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The Straight Story (1999)

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rose
Jane Galloway Heitz ... Dorothy
Joseph A. Carpenter ... Bud
Donald Wiegert ... Sig
... Alvin
Tracey Maloney ... Nurse
Dan Flannery ... Doctor Gibbons
Jennifer Edwards-Hughes ... Brenda
Ed Grennan ... Pete
Jack Walsh ... Apple
Max the Wonder Dog ... Farm Dog
Gil Pearson ... Bus Driver
Barbara June Patterson ... Woman on Bus
... Tom the John Deere Dealer
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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,312, 17 October 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,203,044
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Farnsworth was the exact same age as Alvin Straight. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film it was established that it is "harvest time". As Alvin is on his journey a slew of bicyclists pass him and later he motors into their camp. The only explanation for this event would be RAGBRAI, which happens in mid-late July. 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 »


Soundtracks

Happy Times
Written by Sidney Fine (as S. Fine)
Performed by Jo Stafford
Published by Warner Bros. Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

Nothing Runs Likes a Deere.
12 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

A beautiful and very emotional "Harry and Tonto"-styled movie experience as Oscar-nominee Richard Farnsworth (playing the real-life Alvin Straight) decides to travel on his old riding John Deere mower from Iowa to Wisconsin to see his ailing brother (Harry Dean Stanton) because his driver's license has been revoked, he doesn't like public transportation and he has no one else to drive him. The two brothers have not been on speaking terms for many years and now the clock is literally ticking on one last chance for them to see one another and hopefully make amends for past mistakes. Sissy Spacek gives one of her finest performances as Farnsworth's slightly mentally retarded daughter and the supporting players are all real and heartfelt caricatures of America's heartland. Outstanding film-maker David Lynch (to me the finest living American director, along with Martin Scorsese) goes totally out-of-character with a 180-degree turn from whacked triumphs like "The Elephant Man", "Blue Velvet", "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and "Mulholland Dr.". He quietly and methodically creates a G-rated family film that has deep messages for people of all ages and backgrounds. He paints a picture of America where the old ways of life are still the most important. Farnsworth (who is a total revelation) was in excruciating pain throughout filming due to terminal cancer and terrible arthritis. Notice he stands very little in the movie and he is almost always filmed from the waist up. Sadly this would be his final performance as he committed suicide shortly after his Oscar nod. He did become the oldest nominee ever in the Best Actor category, but really that will become trivial as time passes and his role will be the thing that shines brightly forever. Truly a legacy production for all involved. 5 stars out of 5.


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