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The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

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(book), (screenplay)
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2,484 ( 678)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Charles Frank ...
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Jack Ridley / Narrator
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Storyline

Tom Wolfe's book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How the future began. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Stoff aus dem die Helden sind  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$21,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Alan Shepard is about to board the rocket to be the first American in space is archival footage. The scene immediately after he points up to the rocket after exiting the transport trailer shows a man in a suit and tie coming down the stairs of the trailer then following Shepard to the tower elevator. The man is the real Gus Grissom - one of the astronauts that perished in the Apollo 1 fire. See more »

Goofs

When told that he must keep from the Russians the news of the breaking of the sound barrier, a reporter wonders why that is necessary, especially since Russia is our ally. By October 1947 events in Eastern Europe (Soviet-backed government take-overs by Communists in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Albania) and agitation in Czechoslovakia and Berlin, it was apparent only to only the most naive that Russia was no longer our "ally." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wizard of Speed and Time (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Yablochka
Traditional
Arranged by Mark Selivan (uncredited)
Performed by the Andreyev Balalaika Ensemble
Courtesy of Monitor Records
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User Reviews

"The Right Stuff": That Is Exactly What This Film Has
4 August 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Outstanding film from 1983 that was honored with four Academy Awards and is often called the second-best film of the 1980s behind only Scorsese's "Raging Bull". The movie is a 190-plus minute extravaganza which honors the U.S. Mercury 7 Astronauts. The all-star cast includes Sam Shepard (as Chuck Yeager in an Oscar-nominated role of a lifetime), Ed Harris (John Glenn), Scott Glenn (Alan Shepard), Fred Ward (Gus Grissom), Lance Henriksen (Walter Schirra), Dennis Quaid (Gordon Cooper), and Donald Moffat (Lyndon Baines Johnson). The film is solid in so many respects. It is meticulous and tries to go for drama and humor and succeeds in everything it wants to do. Veronica Cartwright, Barbara Hershey, Pamela Reed, Kathy Baker, and Mary Jo Deschanel are also along for the ride as several of the wives who attempt to keep their heads about them while they fear that their husbands are losing theirs. "The Right Stuff" is a historical lesson told in a way that is so clever and convincing that few will find fault with anything when it comes to the story-telling. Writer-director Philip Kaufman easily does the best work of his career with this masterpiece. Look for Cincinnati Bengal Hall-of-Famer Anthony Munoz in a cameo appearance. Arguably the best film of the 1980s and should have been the Best Picture Oscar winner over "Terms of Endearment" in 1983. 5 stars out of 5.


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question to Russians about this film savair1
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