Cortell
Barry Tubb as LTJG Henry "Wolfman" Ruth
Rick Rossovich as LTJG Ron "Slider" Kerner
Tim Robbins as LTJG Sam "Merlin" Wells
Clarence Gilyard as LTJG Marcus "Sundown" Williams
Whip Hubley as LT Rick "Hollywood" Neven
James Tolkan as CDR Tom "Stinger" Jardian
Meg Ryan as Carole Bradshaw
Adrian Pasdar as LT Charles "Chipper" Piper