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The Right Stuff


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward
  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Writers: Philip Kaufman, Tom Wolfe
  • Producers: Irwin Winkler, James D. Brubaker, Robert Chartoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 1997
  • Run Time: 193 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790731541
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,681 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Right Stuff" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Up Close And Personal Story Of America'S Space Program Atits Conception.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Great story, direction and acting (what a cast!)
Steve F.
If you watch a movie like The Right Stuff and you are surprised or taken aback by certain details that you know to be innaccurate, you are missing the point.
"satriani47"
This is a REMARKABLE film in every way, and is director Philip Kaufman's masterpiece.
Benjamin J Burgraff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Luis M. Ramos on June 23, 2004
Format: DVD
The fact that "The Right Stuff" lost the Oscar for best picture to "Terms Of Endearment" is beyond me; this movie should have won. The fact that it wasn't a hit at the box office back in 1983 is also beyond me. We are talking about what I think it's the best American epic in all the sense of the word.
It's strange that a Venezuelan-born like me should talk about a movie like this, but I feel that "The Right Stuff" should have been a classic -well, it is for me. The story of the "Mercury" astronauts is portrayed marvelously by Philip Kaufman's direction, showcased beautifully by Caleb Deschanel's stylish photography, and supported by an incredible cast including Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Sam Shepard, Pamela Reed, Kim Stanley, and Veronica Cartwright.
In fact, I remember when I was watching that movie at home, and my late father asked me if a man that appeared on the screen was astronaut John Glenn because he looked just like him. Of course I told him he was an actor who was playing his role. That said, it's incredible to see how Ed Harris is perfectly cast as Glenn.
And I don't want to forget one of the reasons why I love this movie, and that's Bill Conti's spectacular music score. Of course it may sound a little like Holst's "The Planets", but I usually weep every time I listen to the main theme.
I'm glad that a special edition DVD of "The Right Stuff" has been released, with fantastic extras that include new interviews with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, and an incredible documentary on John Glenn. I'm also glad about it because I think that this movie should be rightfully appreciated not only because it deals with historical events like the breaking of the sound barrier and the first American astronauts, but also because, as I said before, this is a classic.
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105 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on October 21, 2000
Format: DVD
'The Right Stuff' is one of the most glorious adventure films ever made, a story of incredible heroism, poignant romance, gripping drama, and broad humor...and amazingly, it has actually happened in our lifetimes!

This is a tale of test pilots, 'pushing the envelope', proving the sound barrier couldn't constrain mankind's reach for space. Leading the way is plain-speaking Chuck Yeager (portrayed by Sam Shepard with Gary Cooper-like charm), a Beeman's gum-chewing cowboy with a passion for his feisty wife (the beautiful Barbara Hershey), and hot planes. Not even a broken rib could hold him back when an opportunity to fly the X-1 was offered. His record-breaking flight could fill a movie by itself...and this is just the BEGINNING of the story!

Jumping ahead a few years, Yeager is joined by a new breed of test pilots, whose total love of flight challenges their relationships, and is the true measure of how they define themselves. Among them are 'Gordo' Cooper (Dennis Quaid), a hot dog jet jockey with an unhappy wife (sensitively played by Pamela Reed); and Gus Grissom (brilliantly portrayed by Fred Ward), coarse and direct, and anxious for his shot at the fastest jets.

The entire world changes when the Russians launch Sputnik, in 1957. As the American space program struggles to 'catch up', the government realizes that American men will have to go into space, and President Eisenhower wants test pilots to fill this role. Yeager is out (he never completed college), but Cooper and Grissom, and many others, compete for spots in the New Frontier.

These pilots, from all services, are weeded down to seven men, dubbed 'Astronauts', and the Mercury Space Program is born!
Read more ›
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Hinde on May 11, 2000
Format: DVD
Weighing in at three+ hours, "The Right Stuff" gives us a fantastic insight into the embryonic stages of humanity's journey into space. It is a personal disappointment to me that our species hasn't done more with the opportunities that space travel has given us.

Based on Tom Wolfe's history of the space program, the film takes us through the early stages of American space exploration. It starts with Yeager's historic speed record when he broke the sound barrier and finishes at the end of the Mercury program. For this reason I think "Apollo 13" makes a good sequel to "The Right Stuff" as it concerns itself with the subsequent Apollo program.

The cast is outstanding and they mostly offer strong performances. For much of the film Sam Shepard gets center stage in his role as Chuck Yeager. However since Yeager was never allowed the opportunity to join the space program the second half of the film focuses on the seven astronauts on the Mercury program. The leader of this group is John Glenn played extremely well by Ed Harris.

The beauty of this movie is that it brings the intimidatingly immense NASA program down to a personal and therefore understandable level. We get to see the political infighting, the childish "must beat the Ruskies" mentality and the everyday fears of the astronauts. All of this is achieved without losing the heroics of the people involved. They put their lives on the line with a determined grin on their face while NASA risks its future with every launch.

This is a very good movie as pure entertainment but when its educational potential is added to the equation, I would have to say that it is raised to the height of excellence. But be careful of allowing young boys to watch it, unless you want them growing up to become pilots.
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Topic From this Discussion
The Right Stuff Blu-ray?
I can't say that I have heard anything about it being released on Bluray but surely it will be. But they had better damned well correct the
nauseating sound quality. They have more data space than ever before with BR's so there's no excuse not to fix it.
The original dvd release of this... Read More
Apr 19, 2009 by Scott Strang |  See all 12 posts
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