The Straight Story (1999) Poster


The movie is based on a true story. The real Alvin Straight lived 1920-1996, living three further years after he took the journey.
Filmed in sequence.
Richard Farnsworth was suffering from hip surgery in real life, and a special seat for the tractor was made for him.
Richard Farnsworth was terminally ill with bone cancer during the shooting of the film, which had caused the paralysis of his legs as shown in the film. He actually took the role out of admiration for Alvin Straight, and astonished his co-workers with his tenacity during production. Because of the pain of his disease, Farnsworth committed suicide the following year, at the age of 80.
Richard Farnsworth was the oldest Academy nominee for Best Actor in a Leading Role, at 79. Hal Holbrook and Robert Duvall have since been nominated at older ages.
David Lynch coined this his "most experimental movie".
Richard Farnsworth was going to turn down the film because he didn't like the language in Blue Velvet (1986). Only several personal assurances by David Lynch and the other writers that the film would contain no cursing did he agree to do it.
There are no features on the DVD other than a trailer. Also, there are no scene selections because David Lynch wanted the film to be one whole experience rather than scenes.
This film will be known as the last starring roles of two well-known and respected actors, Everett McGill and Richard Farnsworth. Until joining the revival for Twin Peaks (2017), McGill seemed to have retired from the film business, while Farnsworth died of an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound shortly after the film was released.
Unlike David Lynch's prior films (or any that would follow), this was released by Walt Disney Pictures after a successful debut at Cannes, was given a G rating by the MPAA (the only Lynch film to receive such a rating) and is the only Lynch film for which Lynch himself did not have a hand in the screenplay (although it was co-written by his recurring associate, Mary Sweeney).
The film was independently shot along the actual route taken by Alvin Straight.
First feature film directed by David Lynch that was not also written by him.
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.
Richard Farnsworth was the exact same age as Alvin Straight.
James Coburn, John Hurt, Jack Lemmon and Gregory Peck were offered the lead.
Originally Chris Farley was going to be in the movie with his brothers. But sadly passed away in 1997 before he could get the chance.
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The woman that hit a deer on a highway says that she prayed to St Francis of Assisi for not to hit a deer any more. St Francis of Assisi is considered as the patron saint of animals.
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The lawn mower Alvin rides is a John Deere, which is subtly hinted at during the scene in which he buys a John Deere lawn mower while surrounded by other John Deere machinery.
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