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The Right Stuff

4.6 out of 5 stars 684 customer reviews

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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

Special Features

  • Photo Gallery

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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (684 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790731541
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,619 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Right Stuff" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There are already a great many reviews here providing a summary of the plot, opinions on historical accuracy and acting. Therefore, this review will only focus upon the actual quality of the transfer of the 30th Anniversary Edition to Blue Ray. Keep in mind that the quality of what you see and hear also depends upon the quality of TV monitor you are using and its accompanying home theater processor and speakers. I have a pretty high end, esoteric system and am judging the Blu Ray off of that.

VIDEO....
This film has been properly remastered for both the video and audio, of that I have no doubt. Despite a Mbps rate that is lower than many current films on Blu Ray, averaging in the mid to high 20's, the flesh tones are spot on and color resolution throughout the film on BR is excellent. While blacks do not go as deep toward pluge as other movies on Blu Ray, for a film this old, they appear just fine. Details are easily scene, even in the desert and field shots. Since this was shot on film, there is a softer focus to the film's imaging but, all in all, this remastering is quite excellent. At no point did I see any artifacting or aliasing and there are a number of shots where stair stepping could have been created but, thankfully, weren't.

AUDIO...
Audio is Dolby True HD 5.1 lossless and they did an excellent job with the audio editing with extensive use of panning between the front and rear stages as well as discreet directionality for foley fx in the surrounds. Having a 7.1 audio system, I found that the two extra surrounds really added a great deal to the audio mix and immersed oneself into the roar of the jets. There are not that many older films, or even new ones, with such an excellent use of the home theater surround stages.

EXTRAS...
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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!
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