英文名：The Right Stuff
类型：冒险 剧情 历史
导演：菲利普·考夫曼 Philip Kaufman
主演：山姆·夏普德 Sam Shepard
斯科特·格伦 Scott Glenn
艾德·哈里斯 Ed Harris
丹尼斯·奎德 Dennis Quaid
福瑞德·沃德 Fred Ward
巴巴拉·赫尔希 Barbara Hershey
一位享有盛誉的战时年轻王牌飞行员Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard 饰)，自愿飞X-1
In 1947, a group of determined men gathered at a remote Air Force base in the
high desert of California. Their goal was to break the sound barrier by using a
small rocket-powered test plane called the X-1. The only problem was that others
had tried before, and not all had survived. Some thought of the sound barrier as
a "demon that lived in the sky", waiting to destroy any who dared confront it.
Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard), a young wartime ace with a wild reputation,
volunteers to fly the X-1, and spends the night before his flight at the local
bar. After a few drinks, he and his wife go galloping off on their horses
through the twilight, but a tree branch catches Yeager across the chest,
knocking him off the horse and cracking a few ribs. Hiding his injury from the
flight crew the next morning, Yeager climbs painfully into the plane and
prepares to confront the sound barrier "demon".
The little X-1 is carried aloft by a large B-29 bomber, then at the right
altitude, is dropped free. Yeager ignites the rocket engine and quickly zooms up
into the sky, going faster and faster, closing in on the deadly Mach-1 mark. The
plane begins to vibrate, then shake, with Yeager fighting the controls.
Suddenly, there is a strange boom, heard by the crew waiting on the ground, and
everyone fears that the sound barrier has claimed another life. A moment later,
they are surprised to hear Yeager's calm voice crackle over the radio, "Make a
note here would you?" This Mach-meter must be busted. It's jumped clear off the
scale." Amazed, then jubilant, they realize that Yeager has done it: The sound
barrier had been broken. A reporter rushes to the nearest pay phone to report
the event and is stopped by an Air Force officer who tells him the nature of the
mission is top secret - they don't want the news to reach the Soviet Union.
The desert airbase, now called Edwards, quickly becomes the center for all
test and experimental aircraft in the U.S., and every hot-shot jet-jockey
looking for a chance to become famous gravitates there. A few years pass, and
one such pilot, Gordo Cooper (Dennis Quaid) can't wait to take a crack at
becoming "the best pilot anyone ever saw." He finds Edwards already packed with
others like himself, with Yeager still at the top of the pyramid.
Unforeseen events halfway around the world change everything for these test
pilots. The Communists launch Sputnik, history's first orbiting satellite, and
suddenly everything is focused on the race for space. Looking for the first
American astronauts, representatives from the newly formed NASA visit Edwards.
Cooper sees a chance to stand out from the crowd and volunteers, along with his
friends Gus Grissom (Fred Ward) and Deke Slayton (Scott Paulin). Other pilots,
such as Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn) from the Navy, and John Glenn (Ed Harris) a
Marine flyer, also answer the call.
Tested to the limits of discomfort, pain and exhaustion, the astronaut
candidates are slowly weeded out, leaving a mere seven pilots as the handpicked
group that will lead America into space. Basking in their glory, they are
stunned to hear that the Soviets have beaten them again, launching the first
human, Yuri Gagarin, into space. Chagrined, they must now play catch-up with the
Russians, and Alan Shepard is chosen to be the first American astronaut.
Before they can launch a human into space, NASA sends a chimpanzee as a test
subject. The chimp returns to Earth safely but the astronauts are dismayed that
an animal went first. They are further dismayed when a series of test rockets
fail to launch, either collapsing on the launch pad or explode in mid-air. The
astronauts also quarrel with Wernher von Braun and the other NASA engineers
about the design of the space capsule ("space craft") and whether or not it will
have windows and a hatch with emergency bolts to escape if anything goes wrong.
The scientists initially refuse to listen to the astronauts demands but relent
when the men mention that funding can easily run out for space missions and that
they'll spill everything to the press, who are kept waiting outside the hangar
while the capsule is inspected.
Shepard is strapped into his capsule early on the morning of the launch, he
waits patiently while ground control works its way through an endless series of
glitches. Shepard's flight was supposed to be a short 15-minute loft into space,
and he's been waiting on the pad for hours. Feeling the call of nature, Shepard
is forced to "do it in the suit", much to the embarrassment of ground control.
However, once he's relieved himself, he demands that they get on with it and
fire the rocket. "I'm cooler than you are, so let's light this candle!" Everyone
holds their breath, and the button is pushed. Shepard's rocket ignites, and
quickly climbs into the sky. Subjected to tremendous stress during the launch
and then the fall back to Earth, he survives the flight and is picked up by the
waiting helicopter. America has its first astronaut.
Gus Grissom is next and his flight goes well, but during the recovery, the
hatch on his capsule is unexpectedly blown off, and when the sea floods in,
Grissom nearly drowns and the capsule is lost at the bottom of the Pacific. No
one believes his claim that there was a fault in the system, and he's denied the
hero's welcome afforded Shepard. The Russians make yet another bold move,
placing a second man into orbit while the Americans struggle with short
sub-orbital flights. Decisive action is needed, and John Glenn is chosen for the
next American mission.
An unreliable rocket, the Mercury Atlas, is chosen to launch Glenn into orbit,
and the country watches as the risky flight progresses. Thankfully, Glenn's
capsule makes it into orbit, and everyone draws a sigh of relief. Soon however,
trouble develops, and there is a serious doubt that the capsule's heat shield
will protect Glenn during re-entry. Without it, he'll be incinerated. Facing the
fact that there's nothing he can do but try, Glenn fires his retros and begins
to fall back through the atmosphere at 18,000 miles per hour. As the heat builds
up around the capsule, his radio link to the ground is blanked out, and all they
can do is wait. Minutes tick by as Glenn tears through the super-heated air.
Amazingly, he survives, and American can finally claim they have at last matched
the Russians in the space race.
Back at Edwards, events have bypassed Chuck Yeager. No one cares about
high-altitude flight or Mach-speed records now; everyone is talking about
spacemen. In one more record-setting attempt, Yeager takes a specially modified
F-104 Starfighter up in a dangerous, high-altitude flight. Zooming through the
stratosphere once more, he pushes his plane to the limit, climbing higher and
higher, pushed to a record altitude by the rocket in the tail. The sky around
him grows dark as he approaches the edge of space.
Suddenly the engine begins to stall. The air is too thin and the jet can't
keep running at this height. The plane slows as alarm lights flash on the
control panel. Yeager looks out at the dark sky around him, and for a moment he
can see the stars twinkling just out of reach; he is almost there. But the plane
lurches, and begins to fall. There's no control, no power, no way to recover.
Yeager is in a deadly flat spin. Spiraling down faster and faster, Yeager
struggles to get his craft under control, but as he nears the ground, he must
either eject or crash. Pulling the ejection control, his seat is fired out of
the doomed plane, but the small rocket in the ejection seat has ignited his
flight suit, and he plummets through the clouds, trailing smoke as the flames
burn up into his helmet.
On the ground, the crash truck lumbers out over the flat desert toward the
crashed plane. The recovery crew fully expects to find Yeager's smashed body in
the wreckage, but something off in the distance catches their eye, and they turn
toward it. As they draw closer, the shape becomes Yeager, his face badly burned,
calmly and proudly walking towards them. He has survived once again.
Intercut with Yeager's flight are scenes of the Mercury astronauts attending a
huge Texas banquet thrown by Lyndon B. Johnson. The men watch a performance by
fan dancer Sally Rand, and look at each other, knowing they're heroes to all
Americans. Gordo Cooper remarks that he's achieved success as an astronaut
having a good home, money, and a fine meal, and that he hasn't even been on a
space mission yet. When asked who the greatest pilot he ever knew was, Gordo
hesitates for a time, perhaps wanting to mention Chuck Yeager, and instead
answers "You're lookin' at him."
As the last of the Mercury-7 astronauts prepares for his flight into space,
the ground controllers hear snoring over the microphone in the capsule. Gordo
Cooper is finally getting his chance to prove he has "the right stuff", but
first they have to wake him up. Laughing, they continue the countdown, and
Cooper rides the rocket into space, setting records for the longest space flight
to date, and proving, if only for a short time, that he is "the greatest pilot
anyone ever saw." The narrator tells us that Cooper was the last astronaut to go
into space alone.
山姆·夏普德 Sam Shepard .... Chuck Yeager
斯科特·格伦 Scott Glenn .... Alan Shepard
艾德·哈里斯 Ed Harris .... John Glenn
丹尼斯·奎德 Dennis Quaid .... Gordon Cooper
福瑞德·沃德 Fred Ward .... Gus Grissom
巴巴拉·赫尔希 Barbara Hershey .... Glennis Yeager
Kim Stanley .... Pancho Barnes
维罗尼卡·卡特莱特 Veronica Cartwright .... Betty Grissom
帕梅拉·里德 Pamela Reed .... Trudy Cooper
Scott Paulin .... Deke Slayton
Charles Frank .... Scott Carpenter
兰斯·亨利克森 Lance Henriksen .... Wally Schirra
唐纳德·莫法特 Donald Moffat .... Lyndon B. Johnson
Levon Helm .... Jack Ridley / Narrator
Mary Jo Deschanel .... Annie Glenn
斯科特·威尔逊 Scott Wilson .... Scott Crossfield
凯茜·贝克 Kathy Baker .... Louise Shepard
Mickey Crocker .... Marge Slayton
Susan Kase .... Rene Carpenter
Mittie Smith .... Jo Schirra