The Right Stuff (film)
The Right Stuff is a 1983 film about the about the test pilots who were involved in high-speed aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base as well as those selected to be astronauts for Project Mercury.
Chuck Yeager (Narrator)
- [opening narration] There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, 750 miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it: The sound barrier. Then, they built a small plane, the X1, to try and break the sound barrier. And men came to the High Desert in California to ride it. They were called test pilots. And no one knew their names.
- Hey, Riddley, you got any Beeman's? Loan me some, will you - I'll pay you back later.
- [about manned space flight] Anyone who goes up in that damn thing is gonna be spam in a can.
- [closing narration] The Mercury program was over. Four years later, astronaut Gus Grissom was killed, along with astronauts White and Chaffee, when fire swept through their Apollo capsule. But on that glorious day in May 1963, Gordo Cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American. Twenty-two complete orbits around the world, he was the last American ever to go into space alone. And for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen.
- It's important to America to get a man up there first. I'm planning on being the first man to ride the rocket.
- [Two recruiters argue on a U.S. Navy carrier about accepting Navy pilots for Project Mercury.]
- Recruiter #1: [seasick] Are you sure the Navy's got good pilots?
- Recruiter #2: [also seasick] They call them aviators in the Navy. They say they're better than pilots.
- Recruiter #1: I guess you've heard about our project. We're going up against the Russians all the way. It's got the highest...
- Recruiter #2: Priorities.
- Recruitrer #1: It's a hazardous undertaking. In fact, it's extremely hazardous, if you get my meaning.
- Recruiter #2: It's so hazardous, that, if, uh, you decide not to volunteer, it will not be held against you in any way.
- Alan Shepard: Sounds dangerous.
- Recruiter #1: It is.
- Recruiter #2: Very dangerous.
- Alan Shepard: Count me in.
- Reporter 1#: Gentlemen, I'd like to know from each of you whether your wives and children had anything to say about this. Mr. Slayton?
- Deke Slayton: Uh, mine thinks it's fine.
- Reporter 2#: Thank you. Mr. Schirra?
- Wally Schirra: Uh, they're all for it.
- John Glenn: You know, I don't think any of us could really go on with something like this if we didn't have pretty good backing at home. Really. My wife's attitude toward this has been the same as it's been all along through my flying. If it's what I want to do, she's behind it, and by golly, my kids are too, a hundred percent!
- [Alan Shepard is being prepared for his flight and has just been sealed inside the Mercury spacecraft.]
- Alan Shepard: Dear Lord - please don't let me fuck up.
- Gordon Cooper: [at launch control center] I didn't quite copy that. Say again, please.
- [An alarmed Shepard, realizing his communications are being monitored, tries to cover up his words.]
- Alan Shepard: Uh, I said everything is A-OK!
- Gordon Cooper: [amused] Well, I thought that's what you said. [switches channels] He says everything is A-OK!
- Reporter: I'm going to place a long distance call to Los Angeles.
- Air Force General: [resets the phone] Who are you calling?
- Reporter: The press! This is big news! The sound barrier's finally been broken!
- Air Force General: No, sir, no press!
- Reporter: What?
- Air Force General: No word of this going beyond the fly-by!
- Reporter: [inserts a coin] Hey, come on, now! This is big news! We need coverage for this!
- Air Force General: No, sir, sorry! No press! Those are orders. National security.
- Reporter: But the war's over!
- Air Force General: Well, look, pal. Maybe they don't want someone to know.
- Reporter: Who?
- Air Force General: The Russians, maybe.
- Reporter: The Russians?! They're our allies!
- Air Force General: Well, anyway, somebody wanted it that way. And that's the way it is.
- Sam Shepard — Chuck Yeager
- Scott Glenn — Alan Shepard
- Ed Harris — John Glenn
- Dennis Quaid — Gordon Cooper
- Fred Ward — Gus Grissom
- Barbara Hershey — Glennis Yeager
- Kim Stanley — Pancho Barnes
- Veronica Cartright — Betty Grissom
- Pamela Reed — Trudy Cooper
- Scott Paulin — Deke Slayton
- Lance Henriksen — Wally Schirra
- Donald Moffat — Lyndon B. Johnson
- Mary Jo Deschenal — Annie Glenn