The true story was exciting enough. Kauffman didn't have to add his transparently dumb metaphysical twists to it. No professional flyers on earth ever talked this way and even casual aviation and space flight buffs tear the film to shreds for its historical inaccuracies. We don't usually ask Hollywood for historical documents, but when you make the claim, as this film does, you'd better stick to at least a few facts. For example, few people ever really believed that Gus Grissom actually blew that hatch and lost his capsule himself. Otherwise, he wouldn't have stayed around to die on Apollo I.
After all that bile, though, we still have to say The Right Stuff is worth watching over and over. Just not with the volume up too far.
The latter was a veritable mountain of an airplane that probably plays better on the screen than it ever would have in a real shooting war. Later, however, Stewart is given his own B-47 to horse around the sky, and the film enters the Jet Age.
It helps knowing that Stewart was qualified to fly these aircraft and was allegedly quite proficient in them. He even flew a combat mission in Vietnam (in a B-52, some say as his little bit of payback for the death of his son over there).
The picture is also memorable for its fairly accurate peek at the lives of SAC families in the early nuclear age. The B-36s and elegant B-47s get their only major turn on the silver screen. The ur-faithful wife is played by, surprise, June Allyson.
The first and still one of the greatest. With a cast that includes Buddy Rogers and Clara Bow, not to mention a bunch of authentic WW I Fokker D.VIIs, SPADs and an Albatros or two (to name a few). It is a spectacular piece of filmmaking, with air-to-air footage that is breathtaking even by modern standards. This late-silent film won the first Oscar for Best Picture.
The rub here is that it is silent and runs a bit over two hours, a real test on 21st Century eyes and attention spans. We don't see a lot of people running out to find this one. Nevertheless, the film was believed lost for decades until a print was found in a vault in the '70s. Unlike the Huns in this movie, film lovers really dodged a bullet.