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The Straight Story [VHS] [1999]

4.5 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter, Donald Wiegert
  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Writers: Mary Sweeney, John Roach
  • Producers: Mary Sweeney, Michael Polaire, Neal Edelstein, Pierre Edelman
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Vci
  • VHS Release Date: 3 Jun. 2002
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RCOS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,640 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

David Lynch's critically applauded road movie tells the tale of Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth), a 73-year-old midwesterner who sets out on an unusual personal odyssey. Alvin lives with his mentally retarded daughter Rose (Sissy Spacek), and is struggling with his failing health. When he hears that his estranged brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has suffered a stroke, he realises that now is the time to heal the rift between them. However, lacking a car of his own, Alvin opts to make the three-hundred mile journey from Iowa to Wisconsin on his lawnmower.

From Amazon.co.uk

Throughout The Straight Story, 73-year-old Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) gazes calmly at the night sky, as if the stars were reflections of his own memories. When he hears his brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton), with whom he hasn't spoken in years, is ailing Alvin decides to go visit him and make peace. But since Alvin's eyesight is bad and his daughter (Sissy Spacek) refuses to drive him, he sets out on the 500-mile journey from Laurens, Iowa to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin on a John Deere lawnmower. It's slow going, so there's plenty of time to stop for the night and ponder the cosmos. Along the way, he befriends a variety of nice folks, and you have to ask yourself: is this really a David Lynch movie?

It's a miracle that this wholesome film was made by a director whose work is often described as twisted and bizarre. But Lynch is too complex an artist to be labelled, and he brings charm, grace and kindness to this story based on a newspaper clipping. Moreover, The Straight Story has a serenity rarely found in movies anymore. It's a film of moments--funny, odd, quietly spiritual--and this simple tale of a man, a lawnmower and rural hospitality becomes a genuine Lynchian odyssey, unlike any film you've seen but as welcoming as a cup of lemon tea with honey. Best of all, it's a fitting tribute to the career of veteran stuntman-actor Farnsworth who, at age 79, plays Alvin Straight to sheer perfection, his face a subtle roadmap to a broad spectrum of emotional destinations. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to the DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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