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The Straight Story

Richard Farnsworth , Sissy Spacek , David Lynch    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Lynch can make Beautiful Movies too July 5 2007
The Straight Story is a film about an old man named Alvin Straight who hasn't talked to his brother Lyle in ten years because they said some "unforgiving things to one another." He finds out that his estranged brother is dying and he decides to make amends and say good-bye. He drives hundreds of miles with a giant trailer attached to a lawn mower. The story is based on facts.

David Lynch is known for his cutting edge, bizarre and perplexing mysteries but when taken into account with all his other films The Straight Story (and it's unusual G-rating) should be no surprise. Lynch went from the completely off-the-wall horror Eraserhead to in my opinion one of the most touching films ever made in The Elephant Man. He is no stranger to drama and it manifests itself in varying depths in every one of his films. It often shows up in the most surprising of places. Lynch is acclaimed and credited more after Mulholland Dr., however, in many years from now he will get many of the same accolades that guys like Stanley Kubrick do now for films like this one. Lynch is a master of his craft and among the best American Directors of our time. It sounds like a bold statement now but the years will tell. I for one will argue his films are timeless.

The Straight Story unfolds at a snail's pace and plays the most straight forward formulas to the tee...I'm not saying that as a drawback but it may not be for everyone. It is the perfect environment for Lynch to show he can direct a great drama with a narrative and some older actors like Richard Farnsworth (excellent as the likeable Alvin Straight) and briefly Harry Dean Stanton as Lyle. Sissy Spaceck is also excellent as Alvin's daughter. If I were to list the most touching sequences in film for me, two come from Lynch films.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really wonderful film May 22 2003
When you first think of the name David Lynch, you would think more in the sense of R-rated, kinky, violent and vulgar films. Not this one. The Straight Story, an even cleaner film than his 1980 Elephant Man, could not be more G-rated. But Lynch shows us here that he does not need to use his common elements to make a great film.
The transfer:
Theres really nothing wrong with this transfer, although there shouldnt be, considering that it was made about 4 years ago. You get a nice 5.1 surround, and clear picture, and a very wide presentation.
Thre supplements:
Nada. Actually, on the whole disc, there is only 2 menus. The only thing that makes this disc sold without a box is a trailer, and a little note from Lynch himself explaining why there isn't any chapter stops (sadly, for most this film would have to be seen in parts, unless your so comfortable in your seat you dont want to get up).
For kids?
Although this is G-rated, anyone under 10 would fall asleep in less than 10 minutes. Forget children, most adults would not have the patience for this film. But if your children do have patience, absolutly. There couldnt be less wrong with this film. A wonderful, warm hearted slice of life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST WATCH! April 8 2003
This is an excellent film! I am not one to look for movies about old men on John Deer Tractors, BUT this movie is moving! The best part about this film is the beautiful music and scenery! I never thought I would find wheat fields beautiful, but this changed my mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow is good April 2 2003
Richard Farnsworth stars as Alvin Straight in a David Lynch departure: a G-rated film with no weird subtext. The Straight Story is the simple tale of a 73-year-old man who travels on his riding lawnmower over 300 miles to see his estranged brother who just had a stroke.
The film takes its time telling its story, giving us plenty of opportunity to study Alvin and all the characters he meets along the way to Wisconsin to see his brother Lyle (Lynch regular Harry Dean Stanton). Alvin leaves his daughter (Sissy Spacek) to take what he feels is his last opportunity to make up with Lyle. Farnsworth is the show here, though, and he never stoops to make Alvin pathetic or pitiable. His strength (some may say stubbornness, but there's no meanspiritedness about it) should be an inspiration; he has to walk with two canes so every step is a journey in itself.
David Lynch surprised many people (he hasn't told a "straight story" since 1980's The Elephant Man) by delivering a film that does not manipulate and never sentimentalizes--and it's not weird! There is a moment near the end where true feeling is elicited (probably more so if you have a sibling, as I do not) but it is not forced. This true story is a drama of a different kind, one that Hollywood couldn't repeat if it wanted as this type of film depends on the perfect combination of story, director, and actor that rarely comes together. We should feel lucky that The Straight Story was even made and appreciate it for what it is, and for what it tells us about the potential of ourselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing true story Jan. 8 2014
By George Jones TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
On the surface, The Straight Story is a simple one: an elderly man, Alvin Straight, had a falling out with his brother, Lyle ten years previously. When news comes to Alvin that Lyle has had a stroke, Alvin decides he has to reconcile with Lyle before it's too late. With only one option that he can see of how to get from his Iowa home to Lyle's in Wisconsin, Alvin sets out driving his old lawnmower towing a make-shift trailer. The story is about his six week journey.

The movie moves as slowly as Alvin's tractor, but our interest is captured by Richard Farnsworth's excellent acting ability, supported by Sissy Spacek as Alvin's daughter. "Bottom-line" messages fill this story: family relationships are important and worth nurturing; forgiveness and reconciliation bring true peace and happiness; no matter what life brings, there are still people who care and are willing to help; out of our suffering, we are able to have compassion and help others in their suffering.

This movie has a depth that not many others have. Alvin Straight will be in your mind and heart long after the movie is over. The photography of the autumn prairies is spectacular. I highly recommend this for older teens and adults who want to watch a deeply moving story in its uplifting simplicity.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super story, arrived earlier than expected.
Published 2 months ago by Gisela Labrentz
5.0 out of 5 stars Product good, packing questionable.
DVD arrived loose in the manufacturer's packaging and was rattling around. Fortunately it didn't seem to affect playing of the movie.
Published 18 months ago by Betty Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars New Straight Story
I was so happy to get this movie as I remember well when the original and real Mr. Straight took his lawnmower journey. Read more
Published 21 months ago by warmhearted
5.0 out of 5 stars The Straight Story: A show of good family values and morals
The Straight story is a show that my whole family enjoyed. As a Christian family,We have tried to be choosy over the years about what our kids watch. Read more
Published on June 4 2003 by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars The kinder, gentler David Lynch movie.
"The Straight Story" has the gorgeously colored, semi-surreal look of a typical David Lynch movie, but here the surrealism is lyrical and benign. Read more
Published on March 30 2003 by Miles D. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the Heart
Someone once ridiculed me because I said I loved this "old person's movie". Indeed this movie lacks the sex and violence and sarcasm that dominates today's Gen Xer's video... Read more
Published on March 22 2003 by Mama Kimmberli
5.0 out of 5 stars STRAIGHT TO THE HEART.
Published on March 16 2003 by DAVID L. WOOD
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, economical and heartfelt film
David Lynch, one of the contemporary cinema's true magicians, converts his power to casting white magic in this quietly intoxicating ode to silent reflection and natural... Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by J. Remington
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