The Right Stuff

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  • Trailer 1

Movie Info & Cast


In the middle of the 20th Century, America pondered its future - and looked to the skies.Based on Tom Wolfe's book, The Right Stuff is the tale of how that future began, a thrilling epic of intrepid test pilot Chuck Yeager and the seven pioneering astronauts of the Project Mercury space program.Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including "Best Picture," Philip Kaufman scripts and directs, pushing the envelope with a filmmaking bravado that matches this soaring story of training and heroism; and of sudden fame for which there is no training.


  • Sam Shepard
  • Scott Glenn
  • Ed Harris
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Fred Ward
  • Barbara Hershey
  • Kim Stanley
  • Veronica Cartwright
  • Pamela Reed
  • Scott Paulin

Did You Know?


  • While several of the lead actors chose to meet their real-life counterparts, Scott Glenn elected not to meet with Alan Shepard. Scott said he wanted to get down Shepard's character and nuances by observation and by hearing others' points of view. After filming, the real Alan Shepard wrote Writer and Director Philip Kaufman and commented on Scott Glenn's "spot-on" performance - except for "not being nearly as good-looking as he was."
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  • When the astronauts are introduced to the media for the first time, in one reverse-shot where the reporters are snapping pictures and hollering, we can see in the window in the upper right hand area a modern-day Alameda County Transit bus (despite the fact that this is supposed to be Washington, D.C., in 1959).
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    • [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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Kaufman's love for the Yeager character pays off in the magical closing sequence of the film, when the best pilot in the world eyeballs anew Air Force jet and says, I have a feeling this little old plane right here might be able to beat that Russian record.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

THE THREE hours and 10 minutes of The Right Stuff fly by faster than a plane snapping the sound barrier - there's never a moment that's not entertaining, and there are very few that are not wonderfully photographed and choreographed - but for the non-American, the excitement is confined to the filmmaking. [22 Oct 1983]

Metacritic review by Jay Scott
Jay Scott
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)