LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Right Stuff, The
There's always been a place in my heart for this film. My family on my father's side has been involved in aerospace since the 1910s. Movies like Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff remind me of my connections to some of those events.
The story opens in the late 1940s as America was trying to break the sound barrier. The place was Edwards Air Force Base. Everyone who had tried to go Mach 1 had died.
The first chronicling is of Chuck Yeager. Yeager being the first survivor is, the pilots will tell you, because he had the right stuff, and was the reason for the success. The aircraft designers will say they were the reason the aircraft succeeded. The truth is both deserve credit. But this movie isn't about aircraft designers; it's about the men who had the right stuff and lived to brag about it.
Next, we jump into the 1950s, when the Soviets launched Sputnik. The White House is all worked up about this, including Senate Majority Leader Johnson. A plan to quickly put a man in space is started and it's at Edwards where the search starts for the pilots with the right stuff.
A lot of this film stays with the pressure individuals were put through. This includes the pilots, their wives, the politicians, etc. This is the strength of the film.
In fact, without the anecdotal flavor of The Right Stuff the film would fail. Perhaps a little long for some audiences, the film ends with the last Project Mercury flight. This is a good place to end. The names in history change at that moment, and that, of course, would be a different story.