Cast and Crew: Irwin Winkler (Producer); Bill Conti (Score); Philip Kaufmann (Director, Screenplay); Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Barbara Hershey, Fred Ward, Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright, Pamela Reed, Donald Moffat, Levon Helm, Mary Jo Deschanel, Scott Wilson, Kathy Baker, Royal Dano, David Clennon, Harry Shearer, Jeff Goldblum, John P. Ryan, John Dehner, David Gulpilil, O-Lan Jones, Chuck Yeager
What It’s About: A look at the Space Age and the creation of its myth, beginning with Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard) breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and ending with the final Mercury mission.
Why Watch it Today?: Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn) became the first American to make it into space on this day in 1961. The Right Stuff, based on Tom Wolfe’s mammoth book, is a beautifully shot, fantastically cast film with a great score and a wickedly dry sense of humor.
Speaking of the cast…it just happens that it’s also the birthday of Lance Henriksen, who plays astronaut Wally Schirra. Henriksen turns 74 today.
Definitely an all time favorite for a few big reasons. Those pre-CG effects are still really impressive, as well.
I read on the IMDb trivia page that they were the same kind of effects Republic used back in the day for their serials, only done on a much higher budget, which is pretty damned amazing.
And now I’m KICKING myself for selling off my Cinefex collection some years back. I had the issue on The Right Stuff’s effects that spells out how everything was done and I wish I had it handy now. I haven’t subscribed to that mag in AGES, but it’s actually still going strong today as I see from my bit of research…