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The Right Stuff (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Item #: DVDRightStuff

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The Right Stuff (Two-Disc Special Edition) Philip Kaufman's intimate epic about the Mercury astronauts (based on Tom Wolfe's book) was one of the most ambitious and spectacularly exciting movies of the 1980s. It surprised almost everybody by not becoming a smash hit. By all rights, the film should have been every bit the success that Apollo 13 would later become; The Right Stuff is not only just as thrilling, but it is also a bigger and better movie. Combining history (both established and revisionist), grand mythmaking (and myth puncturing), adventure, melodrama, behind-the-scenes dish, spectacular visuals, and a down-to-earth sense of humor, The Right Stuff chronicles NASA's efforts to put a man in orbit. Such an achievement would be the first step toward President Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon, and, perhaps most important of all, would win a crucial public relations/morale victory over the Soviets, who had delivered a stunning blow to American pride by launching Sputnik, the first satellite. The movie contrasts the daring feats of the unsung test pilots--one of whom, Chuck Yeager, embodied more than anyone else the skill and spirit of Wolfe's title--against the heavily publicized (and sanitized) accomplishments of the Mercury astronauts. Through no fault of their own, the spacemen became prisoners of the heroic images the government created for them in order to capture the public's imagination. The casting is inspired; the film features Sam Shepard as the legendary Yeager, Ed Harris as John Glenn, Dennis Quaid as "Gordo" Cooper, Scott Glenn as Alan Shepard, Fred Ward as Gus Grissom, Scott Wilson as Scott Crossfield, and Pamela Reed and Veronica Cartwright are superb in their thankless roles as astronauts' wives. DVD features For the film's 20th anniversary, a new two-disc edition replaces the original bare-bones DVD. The film looked pretty good on the old disc, but there is more depth to the remastered soundtrack and better yet, you don't need to flip the disc to view the entire film. The second disc of extras is well done. There are 20-minute commentaries from director Philip Kauffman and another track of many actors' fond reminisces of working on the film. They are so engaging it's odd to think there wasn't enough to do a complete commentary track, or even two. A newly produced three-part documentary looks at the project from Tom Wolfe's book to screenplay, the making-of the movie, and interviews with the real participants of the saga. The 13 additional scenes, sans set-up, are really pieces from the cutting-room floor but curiously interesting. The bulk of the extras is the 90-minute PBS program on the life and times of John Glenn, aired around the time of--and mostly about--his second trip into space in 1998. Details:
  • Actors: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward.
  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
  • Run Time: 193 minutes
  • DVD Features:
  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • All-new digital transfer
  • Scene-specific commentaries with director Philip Kaufman, producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, cinematographer Caleb Deschanel; and cast members Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, and Barbara Hershey. (TRT 25:00)
  • 15 minutes of Deleted Scenes/Bonus Footage/Never-before-seen additional scenes
  • 3 new documentaries on the making of the film including interviews with Mercury astronauts and Chuck Yeager
  • Feature documentary John Glenn: American Hero
  • Interactive timeline with vintage footage
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The Right Stuff (Two-Disc Special Edition)