Drama PG Running time: 1:50
IMDB rating: 6.9 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English, French, Spanish; Subtitles: English, Spanish; Audio: DD 5.1
Director Francis Ford Coppola and executive producer George Lucas shared a strong desire to film the story of Preston Tucker, the man who revolutionized car design in the late 1940s, only to have his innovation squelched by the "big three" automakers in a legal battle between Tucker and powerful political lobbies. Coppola surely related to and sympathized with Tucker as a visionary underdog, and so this stylish, energetic film envisions "the man and his dream" in idealistic terms--an unabashed optimist (played by Jeff Bridges) who realizes his vision through blind faith and tenacity. Martin Landau gives a superb, heartbreaking performance as an associate who desperately wants to share Tucker's enthusiasm, but knows that corporate wolves are knocking at the door and will soon burst in with fangs bared. Joan Allen is equally good as Tucker's supportive wife, and the film's combination of dazzling costumes, production design, and the fabulous Tucker itself (of which only 50 models were made) creates an infectious atmosphere of postwar optimism. In the end, however, this fascinating film is much like Coppola himself: possessed of genius, blinded by ambition, and prone to create works of erratic brilliance. Don't take that as criticism, however; this is a sharp, underrated film about a dreamer whose dream was a worthy one, even if it only briefly came true.