Lighthouse Makes Movie History
Fort Worden State Park and Point Wilson Lighthouse provided the perfect background for the movie, An Officer and a Gentleman at scenic Fort Worden State Park. Filmed in 1981, the 1982 movie starred Richard Gere, Debra Winger and Louis Gossett, Jr.. Scenes were shot throughout Port Townsend and the park. Fort Worden was made to look like a United States Naval Aviation Candidate School and a replica aircraft was set up near the flagpole on the parade ground.
Louis Gossett Jr. won the best supporting actor award, the first black male actor to do so. Several other academy awards received nominations. The movie was an enormous hit and became the third highest grossing films of 1982.
The song, Up Where We Belong, won the best pop duo Grammy Award with Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes in 1982.
Richard Gere's famous line, “I’ve got nowhere to go!”, was filmed at Battery Kinzie, also known as the “lower bunkers” near the lighthouse.
Local residents were used in many scenes and many actors and film crew stayed at Manresa Castle in Port Townsend. The film crew constructed an obstacle course complete with a wooden structure used in the film just a short distance away from the lighthouse.
Many film scenes were shot throughout Port Townsend. The Tides Inn Motel on Water Street was used and visitors can rent the room they filmed in. The room they filmed in has a plaque commemorating the movie and inside there is a copy of the movie available to play.
Movie poster for, "An Officer and a Gentleman".
Cover photo shows Drill Sergeant Emil Foley, played by Louis Gossett Jr., making Zach Mayo, played by Richard Gere, on the beach with Point Wilson Lighthouse in the background.