I remember a couple of hip guys in my high school discussing this film, Dogfight, all those years back. Now I know why. It’s a good movie, if you can track it down. I got a copy released with two other films, for quite cheap. Well-done, humane, and interesting.
Someone on IMDB called it a sleeper. I don’t know how successful it finally was, but I did find this discussion of how books and films become sleeper hits interesting.