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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
During the early drive sequence which is supposed to be taking place in Ypsilanti, Michigan (700 feet above sea level), the California mountains can clearly be seen in the background. See more »
[after the trial outside the courthouse, with lots of spectators admiring Tucker's cars]
They *love* the cars, the people! Drives me crazy, that the motor company's dead... They'll never be made!
We made 'em.
Aw, what's the difference - fifty or fifty million. That's only machinery!... It's the *idea* that counts, Abe... The dream...
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Photographs of the real Preston Tucker appear during the closing credits. See more »
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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