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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
In real life at the end of his criminal trial, Preston Tucker had only eight cars - not 50 as shown in this film - taken to the courthouse. See more »
During the nighttime scene between Tucker and Abe outside the Tucker plant, the red lit Tucker sign is on, then off, then on again before it is finally switched off along with all the other exterior lights. See more »
... When I was a little kid, maybe five years old, in the old country, my mother used to say to me; she'd warn me, she'd say, 'Don't get too close to people. You'll catch their dreams... '... Years later, I realized I misunderstood her... 'Germs', she said, not 'dreams', 'You'll catch their *germs*'...
[they both laugh]
I want you to know something, Tucker. I went into business with you for one reason - to make money. That's all... How was I to know...
[chokes up, head down]
... if I ...
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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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