The Right Stuff (film)

During The Cold War, NASA recruited pilots to participate on a mission to beat The Russians as the first human beings to make it to space and push the envelope in human history. The pilots turned astronauts are dubbed, “The Right Stuff.” Alan Shepard is the first American who made it to space prior to Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin who made it to the moon in 1969. To this day, teachers at school introduce students to The Space Race on how far we’ve come working together to make the impossible possible.

In 1979, the late Tom Wolf published a non-fiction book about the events of the pilots’ experiences as astronauts as they endured mental and physical training to become astronauts. Four Years Later, a film based on the book opened in theaters.

The Right Stuff was released in 1983. (same year Scarface came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Although a decent film, it failed to recoup its expenses at the box office. The Right Stuff later became an eligible nominee at The Oscars nominated for “Best Picture.” Too bad “Terms Of Endearment” stole it. Such a shame “Scarface” or The Right Stuff got robbed by a movie I dislike. I admit it folks, I don’t like Terms Of Endearment.

Leonardo DiCaprio is producing a mini-series based on The Right Stuff on Disney Plus. In response to the news, I’ve decided to look back at this movie. By the way, I’m sharing my thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s favorite movies before “Tenet” comes out. The Right Stuff is one of them and it inspired “Interstellar.”

It doesn’t matter if SPOILERS are present. We all know who made it to space and NASA made accomplishments decades ago. Let’s be honest, everybody is aware of history thanks to the teachers in many schools.

Right & Wrong Elements

Right: The late Sam Shepard, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Scott Glenn, (Stick from Daredevil) Fred Ward & Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Alien) all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.

Other Cast Members such as Jeff Goldblum, Harry Shearer (Kent Brockman from The Simpsons) & Barbara Hershey (the mom from Black Swan) all did a good job for their respective performances.

Philip Kaufman did a wonderful job directing and adapting the movie. He made sure to keep translate the book and real life individuals on the silver screen.

Cinematography was shot so dang well there’s no technical issues discovered.

Chemistry with the pilots turned astronauts felt natural for them to interact with each other.

Practical Effects were heavily used to simulate aircraft and spacecraft with a dose of miniature models, scale models & pyrotechnics.

Humor has some funny moments with the crew.

The infamous walking scene is perhaps the one that made a group power walking look epic. This trope never gets old as it was also used in “Armageddon,” “Monster’s Inc,” “Kill Bill,” “300” & “Avengers Endgame.”

If you know your history, America & Russia competed to break barriers to see who’ll make it to space by pushing the envelope inventing spacecraft for the astronauts to travel.

The film is set in 1947-1963 recreating specific time periods from three decades, The Late 40’s, The 50’s & The Early 60’s. Keeping it true to historical accuracy.

I’m gonna give this movie credit for inspiring Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.” Chris stated The Right Stuff is one of the main influences. I am also a Nolanite myself. A Nolanite is a fan name.

Dennis Quaid’s character is named, Cooper. Again, Chris Nolan was inspired by The Right Stuff. He named Matthew McConaughey’s character after the real life Cooper.

Wrong: The Pacing for a three hour movie can be a drab in most aspects. I’ll let it slide as this is supposed to the origins of going to space by taking a lot of physical and mental training for the pilots to become suitable.

The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

The Right Stuff is a pretty good historical drama showing coverage of seven pilots becoming astronauts to help NASA push boundaries they’ve never done before. Performances, direction, cinematography, setting adapting the novel on the big sceeen among just to name a few. If you’re curious to see The Right Stuff, I strongly recommend it.

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