New York Times - 08/12/1988
"...TUCKER is the best thing [Coppola] has done in years....Bridges is just the right actor for the title role..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/12/1988
"...A dazzling show....Stylistically, the film is a dream..."
USA Today - 11/03/2000
"...Vittorio Storaro's cinematography makes every shot look like a Rolls-Royce showroom..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
According to New York Magazine, Tucker: A Man And His Dream is "as fast, sleek and streamlined as the car - the Tucker Torpedo, that Preston Tucker built in 1948." And filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas celebrate Preston Tucker as the ultimate believer in the American dream.
In a dazzling portrayal by Jeff Bridges, Tucker is a dynamic engineer and an enthusiastic showman who envisions the car of the future. Against mighty odds he manages to build a fleet of them - only to have his factory shut down by Detroit's Big Three automobile manufacturers. They took away his car - but nobody could take away his dream.
Francis Ford Coppola directed this truly American story based on the real-life struggles of one man and his fight against big government and large corporations. In 1945 Michigan, Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges) created a car for the future equipped with fuel injection, a center headlight, seat belts, a rear engine, disc brakes, shatterproof glass, and a pop-out windshield. With the support of his wife (Joan Allen), his son (Christian Slater), and his business manager (Martin Landau in an Academy Award-nominated performance), Tucker produced fifty of his dream cars. However, Detroit's Big Three, with the help of a Washington senator (played by Jeff Bridges's father, Lloyd, in an uncredited role), set up significant roadblocks. Tucker is investigated for fraud and his plant is closed. Coppola had been planning to make a film based on the life of Preston Tucker since 1974. His own struggle to retain independence from the Hollywood studios mirrors the auto maverick's story. Of the 50 cars Tucker made, 46 are still roadworthy (Coppola and Executive Producer George Lucas each own one). Pop musician Joe Jackson composed the music for the film.
Big Business |
Character Study |
Personal Triumph |
Theatrical release: August 12, 1988.
The film is dedicated to Coppola's son Gio, who died two years earlier.
Coppola's father was an original investor in Tucker stock--he lost every penny.
"If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he'd be arrested for flying a kite without a license."--Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges)