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Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)

The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Tremulis
Marilyn Lee
Anders Johnson ...
Noble (as Corky Nemec)
Dean Goodman ...
John X. Heart ...
Ferguson's Agent


Based on a true story. Shortly after World War II, Preston Tucker is a grandiose schemer with a new dream, to produce the best cars ever made. With the assistance of Abe Karatz and some impressive salesmanship on his own part, he obtains funding and begins to build his factory. The whole movie also has many parallels with director Coppola's own efforts to build a new movie studio of his own. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When they tried to buy him, he refused. When they tried to bully him, he resisted. When they tried to break him, he became an American legend. The true story of Preston Tucker.


Biography | Drama


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 August 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tucker: Un hombre y su sueño  »


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jeff Bridges, Martin Landau and Sofia Coppola; and four Oscar nominees: Joan Allen, Mako, Frederic Forrest, Dean Stockwell. See more »


In the last scene crew members are clearly visible reflected in the red car. See more »


Preston Tucker: [making his closing arguments to the jury] ... When I was a boy, I used to, uh... I used to read all about Edison, and the Wright brothers... Mr. Ford, they were, they were my heroes... 'rags to riches' that's not just the name of a book; that's, what this country was all about!... We invented the free enterprise system, where anybody, no matter who he was, where he came from, what class he belonged to... If he came up with a better idea, about ANYTHING, there's no limit to how far he could go.....
See more »

Crazy Credits

Photographs of the real Preston Tucker appear during the closing credits. See more »


Referenced in Jay Leno's Garage: The Cars of Tomorrow (2015) See more »


Tiger Rag
Recorded by The Mills Brothers
Courtesy of The Welk Record Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Gutsy, smart, way ahead of the curve
25 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

It's been a while since I saw this movie, and I was already acquainted with they story when I realized they'd made a movie about it. The movie lives up to the reality.

No question, Preston Tucker was brilliant. When Uncle Sam requested designs for combat vehicles, he submitted, and demonstrated, a design which significantly blew away all competitors. He was turned down because his design significantly outperformed what Uncle Sam asked for. Small-minded individuals, mired in the relatively wimpy requirements, wouldn't take the more advanced design. It boggled his mind that they would turn down "steak with all the trimmings" in exchange for a "plain hamburger." I've been in the Military, so it doesn't surprise me.

When he wanted to make a point about safety, emphasizing the need for safety glass and seatbelts (which were NOT standard equipment at the time), he invited the appropriate people to lunch, served medium-rare roast beef, then showed pictures of people who'd died in car accidents. Lots of blood, lots of "raw meat." My driver's education teacher, trying to convince us to be safer drivers, did the same (minus the fancy lunch). Anyway, the similarities between what they saw on the screen, and what they'd just eaten, caused many of them to be "re-acquainted" with their lunch. I sincerely doubt they ever forgot the presentation, and his point was very well made.

I like this guy. He's whip-smart, practical, maybe a little too optimistic.

I identify with him.

And they broke him.

Welcome to reality. Bites, doesn't it?

In the end, he knows he's beaten, but he still gets the last word in. I hope I manage to do so well.

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