Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Francis Ford Coppola, 1988 (8.7*)
This is the true story of Preston Tucker, American entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor. He saved US lives and made his fortune by designing the ball turret on the B-52 bombers that allowed the machine gunners easy mobility. After the war, Tucker, played with joyous optimism by Jeff Bridges, wants to build a radically different auto for the public: one that’s safe, yet also stylish. His design included things like disk brakes, high beam lights, side crash protection, seat belts. This film covers the period of this design when Tucker challenged the big three automakers and offered Americans something different. When the going gets tough, Tucker starts singing the jazz song "Hold That Tiger!" and grins. This feels a lot like a Frank Capra film (just look at the dvd cover), and is one of Coppola’s more enjoyably optimistic yet often overlooked movies.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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