8.0/10
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The Straight Story (1999)

An old man makes a long journey by lawn-mover tractor to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jane Galloway Heitz ...
Dorothy
Joseph A. Carpenter ...
Bud
Donald Wiegert ...
Sig
...
Tracey Maloney ...
Nurse
Dan Flannery ...
Jennifer Edwards-Hughes ...
Brenda
Ed Grennan ...
Pete
Jack Walsh ...
Apple
Max the Wonder Dog ...
Gil Pearson ...
Bus Driver
Barbara June Patterson ...
Woman on Bus
...
Anastasia Webb ...
Crystal
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Storyline

"The Straight Story" chronicles a trip made by 73-year-old Alvin Straight from Laurens, Iowa, to Mt. Zion, Wis., in 1994 while riding a lawn mower. The man undertook his strange journey to mend his relationship with his ill, estranged, 75-year-old brother Lyle. Written by Christian Sandberg

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Straight Story  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$92,312 (USA) (15 October 1999)

Gross:

$6,197,866 (USA) (21 April 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, Alvin's brother's name is mentioned as Lyle; however, in Straight's biography in the Des Moines Register, his name is listed as Henry. This is most likely not an error, but rather the result of Alvin's brother not wanting his real name used in the film. See more »

Goofs

Alvin is shown crossing the Mississippi River at Lansing heading westward (into Iowa), instead of eastward into Wisconsin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dorothy: Hi Rose.
Rose 'Rosie' Straight: Hi Dorothy.
Alvin Straight: [can be heard collapsing inside his house]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the Alvin Straight family See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 16 October 1999 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Most Requested Song
(From Strange Tales of the Late West)
Written by Middlejohn & John Neff
By Arrangement with Maui Zone Records & Tapes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This movie aimed for my heart and hit the bull's eye
30 June 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Who would have thought that a movie about a man who drives a couple hundreds of miles on his lawn mower to see his brother, could possibly be good cinema? I certainly didn't. I thought I knew what to expect: one of the most boring experiences of my life. Well I was as wrong as I haven't been wrong too often yet, because this is one of the best, most realistic and honest Hollywood films I've ever seen...

Giving a short resume of "The Straight Story" isn't very difficult. It's about an old and stubborn man who steps on his lawn mower and drives off to another state to pay his brother a visit when he hears that the man has had a severe stroke. That's already special on itself, but what makes it even more special is the fact that he hasn't seen his brother in ten years because of some stupid argument. In the meantime he has his share of bad luck and problems, but he also meets a lot of people whose lives he influences in one way or another with his philosophical approach to life. Despite all the difficulties he drives on for weeks, not knowing if he will reach his goal: seeing his brother again before it's too late...

I can easily understand why there are people who don't like this movie and that's also the reason why I will not say that these people don't have a heart or things like that... This movie hasn't got any flashy action scenes, it is as slow as the lawn mower the man is driving on and no, you don't have to watch it for the nice soundtrack either, because there isn't any. But why should you watch it then? Well, the simple answer is the story. I haven't seen such a touching movie with such a powerful story very often and the fact that this actually comes from Hollywood and - to make things even better - from the Disney Studio's (that's right, the same studios that overwhelm us with sugar sweet nonsense) makes it even more special. I'm not ashamed to admit that I had the tears in my eyes a couple of times while watching it, probably because the whole situation of not seeing someone for many years because of some stupid argument is all too realistic for me.

Some people will argue that the story is very shallow, but I really don't agree with that. Perhaps it is because they only see that old man driving on his lawn mower and don't want to think any further. If you look close enough than you'll understand that this man is doing all this because he knows he has once been wrong, that only his pride stood in the way of seeing his brother again and that he wants everybody else to see that too, so they won't make the same mistake. If that isn't deep enough, how much deeper does a story have to go for you then?

I would also like to add that this movie really had it all. Some beautiful landscapes (finally an American movie that shows something else than the skyline of New York, Chicago or some other big city), some very fine acting by Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek,... and a very understandable way of telling despite the fact that this is a David Lynch movie. I know now that I was completely wrong by assuming that this movie wouldn't be to my taste. It's one of the very best movies I've seen in a long time. This movie aimed for my heart and hit the bull's eye. I give it the full 10/10.


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