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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem and one of David Lynch's best films.
I think that The Straight Story is a truly gorgeous piece of film-making showing how a man in his 70's travels across 2-3 states on a lawnmower towing a trailer, to visit his sick brother.

On his way he meets various characters at different stages of his journey. There's one scene where he's sitting at a bar with a glass of milk and his eyes say so much in one...
Published on 5 April 2003 by film fan

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars OK
It was ok but not as entertaining as I was told it was when it was recommendef to me. Still a good story but would not think of watching it again.
Published 22 days ago by Subudmh


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem and one of David Lynch's best films., 5 April 2003
By 
film fan (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I think that The Straight Story is a truly gorgeous piece of film-making showing how a man in his 70's travels across 2-3 states on a lawnmower towing a trailer, to visit his sick brother.

On his way he meets various characters at different stages of his journey. There's one scene where he's sitting at a bar with a glass of milk and his eyes say so much in one look that words couldn't even try to fathom.

It's beautifully photographed with lots of sweeping landscapes as we follow Alvin Straight on his journey. Richard Farnsworth is remarkable as Alvin Straight who prepares his tractor and starts on his epic journey to visit his sick brother. David Lynch switches direction from his usual style of dark and twisted places to this enchanting and magical film, based on a true story, which everyone can watch. I fell in love with it instantly. An exquisite film that is beautifully observed. A modern classic and one of my favourites.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Most Understated, Eloquent Films I've Ever Seen, 29 May 2000
What can I say ? I finished watching it an hour ago and I'm still reeling. Beautifully shot. Beautiful music. It's just become one of my favourite films of all time ( no easy feat, believe me ). Richard Farnsworth gives the performance of a lifetime as crotchety, stoic Alvin Straight with a masterclass in acting through understatement. A welcome change of tone for David Lynch. A touching, eloquent rumination on life, the loss of youth and the importance of family. Film-making has very rarely been better than this. Don't bother with the effects filled summer blockbusters this year. Buy this, stay in and watch true craftsmen at work. Beautiful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Rode and he Rode and he..........., 6 April 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
At the Osacar awards in 2000, Richard Farnsworth was nominated for the best actor award for his role in "The Straight Story"(99). He was 79 years old at the time and was dying of cancer. He lost out to Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty". This was an obvious award for a film that had been a hit, and a great injustice was done. Farnsworth did not get another opportunity for an oscar as he tragically shot himself in the October of that year. His performance in "The Straight Story" is simply magnificent and was his last great performance in one of the most interesting careers in Hollywood. He was a stunt rider who chased and galloped through films like "Gone with the Wind"(39) and "Fort Apache"(48). He taught the city tenderfoot Montgomery Clift how to look and behave like a cowboy in that magnificent epic "Red River"(48). He became an actor by accident when he was asked to do a couple of lines by producer Alan Pakula in Mulligans "The Stalking Moon"(68). Pakula remembered him, and ten years later gave him a larger role in "Comes A Horseman". He was nominated for an oscar as support actor but lost out to Christopher Walken in "The Deer Hunter". No complaints there! He then went on to illuminate many films as a support actor. His one lead role being the Canadian film "The Grey Fox"(82) which is his very finest work. He is simply wonderful in the role of Bill Miner the gentleman bandit. One of the great Westerns, but sadly so little known. One of the more interesting careers in the movies.

"The Straight Story" is a very simple story indeed. It is about Alvin Straight(a real person) an old man in Iowa. Alvin decides very matter of factly, that as he is likely to die anytime he should pay a last visit to his brother in Wisconsin. Just for once Farnsworth does not have a trusty horse to ride. The only thing he has available is a John Deere tractor. So off he sets on a journey of hundreds of miles down back roads. As you will have gathered this is not your average road movie. Mostly it is about the people he meets, his relationship with his simple daughter played by Sissy Spacek, and ultimately with his brother who turns out to be Harry Dean Stanton. The film is a moving study of aging and relationships. David Lynch is to be applauded for making such a fine and unusual film. It is the finest work of his distinguished career.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendant, 3 Nov. 2005
By 
J. Williams - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I can't really add much to what's already been said - all the reviews are spot on. All I can say is that this mesmerising film is one of the most beautifully realised and humane visions I have ever seen. Indeed I've seen nothing since that's affected me quite so deeply. Lynch has surpassed himself. The peformances are outstanding - especially of course 'Alvin' himself. The cinematography alone deserves a medal for services to humanity, and the all-pervading sense of both the value of reconciliation and the enduring nature of love are captured like no other film I have seen so far this century. Profound. Flawless.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost for Words, 12 Jan. 2002
I don't think a film has ever affected me like this, and am so pleased to read that other reviewers have felt the same. I'm a bit shocked, actually. I never realised that a film could do this.
The Striaght Story is beautiful. Gentle, good natured and heartwarming, it says all there is to say about the triumph of the human spirit, and the kindness of strangers. Alvin's journey across three states, on the back of a ride-on lawnmower, is told at such a slow pace, and often Alvin is the only person on screen, surrounded by mile after mile of landscape stretching off into the horizon. This just emphasises the whole point of the film: one man's mission to do what he feels is right. Refusing help along the way, even insisting on sleeping in someone's shed instead of in the house when he's forced to rely on others when the lawnmower breaks down, Alvin is a true gentleman. The stories he tells, and characters he meets, bring a genuinely warm glow of happiness and truth. Telling a young runaway of his daughter's sad personal history, chatting about war experiences in a bar with a fellow oldtimer, this film has more to say about humanity than any I think I have ever seen.
Cinematography is perfection. The music is perfection: Angelo Badalamenti does it again, recapturing the evocative nature of the Twin Peaks soundtrack. Just listen to the simple use of strings when Alvin tells his daughter's story. I promise there won't be a dry eye in the house. There certainly wasn't in mine, anyway.
Completely unsentimental, this film is ideal for making you feel glad to be alive. Absolutely uplifting. I don't understand why it didn't win every award going. I didn't want it to end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Journey, 2 July 2000
By 
Mr. S. Carlin "arca20" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When you think about it this is a typical Lynch film - focusing on character. The fact that it is based on true events is beside the point. While most US directors are content to show us the same old thing and the same old settings, Lynch has always strived to show small town America and the real people who populate the country. In this film, Lynch shows us the kind of world that still exists, you have to go out and find it though.
The story is both a journey across three states and a journey through life. If you want to see a gentle film with no swearing, sex or violence, no car chases and shoot-outs then this is the film for you.
The picture quality of the DVD is excellent, and the sound is excellent - you can hear background sounds with absolute clarity. In a couple of scenes the dialogue is deliberately muted so do not adjust your set.
Unfortunatly the DVD is very basic, perhaps a short feature on the real Alvin Straight might have rounded it all off.
All in all I would recommend this as the film of the year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Genuinely Touching Experience, 30 Jan. 2004
By A Customer
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The story - driving a lawnmower for 500 miles - seems trite and could almost be a stunt for "charideee". But this film is not about the journey, it is about the need to say goodbye and settle a squabble that had kept brothers apart for too long.

The film itself is quiet, it unfolds rather than happens. The scene in the bar where he and another veteran silently drink a beer together is a perfect expression of remembrance.

All the time is the question of what will happen when - if - he arrives is there to take the story along.

It won't suit everyone, but it remains a well-told and involving story that will delight anyone who enjoys a human story.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Straight Story, 27 Sept. 2003
By 
Mr Ivan Willis (Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Directed by David Lynch are you sure? No backward talking dwarves, no mutant babies and certainly no damn fine cups of coffee. Anyone expecting a descent further into the demented madness of Lynch's psyche may be somewhat taken aback by the gentle nature of this film. However although influenced by real events this takes on a picaresque fairytale air. The story of Alvin elderly, half blind only able to walk with the use of two walking sticks drives his ancient lawnmower for hundreds of miles to meet his estranged brother who has suffered a stroke.
The late Richard Farnsworth caps a lifetime of hollywood graft as bit player and stuntman with a great natural performance and its a relief to see Sissy Spaceck escape from TV movie banality
to give an affecting performance in a role that develops further than you initially expect.
A quiet emotional film that gives you more faith in humanity than other more obvious contenders. Some small moments of dark Lynch humour still shine through, one cooked meal may upset animal lovers for example. This is a wonderful diversion for David Lynch and its a shame that the DVD has no commentary so we can see how the lost highway diverted to the straight story and then returned to Mulholland Drive and back to dark territory.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic-no doubt!!, 10 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
I sat down to watch this film at 2 in the morning expecting to watch maybe 20 minutes before i went to bed and then watch the rest in the morning. The fact that I found my self, at 5 in the morning, treating my self to a second screening is testimony to the fact that this is one of the the most amazing films I have ever seen. At once funny and sad, The Straight Story ahd me in tears by the end. Instead of opting for an overblown, unrealistic finale, Lynch goes for a much more belivable and subtle ending,tugging on the heartstrings far more. Farnsworths perfromance is spot on, the cinematography beautiful and the supporting characters quirky and utterly cahrming. I urge anyone who appreciates a well made film to watch this. Will put a smile in your face whatever happens. Film of the decade-no doubt.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away by the silence, 15 Aug. 2004
By 
Every journey begins with a single step.
Alvin Straight is 73 years old and lives with his daughter Rose (Sissy Spacek), one of his 14 children of whom only 7 survived. Rose has a bad stammer and builds birds nests for a living, but takes loving care of her father.
Alvin hasn't spoken to his brother Lyle in ten years. When Alvin hears Lyle has suffered a stroke, it takes him a full day to decide he will go and visit his brother. But then he still doesn't know how to get there. Finally, it takes him another day to remodel his only means of transportation: his lawn mower.
He puts a neat little orange "danger" triangle on the back of his mower and sets on his trip from Laurens, Iowa, to Wisconsin, 400 miles away and close to two months on his choice of wheels.
This story is based on the true story of Alvin Straight, who died 3 years before the movie came out.
The role of Alvin is played by Richard Farnsworth, whom you may remember from Independence Day where he played Evan, or Misery where he played McCain. Like Alvin Straight, he was born in 1920, and was only a few years older than Alvin supposedly was when playing this movie. An actor in over 60 movies and stuntman in 50 movies, he died shortly after making this film.
The movie was directed by David Lynch and has his typical trademark of beautiful scenes, moving photographs and distant conversations. It got nominations for the Academy Award, the Golden Globe and the Oscar. There is little dialogue in this movie, but the little there is becomes stronger because of it. The most important part of the movie are the wide shots, when you hear the conversations only in the background, to underline their unimportance, to underline that you are a mere observer. It's the face of Farnsworth that talks, more than anything.
I wonder if he knew this would be his last movie. This was definitely a masterpiece and an enviable way to go.
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The Straight Story [DVD]
The Straight Story [DVD] by David Lynch (DVD - 2008)
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