The Right Stuff (film)

The Right Stuff is a 1983 American epic drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfes bestselling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as well as the seven military pilots who were selected to be the astronauts for Project Mercury, the first manned spaceflight by the United States. The Right Stuff stars Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid and Barbara Hershey. Levon Helm is the narrator in the introduction and elsewhere in the film, as well as having a costarring role as Air Force test pilot Jack Ridley. In 2013 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

Shepard is the first American to reach space on the 15minute suborbital flight of MercuryRedstoneon May 5. After Grissoms similar flight of MercuryRedstoneon July 21, the capsules hatch blows open and quickly fills with water. Grissom escapes, but the spacecraft, overweight with seawater, sinks. Many criticize Grissom for possibly panicking and opening the hatch prematurely. Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth on MercuryAtlason February 20, 1962, surviving a possibly loose heat shield, and receives a tickertape parade. He, his colleagues, and their families become celebrities, including a gigantic celebration in the Sam Houston Coliseum to announce the opening of the Manned Space Center in Houston, despite Glenns wife Annies fear of public speaking due to a stutter.Although test pilots at Edwards mock the Mercury program for sending spam in a can into space, they recognize that they are no longer the fastest men on Earth, and Yeager states that it takes a special kind of man to volunteer for a suicide mission, especially when its on national TV. While testing the new Lockheed NF104A, Yeager attempts to set a new altitude record at the edge of space but is nearly killed in a highspeed ejection when his engine fails. Though seriously burned, after reaching the ground Yeager gathers up his parachute and walks to the ambulance, proving that he still has the Right Stuff. ........

Source: Wikipedia