"It's the idea that counts, and the dream."
K. Gittins | CA USA | 06/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1988 movie, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas, has good acting from Jeff Bridges, Martin Landau, Frederic Forrest, and Joan Allen in the larger roles. Smaller supporting roles were also handled well by Christian Slater, Jay O. Sanders, Nina Siemaszko and Mako.As reflected by the DVD cover, the movie is filmed in a splashy 1940's advertising style, and uses warm gold and sepia tones and some impressive camera work to tell the tale of the development of the "Tucker 48" automobile, also known as the "Torpedo" after its sleek lines (for the times), of which only about 50 were made. For its time, it had many innovative features, including a rear-mounted engine, seat belts and padded dash, push button controls, and a third central headlight that would turn when steering. The large, 4,800 pound behemoth got about 20 MPH.In a somewhat dichotomous framework, the movie shows the result of American "Yankee ingenuity" coupled with the eventual demise of the Tucker due to pressure by the Big Three automaking competitors. Taken to court for fraud with the accusation that he would not deliver on the promise of producing a car, Tucker in fact is found not guilty, and had actually produced about 50 cars, though his business was effective ruined.Tucker had other successes however. Just before World War II, he developed an armored car that was so fast at 80-plus MPH, the Army did not want it because they thought such vehicles should only go about 35 MPH. However, the rotating gun-turret used on top of the vehicle, the "Tucker turret", was used on American bombers, such as the B-17 and B-24, thoughout the war.Although his business partner Abe Karatz (Landau) is quite upset that the car business folded, Tucker tells him..."It's the idea that counts, Abe, and the dream." Tucker died in 1956 from lung cancer at age 53.The reasonably-priced DVD has the wide-screen movie, an excellent original 15-minute long 1948 promotional film made by the Tucker company (with or without commentary by FFC), a mediocre short "making of" collection of cast/crew interview clips mostly from 1988, a decent commentary by FFC, and the usual setup features."
A Story of Optimism and Indomitable Spirit
Sam Bethune | Lincoln, Nebraska USA | 03/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a car enthusiast and having read about the Tucker automobile and its inventor, I saw this picture at the theater and rushed out to buy it when it became available to purchase."Tucker-The Man And His Dream" is the story of auto maker/inventor/visionary Preston Tucker, who bucked incredible odds to see his dream of a revolutionary car come to life. Jeff Bridges plays the title role with such energy and enthusiasm that you end up thinking this guy could conquer the world. Joan Allen is her usual excellent self as Preston's devoted wife, and Martin Landau is brilliant in his Oscar-nominated role as Tucker's somewhat skeptical business partner. Christian Slater, in one of his earliest screen appearances, plays Tucker's oldest son. Although they are on screen together for only a brief period of time in the picture, it is wonderful to see Jeff Bridges with his father, the late great Lloyd Bridges. The elder Bridges plays Homer Ferguson, a U.S. Senator from Michigan who instigated a probe and subsequent prosecution of Tucker by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly defrauding investors (Tucker was eventually exonerated after his company folded due to the negative publicity).All of the acting performances in this picture are superb, and the pacing is almost frenetic. These factors, along with a rather ingenious use of transitions by Director Francis Ford Coppola (who coincidentally owns one of the few Tuckers left in existence), create a busy feeling that conveys to the audience that Tucker has got the world by the tail and is pulling hard...hold that tiger! Combine all of this with an excellent soundtrack by Joe Jackson (unfortunately very hard to find these days), and you have what one reviewer accurately describes as one of the greatest movies that hardly anyone ever watched. If you haven't seen "Tucker-The Man And His Dream", check it out...you won't be disappointed."
DVD starts instantly
Eolake | Lancashire, United Kingdom | 07/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the others about the film, and I just have to add this... Almost all DVDs these days force you to sit through minutes on end of animated logos and warnings of copyright laws and smallpox. This DVD, literally two seconds after you pop it in, you have the DVD menu! Please, DVD engineers, I implore you, follow this example. We know you are very good and fancy, but we *really* don't want all your fancy animations slowing us down every time we start or stop something, or select a different option. If you want to make art, make art. If you want to make a user interface, make a user interface!"
Wonderful work by Jeff Bridges ...
the_review_guy | United States | 07/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of his finest performances since "Starman" ... Here, Jeff gets to play a little bit of the good-natured kidder we've come to love ... as Tucker, the eternal optimist and dreamer, we experience the reality that all dreams are met with obstacles sometimes ...The flashy style of the director has the look and feel of a Life magazine or Saturday Evening Post piece ... it's hype, sure, but it attempts to capture the entreprenurial spirit of post-war America with the swing music and stylish clothing ... Excellent performances by Bridges (both of them!), Martin Landau and even Christian Slater plays with much more subtlety than usual. Dean Stockwell does a pretty good Howard Hughes.Get this movie and be prepared to simply sit back and enjoy it. Before the Big Three had serious competition from Germany and Japan they ruled with an iron fist. The cars we drive today are infinitely better because of competition. Should any criticize me for that statement I simply say these words: Pinto, Vega and Pacer. BTW, my new Ford Explorer is an excellent, well-designed and engineered vehicle.Unfortunately the father-son team of Bridges didn't have nearly as much material to work with in "Blown Away", their only other movie pairing ... Lloyd Bridges plays the corrupt U.S. Senator so well that you'd like to see a full Congressional investigation on him ... Excellent sound track as well."