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The Straight Story (1999)

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director:

David Lynch
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sissy Spacek ... Rose
Jane Galloway Heitz Jane Galloway Heitz ... Dorothy
Joseph A. Carpenter Joseph A. Carpenter ... Bud
Donald Wiegert Donald Wiegert ... Sig
Richard Farnsworth ... Alvin
Tracey Maloney Tracey Maloney ... Nurse
Dan Flannery ... Doctor Gibbons
Jennifer Edwards-Hughes Jennifer Edwards-Hughes ... Brenda
Ed Grennan Ed Grennan ... Pete
Jack Walsh Jack Walsh ... Apple
Max the Wonder Dog Max the Wonder Dog ... Farm Dog
Gil Pearson Gil Pearson ... Bus Driver
Barbara June Patterson Barbara June Patterson ... Woman on Bus
Everett McGill ... Tom the John Deere Dealer
Anastasia Webb Anastasia Webb ... Crystal
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Storyline

"The Straight Story" chronicles a trip made by 73-year-old Alvin Straight from Laurens, Iowa, to Mt. Zion, Wis., in 1994 while riding a lawn mower. The man undertook his strange journey to mend his relationship with his ill, estranged, 75-year-old brother Lyle. Written by Christian Sandberg

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

France | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Straight Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Clermont, Iowa, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,312, 17 October 1999

Gross USA:

$6,203,044

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,416,325
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was independently shot along the actual route taken by Alvin Straight. See more »

Goofs

Alvin is shown crossing the Mississippi River at Lansing heading westward (into Iowa), instead of eastward into Wisconsin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dorothy: Hi Rose.
Rose 'Rosie' Straight: Hi Dorothy.
Alvin Straight: [can be heard collapsing inside his house]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Walt Disney Pictures Presents: A film by David Lynch See more »

Connections

Featured in Rich Hall's Continental Drifters (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Most Requested Song
(From Strange Tales of the Late West)
Written by Middlejohn & John Neff
By Arrangement with Maui Zone Records & Tapes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Genuine rather than saccharine
21 January 2000 | by SKG-2See all my reviews

Whenever I hear a movie being touted because it has no sex, violence, bad language, special effects, and so on, my b.s. detector goes off. Usually, a movie like that is sentimental hogwash which panders to people who don't want anything to surprise them, but to affirm how superior they are to us craven folk. So when David Lynch's THE STRAIGHT STORY began getting those kinds of reviews, I was apprehensive, especially since I was not a fan of his other "uplifting" story, THE ELEPHANT MAN. For all the stunning images and the good acting in that film, it seemed more interested in preaching to us than inspiring us.

I needn't have worried. THE STRAIGHT STORY is an honest movie rather than a saccharine one. Most of that is due to the fact that Lynch and writers John Roach and Mary Sweeney tell it straight and simple for the most part. There are a couple of homilies by Straight I could have done without, and the shots of grain being harvested are repeated a little too much, but those are only quibbles. There's no heavy-handed message, no sentimental strings to jerk our emotions, and no condescension towards us and its characters. Instead, they depend on the story to build its own power, and it does, so by the final scene, we are genuinely moved.

Of course, casting Richard Farnsworth adds realism to the part. He really is someone who looks like he's lived through a lot but still perseveres, and except for those homilies, the desire he has to get back together with his brother doesn't seem overly sentimental, because you can sense here is someone who's lived too long and seen too much to be driven by anger for long. And he knows his time is running out, so he wants to make some peace, not only with his brother, but with his life. Sissy Spacek also does fine, unmannered work as Straight's daughter. And although I am a city and suburban boy, the Iowa and Wisconsin landscape are beautifully shot, making me want at least to visit some day.


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