The Right Stuff
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Covering some 15 years, The Right Stuff recounts the formation of America's space program, concentrating on the original Mercury astronauts. Scott Glenn plays Alan Shepard, the first American in space; Fred Ward is Gus Grissom, the benighted astronaut for whom nothing works out as planned; and Ed Harris is John Glenn, the straight-arrow "boy scout" of the bunch who was the first American to orbit the earth. The remaining four Mercury boys are Deke Slayton (Scott Paulin), Scott Carpenter (Charles Frank), Wally Schirra (Lance Henriksen) and Gordon Cooper (Dennis Quaid). Wolfe's… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Moviegoers seeking a grand yet edifying entertainment, right-stuffed with what Kaufman calls "seriousness of subject matter and a wild humor that comes out of left field," now know where to look..."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"These men remain virtually flawless heroes, almost too good, decent and brave to be true, and it's a measure of how successful the movie is that one is inclined to believe it."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"History, melodrama, comedy and satire are skilfully combined in this consistently exciting adventure. Visually and dramatically it rarely sags, there's a vivid array of characters and though it's a film with issues, these never eclipse the human drama."
‑ , Film4
"Though critically acclaimed, Philip Kaufman's superbly realized adventure about the early Space Age was a commercial flop, due to its satirical tone and unfortunately close association with the presidential candidacy of John Glenn."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Along with Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America it's the last great American epic -- the kind of film that couldn't be made today."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The Right Stuff is a humdinger. Full of beauty, intelligence and excitement, this big-scale look at the development of the US space program and its pioneering aviators provides a fresh, entertaining look back at the recent past."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"That the writer-director, Philip Kaufman, is able to get so much into a little more than three hours is impressive. That he also has organized this material into one of the best recent American movies is astonishing."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"One of the scattered handful of truly great American movies in the first half of the 1980s."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Historical drama as well as vastly entertaining adventure."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"Kaufman's enormously entertaining history of America's Mercury astronauts fizzled on release, maybe because it was too smart and cool for its own good."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"From the opening moments it is clear that we have the nearest modern equivalent to a Western: men of quiet virtue going skyward, leaving the tawdry world of log-rolling politicians behind."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A great movie that unfortunately failed to attract audiences back in '83, this adaptation of Tom Wolfe's book about astronauts pays tribute to what we would like to believe represents the American spirit: hard work, perseverance, camaraderie and vision."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Educational, exciting action, great acting."
‑ Randy White, Common Sense Media
"Consistently compelling, capturing all the ambiguity and tension of the book."
‑ Rob Fraser, Empire Magazine
"Brings a wealth of humor to a faithful retelling of the astronauts' fascinating stories, the actors fit smoothly into their roles and even physically resemble their characters, and the direction is well-paced and visually exciting."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for The Right Stuff on Rotten Tomatoes

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