7.9/10
51,607
180 user 86 critic

The Right Stuff (1983)

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3:30 | Trailer

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

Director:

Philip Kaufman

Writers:

Philip Kaufman (written for the screen by), Tom Wolfe (based on the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
2,204 ( 350)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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Storyline

Tom Wolfe's book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The spectacular story of America's first astronauts. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Stoff aus dem die Helden sind See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,601,167, 23 October 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Ladd Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Fred Ward is more than eleven years older than Dennis Quaid, their characters Gus Grissom and Gordon Cooper were less than a year apart in age, the two youngest of the Mercury 7. See more »

Goofs

When John Glenn's flight is scrubbed, Vice President Johnson can be seen sitting in a 1965 Lincoln limousine, yet the year is 1962. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Alternate Versions

When the movie premiered on American TV in May 1986 on ABC TV, during Yeager's first X-1 flight, there are several radio transmissions from Ridley to Yeager which do not appear in other versions. For example, Yeager to Ridley: "Hey, Ridley, make a note here will you. Got nuthin' better to do. Elevator effectiveness regained." Ridley to Yeager [on radio, deleted]: Yessir, that's duly noted! While Yeager is taking in the spectacle after passing Mach-1, there is only music on the VHS, DVD, etc. On the ABC TV premiere, Ridley's voice is heard clearly on the radio saying, "Say, buddy, while you're up there put in a good word for me, will ya?" Finally, when Yeager performs the barrell roll in the X-1, he can be heard on the radio shouting "Woohoo!!" in the TV premiere. Again, this is not featured in any other version of the film. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Thunderpants (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Mars, Jupiter, & Neptune
(from "The Planets")
Composed by Gustav Holst (uncredited)
Performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Seiji Ozawa
Courtesy of Philips Records, a division of Polygram Classics, Inc.
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User Reviews

"The Right Stuff": That Is Exactly What This Film Has
4 August 2001 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Outstanding film from 1983 that was honored with four Academy Awards and is often called the second-best film of the 1980s behind only Scorsese's "Raging Bull". The movie is a 190-plus minute extravaganza which honors the U.S. Mercury 7 Astronauts. The all-star cast includes Sam Shepard (as Chuck Yeager in an Oscar-nominated role of a lifetime), Ed Harris (John Glenn), Scott Glenn (Alan Shepard), Fred Ward (Gus Grissom), Lance Henriksen (Walter Schirra), Dennis Quaid (Gordon Cooper), and Donald Moffat (Lyndon Baines Johnson). The film is solid in so many respects. It is meticulous and tries to go for drama and humor and succeeds in everything it wants to do. Veronica Cartwright, Barbara Hershey, Pamela Reed, Kathy Baker, and Mary Jo Deschanel are also along for the ride as several of the wives who attempt to keep their heads about them while they fear that their husbands are losing theirs. "The Right Stuff" is a historical lesson told in a way that is so clever and convincing that few will find fault with anything when it comes to the story-telling. Writer-director Philip Kaufman easily does the best work of his career with this masterpiece. Look for Cincinnati Bengal Hall-of-Famer Anthony Munoz in a cameo appearance. Arguably the best film of the 1980s and should have been the Best Picture Oscar winner over "Terms of Endearment" in 1983. 5 stars out of 5.


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