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Tom Cruise And 'Top Gun: Maverick' Touch Down in Cannes

Tom Cruise poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Top Gun: Maverick' at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Tom Cruise poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Top Gun: Maverick' at the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
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Cannes, France (AP) -- Tom Cruise mania descended Wednesday in Cannes where the actor made a whirlwind appearance at the film festival, walking the red carpet, receiving a surprise Palme d'Or and watching a squadron of French fighter jets fly over the European premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cannes pulled out all the stops to fete the 59-year-old star, paying tribute to Cruise with not just a rare interview on stage and a red-carpet premiere featuring a flyby of jets trailing colored smoke, but with the unexpected presentation of an honorary Palme d'Or. Festival president Pierre Lescure announced the award — about 15 honorary Palmes have been given before — on stage just before the screening was to begin. Cruise clutched Cannes' top prize while the audience gave the actor a standing ovation.