What ‘The Right Stuff’ Gets Right

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The early years of the American air and space programs saw a plethora of technological leaps and bounds, due in large part to a mixture of experimentation and ambition. The same could be said for Philip Kaufman’s 1983 masterpiece, The Right Stuff.

Throughout a runtime that might as well be measured in light-years (the film is three hours and thirteen minutes long), we’re presented with filmmaking that’s truly epic in scope. A stellar ensemble cast allows us to understand and empathize with the film’s band of astronauts, and Kaufman pairs beautiful documentary footage with special effects that still hold up today. (http://rxreviewz.com/) Plus, the film’s rousing score remains downright inspirational. In celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of The Right Stuff — and its continued influence on film and television, including Damien Chazelle’s First Man — let’s take a moment to re-examine Kaufman’s magnum opus.

The “Right Stuff” possesses some of the best editings of its day. To find out more about some of the techniques used in the film, watch our videos on the graphic match cut and superimposition in film. If you were over the moon with that video, read our review of “First Man” to see if Damien Chazelle has got the right stuff. And for more out-of-this-world editorials, don’t miss Fandor’s latest, like Why You Should Care About the Gotham Awards, Jean-Claude Van Damme Knows How to Laugh at Himself, and Guy Maddin Dreams of Exquisite Cinema.

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