Tucker: The Man and His Dream
There was a time in the automobile industry when the concepts of disc brakes, seat belts and pop-out windshields were revolutionary. If you are to believe Tucker: The Man and His Dream, these innovations were feared so much by the big automakers that they destroyed the man and his dream. Francis Ford Coppola thinks so, and makes a fantastic film about the life of Preston Tucker.
In this mostly true to life story, Jeff Bridges stars as Tucker, a businessman who made millions during World War II manufacturing gun turrets for the United States Army after they stole his patent. He believes that many people will want to own a new car when the war ends, so he decides to start his own automobile factory to challenge the big three automakers and get in on the action. Tucker has grandiose plans including many revolutionary ideas that will make his car better than the rest, but he is a better salesman than businessman.
Can Tucker realize his dream? Can he compete with the big three?
After the stunning success of the Godfather and Apocolypse Now, Tucker didn't register on the nation's radar screen when it came out in 1988. While it was a critical darling, you won't find many people who saw it in the theater. That's too bad because it is one of the finest films you will ever see.
Jeff Bridges transforms into a living, breathing P.T. Barnum. With the zeal of a carnival barker, Bridges chews up the scenery as Tucker inspires those around him to build the car of his dreams in the face of great adversity. What's makes his performance even better is Bridges' ability to show the unguarded moments when his character experiences failure and setbacks. It prevents the character from becoming a silly, overblown fool.
Coppola deserves major kudos for a fantastic work of art. Even though we know how the movie ends, it is an interesting tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you rent the film, you are going to feel as if you have stepped back into the 1940's thanks to a painstaking attention to detail and desire to set the proper mood. Coppola even gets Christian Slater to drop the Jack Nicholson impersonator persona that pollutes the rest of his roles. Tucker is a labor of love for Coppola - owner of one of the 50 Tucker cars. Check it out this weekend.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Written by Arnold Schulman and David Seidler
Jeff Bridges .. Preston Tucker
Joan Allen Vera
Martin Landau .. Abe
Frederic Forrest Eddie
Dean Stockwell .Howard Hughes
Christian Slater . Junior
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