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Page # 892

The Right Stuff
ID:
1983
Comments:
Director: Philip Kaufman
Screenplay: Philip Kaufman, Tom Wolfe
Producer: Irwin Winkler, James D. Brubaker, Robert Chartoff
Cast: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward
Genre: Action & Adventure

Running Time: 193
Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1 (NTSC Widescreen)
Sound: Dolby
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Features: Special Edition
Studio:  Warner Home Video DVD Region:  1 PG
DVD Release:  Jun 2003 Discs:  2 (Cloud) []
Purchase: 
Reviews:  Philip Kaufman's intimate epic about the "Mercury" astronauts (based on Tom Wolfe's book) was one of the most ambitious and spectacularly exciting movies of the 1980s. It surprised almost everybody by not becoming a smash hit. By all rights, the film should have been every bit the success that "Apollo 13" would later become; "The Right Stuff" is not only just as thrilling, but it is also a bigger and better movie. Combining history (both established and revisionist), grand mythmaking (and myth puncturing), adventure, melodrama, behind-the-scenes dish, spectacular visuals, and a down-to-earth sense of humor, "The Right Stuff" chronicles NASA's efforts to put a man in orbit. Such an achievement would be the first step toward President Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon, and, perhaps most important of all, would win a crucial public relations/morale victory over the Soviets, who had delivered a stunning blow to American pride by launching "Sputnik", the first satellite. The movie contrasts the daring feats of the unsung test pilots--one of whom, Chuck Yeager, embodied more than anyone else the skill and spirit of Wolfe's title--against the heavily publicized (and sanitized) accomplishments of the "Mercury" astronauts. Through no fault of their own, the spacemen became prisoners of the heroic images the government created for them in order to capture the public's imagination. The casting is inspired; the film features Sam Shepard as the legendary Yeager, Ed Harris as John Glenn, Dennis Quaid as "Gordo" Cooper, Scott Glenn as Alan Shepard, Fred Ward as Gus Grissom, Scott Wilson as Scott Crossfield, and Pamela Reed and Veronica Cartwright are superb in their thankless roles as astronauts' wives. "--Jim Emerson"


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