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The Right Stuff

Year: 1983
Production Co: The Ladd Company
Director: Philip Kaufman
Writer: Philip Kaufman/Tom Wolfe
Cast: Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Fred Ward, Barbara Hershey, Veronica Cartwright, Lance Henriksen
A sweeping saga of the birth of the American space program, the cowboys who made it happen and the girls they left behind based on Tom Wolfe's tome.

The likenesses they achieved in the casting were fantastic, contemporary actors looking every bit the characters they were portraying as Yaeger, Grissom, Glenn, Carpenter and more tested and flew the machines that took Americans into space.

The conceit of the plot is that the program was built by instinct as nobody had done it before and nobody knew how spaceflight or a space program to make it happen would work, and we get to see the little dramas of the pilots and their family's lives as they do so.

It's a little cheesy and overeager, but solidly entertaining and a great introduction to the period.

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