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The Right Stuff
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The Right Stuff (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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


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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tom Wolfe (book)
Philip Kaufman (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Right Stuff on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 February 1984 (USA) See more »
By flying higher and faster than any other man had ever dared before, Chuck Yeager set the pace for a new breed of hero. Those that had just one thing in common...THE RIGHT STUFF. See more »
The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Won 4 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
the film does praise Yeager (response to mrbisco) See more (172 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sam Shepard ... Chuck Yeager

Scott Glenn ... Alan Shepard

Ed Harris ... John Glenn

Dennis Quaid ... Gordon Cooper

Fred Ward ... Gus Grissom

Barbara Hershey ... Glennis Yeager

Kim Stanley ... Pancho Barnes

Veronica Cartwright ... Betty Grissom

Pamela Reed ... Trudy Cooper

Scott Paulin ... Deke Slayton
Charles Frank ... Scott Carpenter

Lance Henriksen ... Wally Schirra

Donald Moffat ... Lyndon B. Johnson

Levon Helm ... Jack Ridley / Narrator

Mary Jo Deschanel ... Annie Glenn

Scott Wilson ... Scott Crossfield

Kathy Baker ... Louise Shepard
Mickey Crocker ... Marge Slayton
Susan Kase ... Rene Carpenter
Mittie Smith ... Jo Schirra

Royal Dano ... Minister

David Clennon ... Liaison Man

Jim Haynie ... Air Force Major

Jeff Goldblum ... Recruiter

Harry Shearer ... Recruiter
Scott Beach ... Chief Scientist
Jane Dornacker ... Nurse Murch
Anthony Munoz ... Gonzales

John P. Ryan ... Head of Program
Darryl Henriques ... Life Reporter
Eric Sevareid ... Eric Sevareid

William Russ ... Slick Goodlin
Drew Letchworth ... The Permanent Press Corps
Christopher P. Beale ... The Permanent Press Corps
Richard Dupell ... The Permanent Press Corps
William Hall ... The Permanent Press Corps
John X. Heart ... The Permanent Press Corps
Ed Holmes ... The Permanent Press Corps
Jack Bruno Tate ... The Permanent Press Corps
Edward Anhalt ... Grand Designer

Mary Apick ... Woman Reporter
Robert Beer ... Dwight D. Eisenhower
Erik Bergmann ... Eddie Hodges
James Brady ... Aide to Lyndon B. Johnson (as James M. Brady)
Katherine Conklin ... Woman TV Reporter
Maureen Coyne ... Waitress
Tom Dahlgren ... Bell Aircraft Executive
John Lion ... Bell Aircraft Executive
Peggy Davis ... Sally Rand

John Dehner ... Henry Luce
Robert Elross ... Review Board President
Drew Eshelman ... Assistant Scientist
Robert J. Geary ... Game Show M.C.
Royce Grones ... 1st X-1 Pilot (as Major Royce Grones)

David Gulpilil ... Aborigine
Anthony Wallis ... Australian Driver (as Anthony Wallace)
Kaaren Lee ... Young Widow
Sandy Kronemeyer ... Cocoa Beach Girl
Frankie Di ... Cocoa Beach Girl
Michael Pritchard ... Texan
Ed Corbett ... Texan

O-Lan Jones ... Girl at Pancho's (as O-Lan Shepard)
Mark Todd ... Astronaut Trainee
Allen Gebhardt ... Astronaut Trainee (as Alan Gebhart)

Chuck Yeager ... Fred (as General Chuck Yeager)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ed Sullivan ... Himself (archive footage)
Gilbert Bazan ... Spectator (uncredited)
Ronnie Dee Blaire ... Voiceover (uncredited)
Nikolai Bulganin ... Himself - Viewing Parade for Gagarin (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Dana ... José Jimenez (archive footage) (uncredited)

Shawn Flanagan ... Fan at the cow palace (uncredited)
Yuri Gagarin ... Himself - Embracing Khrushchev (archive footage) (uncredited)

Lyndon Johnson ... Himself - Standing Behind JFK (archive footage) (uncredited)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Nikita Khrushchev ... Himself - Embracing Gagarin (archive footage) (uncredited)

Christopher Kriesa ... Mission Control Room Man (uncredited)
Georgi Malenkov ... Himself - Viewing Parade for Gagarin (archive footage) (uncredited)
James Mathers ... Capt. Mills (uncredited)
Anastas Mikoyan ... Himself - Viewing Parade for Gagarin (archive footage) (uncredited)

Randy Outzen ... Reporter (uncredited)
Mimi Sarkisian ... New Mexico Nurse in Lobby (uncredited)
Greg r Stone ... Hero Extra (uncredited)
Tony Toscano ... Reporter (uncredited)
Kliment Voroshilov ... Himself - Viewing Parade for Gagarin (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Philip Kaufman 
Writing credits
Tom Wolfe (book)

Philip Kaufman (screenplay)

Produced by
James D. Brubaker .... executive producer
Robert Chartoff .... producer
Irwin Winkler .... producer
Original Music by
Bill Conti 
Cinematography by
Caleb Deschanel (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Glenn Farr 
Lisa Fruchtman 
Tom Rolf 
Stephen A. Rotter 
Douglas Stewart 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
Geoffrey Kirkland 
Art Direction by
W. Stewart Campbell 
Richard Lawrence  (as Richard J. Lawrence)
Peter R. Romero  (as Peter Romero)
Set Decoration by
George R. Nelson 
Jim Poynter  (as Pat Pending)
Makeup Department
Karen Bradley .... makeup artist
Catherine Childers .... hair stylist
Yvonne Curry .... makeup artist (as J. Yvonne Curry)
Bruce Geller .... hair stylist
Pat Grover .... hair stylist (as Patricia Grover)
Production Management
James D. Brubaker .... production manager
Ned Kopp .... production manager: additional photography
Larry Powell .... unit production manager: desert and aerial unit
David Whorf .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nancy Giebink .... second assistant director: additional unit
L. Dean Jones Jr. .... second assistant director
Michael Looney .... additional second assistant director
Sharon Mann .... additional second assistant director
Ed Milkovich .... first assistant director: desert and aerial unit (as Edward F. Milkovich)
Charles Myers .... first assistant director (as Charles A. Myers)
Charles Myers .... first assistant director: additional unit (as Charles A. Myers)
Art Department
James R. Allen .... assistant property master
Thomas Anderson .... labor foreman
Peter Bankins .... lead set dresser (as Peteris M. Bankins)
Steve Banks .... additional set dresser
Tim Boxell .... storyboard artist
Alan Covey Jr. .... greensman
Dale Edward Cowart .... drapery foreman
Paul Dal Porto .... property master
Bruce Di Valerio .... construction foreman
Cal DiValerio .... supervising construction coordinator (as Cal Di Valerio)
Craig Edgar .... set designer
Robert Evans .... stand-by painter
Emily Ferry .... supervising property master
Tom J. Furginson .... lead set dresser (as Thomas J. Furginson)
Gary Gutierrez .... storyboard artist
Elizabeth Hamilton .... paint coordinator
Dale Haugo .... paint foreman (as Dale Halgo)
Donald E. Kerns .... additional set dresser
Rich Larson .... storyboard artist (as Richard Larson)
Joel David Lawrence .... set designer
Leo Loverro .... construction foreman
Rick Moore .... artist
Nick Navarro .... set designer (as Nicanor Navarro)
Gene Rudolf .... visual consultant
Don Watson .... drapery supervisor
Dwight Williams .... construction coordinator (as Dwight E. Williams)
George Zimninsky .... lead set dresser
William Boyd .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Scott H. Campbell .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Gerald Gates Jr. .... paint foreman (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
C.J. Appel .... adr editor
Sandina Bailo-Lape .... Dialogue and ADR Assistant (as Sandina Bailo)
Tom Bellfort .... adr assistant
Danny Benson .... cable person
John Benson .... sound effects editor
Mark Berger .... supervising re-recording mixer
Jay Boekelheide .... supervising sound editor
Todd Boekelheide .... re-recording mixer
Karen Brocco .... sound technician
Valerie Bryce .... recordist
T.M. Christopher .... sound effects assistant (as Tom Christopher)
Sukey Fontelieu .... sound effects assistant
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam .... dialogue editor
Cynthia Haagens .... foley assistant editor
Tim Holland .... sound effects editor
Richard Hymns .... supervising dialogue editor
Pat Jackson .... sound effects editor
Mary Helen Leasman .... changes assistant
David MacMillan .... production sound mixer (as David R.B. MacMillan)
Michael Magill .... sound effects assistant
Robert Marty .... recordist
Barbara McBane .... dialogue editor
Marilyn McCoppen .... dialogue assistant
David Parker .... Location and Sound Effects Mixer
Diana Pellegrini .... foley editor
Steve Powell .... boom operator (as Stephen E. Powell)
E. Jeane Putnam .... sound apprentice (as Jeane Putnam)
Fred Runner .... sound apprentice
Paige Sartorius .... sound apprentice
Thomas Scott .... re-recording mixer (as Tom Scott)
Michael Silvers .... dialogue assistant
Karen Spangenberg .... dialogue assistant
Stephen Sutter .... re-recording mix assistant (as Stephen J. Sutter)
Randy Thom .... re-recording mixer
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
Christopher Weir .... sound effects assistant
Karen G. Wilson .... sound effects editor (as Karen Wilson)
Andy Wiskes .... re-recording mixer
J. Michael Davis .... sound sampler (uncredited)
Richard Hymns .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
Ewa Sztompke .... sound technician (uncredited)
Clive Taylor .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Randy Thom .... sound effects recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Stan Parks .... special effects foreman
Ken Pepiot .... special effects supervisor (as Kenneth Pepiot)
David Pier .... special effects foreman
Rod P. Sharpe .... technical engineering advisor
Joseph C. Sasgen .... special effects electronics (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Terry Lynn Allen .... editorial coordinator: USFX
Peter Amundson .... editorial coordinator: USFX
Stewart Barbee .... effects cameraman: USFX
Jordan Belson .... special visual creations
Leigh Blicher .... editorial coordinator: USFX
Zac Bogart .... motion control systems designer: USFX
Michael Bottero .... key grip: USFX
Kris Boxell .... art assistant: USFX
Bill Buttfield .... modelmaker: USFX
David Carothers .... modelmaker: USFX
Peter Daulton .... first assistant cameraman: USFX
Don Dow .... effects cameraman: USFX (as Donald Dow)
John V. Fante .... effects cameraman: USFX
Rick Fichter .... effects cameraman: USFX
Whitney Green .... production manager: USFX
William Groshelle .... second assistant cameraman: USFX
Gary Gutierrez .... supervisor special visual effects: USFX
Peter Hadres .... key grip: USFX
Bill Hansard Jr. .... process coordinator (as William G. Hansard Jr.)
Donald Hansard Sr. .... process coordinator (as Donald R. Hansard)
Toby Heindel .... second assistant cameraman: USFX
H. Kent Hendricks .... photographic printer: USFX
Karl Herrmann .... effects cameraman: USFX
Jan M. Heyneker .... chief stage technician: USFX
Jena Holman .... art supervisor: USFX
Jay Ignaszewski .... chief stage technician: USFX
Rick Kerrigan .... production administator: USFX (as Richard Kerrigan)
Greg Kimble .... second assistant cameraman: USFX (as Gregory Kimble)
Pete Kleinow .... modelmaker: USFX (as Peter Kleinow)
Dan Kuhn .... key grip: USFX
Michael Lawler .... effects cameraman: USFX
Frank Morelli .... chief model designer: USFX
Deborah Morgan .... second assistant cameraman: USFX
Thaine Morris .... pyrotechnician: USFX
Earle Murphy .... model shop supervisor: USFX
Bill Neil .... effects cameraman: USFX (as William Neil)
Jenny Oznowicz .... editorial apprentice: USFX
Diana Pellegrini .... editorial coordinator: USFX
Rick Perkins .... mechanical designer: USFX
Gary Platek .... technical researcher: USFX
Bruce Richardson .... modelmaker: USFX
Lawrence G. Robinson .... process supervisor
Martin Rosenberg .... first assistant cameraman: USFX
Tom Rudduck .... modelmaker: USFX
John Rynn .... computer programmer: USFX
David Shwartz .... modelmaker: USFX
Mark Stetson .... chief model designer: USFX
Gordon Stout .... engineering consultant: USFX
Chris Strohmeyer .... key grip: USFX
Zuzana Swansea .... modelmaker: USFX
Pat Turner .... first assistant cameraman: USFX (as Patrick Turner)
Christine Whitney .... assistant production administrator: USFX
Thomas Baker .... main title graphics (uncredited)
Ira Keeler .... model maker (uncredited)
Susan Turner .... visual effects (uncredited)
Rande DeLuca .... parachute stunts
Buddy Joe Hooker .... stunt coordinator
Clay Lacy .... stunt pilot
Phil Pastuhov .... parachute stunts
Art Scholl .... stunt pilot (as Arthur Scholl)
Joseph Leonard Svec .... parachute stunts
B.J. Worth .... parachute stunts
Buddy Joe Hooker .... stunt double: riding: Sam Shepard (uncredited)
Joseph Leonard Svec .... parachuting stunt double: Sam Shepard (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Elizabeth Bailey .... video assistant
Jim Beebe .... aerial photographer
Maurice Beesley .... electrician
Gary M. Brickley .... grip
Hugh Byrne .... best boy grip (as Hugh C. Byrne Jr.)
Steve Cardellini .... grip (as Steven L. Cardellini)
Dave Childers .... electrician (as David O. Childers)
Ted Churchill .... Steadicam operator
Ray De La Motte .... additional camera operator
Craig Denault .... camera operator
Alan R. Disler .... first assistant camera (as Alan Disler)
Stephen J. Gardner .... best boy
Jeff Gershman .... assistant camera: desert (as Jeffrey Gershman)
Gary Gill .... grip (as Girard A. Gill Jr.)
Jeff Gilliam .... gaffer (as Jeffrey Gilliam)
Ron Grover .... still photographer
Jon Guterres .... key grip (as Jonathan Guterres)
Gary Holt .... supervising gaffer
Brad Jerrell .... electrician (as Brad L. Jerrell)
Louis Mahler .... video technician (as Louis E. Mahler)
Harry Mathias .... Steadicam operator
Stan McClain .... assistant camera: aerial unit
Nick McLean .... additional camera operator
Paul Murphey .... video operator (as Paul Jay Murphy)
Hiro Narita .... additional camera operator
Dennis Pope .... best boy grip
Medel Ramos .... electrician
Art Scholl .... aerial photographer
Tom Sindicich .... grip (as Thomas Sindicich)
Chris Squires .... second assistant camera (as Christopher Squires)
Bill Bennett .... aerial camera operator (uncredited)
Mark Ludwig .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Michael Maley .... electrician (uncredited)
Tony Rivetti .... first assistant camera: additional first assistant (uncredited)
Casting Department
Ann Brebner .... additional casting: San Francisco
Patricia de Oliveira .... casting assistant
Gail Eisenstadt .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
William Browder .... costumer
Winnie D. Brown .... costumer: women (as Winnie Brown)
Jill Maley .... costumer
Monique Montgomery .... promotion wardrobe coordinator
John Napolitano .... costumer
James W. Tyson .... costume supervisor (as Jim Tyson)
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Louis Benioff .... first assistant editor
Susanna Blaustein .... apprentice editor
Nicole Boris .... editorial assistant
David Dresher .... apprentice editor
Jack Garsha .... color timer
Cliff Latimer .... apprentice editor (as Clifford Latimer)
Victor Livingston .... first assistant editor
John Morris .... apprentice editor
Sara Roberts .... assistant editor
Bob Sarles .... apprentice editor
Frank Simeone .... apprentice editor (as Franklin Simeone)
John Teton .... editorial consultant
Jeff Watts .... assistant editor
Jenny Weyman-Cockle .... assistant editor (as Jennifer Weyman-Cockle)
Robert Yano .... apprentice editor
William Chartoff .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Michael Polaire .... location manager
Ken Freeze .... location consultant (uncredited)
Music Department
Todd Boekelheide .... Additional Music by
Susan R. Crutcher .... source music editor (as Susan Crutcher)
Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam .... source music editor
Stephen A. Hope .... music editor
Garth Hudson .... composer: additional music
Forrest Patten .... music researcher (as Forrest O. Patten)
Dan Wallin .... scoring mixer
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
Angela Morley .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Celia Weiner .... music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Ed Arter .... transportation co-captain
Russell McEntyre .... transportation coordinator
Bruce Richardson .... transportation captain
Dan Riportella .... transportation captain (as Danny Riportella)
Ed Wirth .... transportation co-captain
Other crew
Don Aites .... military liaison officer: USCG (as Capt. Don Aites)
Joey Bacow .... production assistant
Ted Bear .... historical research
Steph Benseman .... additional locations (as Stephen S. Benseman)
Dale Benson .... promotion consultant
Karen Bergman .... stock footage researcher
Lynne Birdt .... assistant production accountant
Gloria S. Borders .... stock footage researcher (as Gloria Borders)
Kevin Breslin .... production assistant
Dell Byrne .... stock footage researcher
Christine Claycombe-Brooks .... crowd promotion coordinator
Martha Cohen .... production assistant
Janet Crosby .... assistant: Mr. Winkler
Dan Curry .... title designer
Patricia de Oliveira .... assistant: Mr. Kaufman
Rory Enke .... additional locations
Robert Evans Lowy .... production assistant
Jonathan Fairbanks .... production assistant
Karen Frerichs .... assistant: Mr. Kaufman
Tom Gray .... unit publicist
Royce Grones .... military liaison officer: USAF (as Maj. Royce Grones)
Richard P. Hallion .... historical research (as Dr. Richard P. Hallion)
Larry Heflin .... stock footage researcher
Diane Jackson .... production secretary
Peter Kaufman .... assistant: Mr. Kaufman
Howard Kosters .... military liaison officer: USAF (as Lt. Col. Howard Kosters)
Nancy LaLuntas .... military liaison officer: USMC (as Capt. Nancy LaLuntas)
Pixie Larson .... military liaison officer: USN (as Lt. Pixie Larson)
JoAnn May-Pavey .... production coordinator (as Jo Ann May-Pavey)
Michael O'Donnell .... craft service
Nancy Olexo .... historical research (as Nancy Oleko)
Barbara Parker .... assistant: Mr. Kaufman
Patrick Ranahan .... additional locations
Susan Roether .... production secretary
Art Schaefer .... production accountant
Lori Sussman .... assistant: Mr. Chartoff
Heinrich Thueringer .... military liaison officer: German Air Force (as Lt. Col. Heinrich Thueringer)
Alice Tompkins .... script supervisor
Dave Wagner .... military liaison officer: USA (as Lt. Col. Dave Wagner)
Diana Wells .... production secretary
Duncan Wilmore .... technical advisor
Chuck Yeager .... technical consultant (as Gen. General Charles E. 'Chuck' Yeager)
Peter Greenwood .... australian footage consultant (uncredited)
Wayne Klein .... security officer (uncredited)
Bill McCamey .... stage set constructor (uncredited)
Arthur Baliantz .... special thanks
Walter Murch .... Special thanks to
Wallis Nicita .... special thanks (as Wally Nicita)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
193 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Manitoba) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:S | France:Tous publics | Iceland:12 | Ireland:12 | Japan:G (2010) | Norway:11 | Norway:12 (original rating) | Peru:Apt | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:15 | USA:PG (re-rating on appeal) (certificate #26853) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Tom Wolfe was unhappy with the film because he felt it made too many changes to the book. William Goldman, the original screenwriter before he left the project also disliked it because he didn't like the way Philip Kaufman portrayed Chuck Yeager as the only hero in the film, while the rest of the astronauts only got lucky and didn't match up to him in any way.See more »
Anachronisms: When the astronauts are introduced to the media for the first time, in one reverse-shot where the reporters are snapping pictures and hollering, we can see in the window in the upper right hand area a modern-day Alameda County Transit bus (despite the fact that this is supposed to be Washington, D.C., in 1959).See more »
[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 »
Movie Connections:
I Only Have Eyes For YouSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
74 out of 89 people found the following review useful.
the film does praise Yeager (response to mrbisco), 30 March 2003
Author: Torrey Deluca from Boston, MA, USA

I have to correct "mrbsico" for not paying attention to the very things he comments on. It's not that he turned down the opportunity to apply to be an astronaut, it's that Chuck Yeager wasn't allowed to apply. When seraching for astronauts Harry Shearer's character praises Yeager as the ace of aces, but goes on to say that he "doesn't fit the profile" of the type of man Washington is looking for because he never went to college. This was a true pre-requisite which the Mercury Program had. Also, the scene at the end where Yeager crashes his NF-104 doesn't bring him down, it glorifies him. Gordo Cooper even comments that he gets on the cover of magazines, gets a free car, free lunches all across America, a free home with all the furnishings and loads of money and "I ain't even been up there yet". He's famous because he's an astronaut alone - not because of anything he's done. Kaufman cuts back and forth between the scene where Cooper is with Yeager's flight in the desert for reason. Yeager's almost alone with no media around, out in the desert attempting a record which won't put him on Life Magazine's cover. He's trying to set a record because that's what he's made of. He has The Right Stuff; which is something Cooper reazlies as we cut back to the reception and Gordo is asked by the reporters who the best pilot he ever saw was. Yeager may have crashed his plane in his last flight of the movie, but he emerges as a fearless man ever up for the challenge. And that he's not doing any of it for fame or fortune (although in real life the real Yeager cashed in with TV ads and a best-selling autobiography after both the book and the movie were released!!). That's what's rare about this movie for Hollywood to have made. Films are almost never about measuring a man's inner desires, but rather his being able to win the fight at the end. Yeager in contrast doesn't win the flight record at the film's end, but he is still the hero. This is because he dares to do what we never would. And even after his plane crashes he walks out of the gulf of fire and smoke with a severely burned face as if he will be back; you can't keep him down. This is why as the rescuer driving the ambulance as he sees Yeager's figure walking out of the fire in the distance asks, "Is that a man?", Jack Ridley replies, "You're damn right it is!". Ridley isn't merely remarking that it's a man over there, he is commenting that in our world Yeager is one of the few true "men". This film is not about the space program. That is merely a pretext to explore the type of men who have what it takes to volunteer for dangerous missions - even in times of peace. It's about men who have The Right Stuff - and of all those men whom we see in the movie it is Yeager who shines about all others.

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