New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 28, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
The Right Stuff' celebrates astronauts' pioneer spirit
By DOLORES BARCLAY Associated Press
The Right Stuff is a spectacular celebration of those heroes of the skies — those fly Jocks who fought the demons of space to launch a new era in American air technology.
It is a sweeping epic that grabs adventure by the tail and rides it into a whirlwind of thrills, off-the-wall humor and a curious confrontation with the stuff heros are made of.
Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s book needs a heavy pair of scissors to slice some of the unneeded footage off the 3-hour and 11-minute film. But otherwise, the director-screenwriter has done a masterful Job in capturing the early days of test pilots and the beginnings of the Project Mercury space program.
Caleb Deschanel’s photography captures the
amber glows of the Mojave Desert and the twinkling mysteries of space. The special visual and sound effects are meticulous: One actually has the feeling of being propelled through the sound barrier or of dropping one stage of a rocket to be jetisoned even faster and further into space.
There are two tales in the telling here — that of the seven astronauts who first took America into space, and that of the fiercely independent test pilots who shunned the ticker-tape parades and magazine covers to quietly conquer other frontiers. And it is Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard as test pilot Chuck Yeager — the man who first broke the sound barrier — who dominates the movie, not Ed Harris as John Glenn or Dennis Quaid as Gordon Cooper.
The Yeager story is a more human story; we never know if he’ll make it. But we know how the astronauts fared. By far the most interesting and appealing astronaut is Scott Glenn's Alan Shepard.
Glenn blends an almost perverse sense of humor with a strong sense of self in the role. And Jeff Goldblum, who is finally getting the attention he so well deserves, is marvelous as a fumbling NASA recruiter.
Whether or not Kaufman’s movie is any more accurate in its presentation of the American frenzy to catch up with the Soviet penetration of space than the Wolfe book, is not the primary question when viewing The Right Stuff. Because fact or fiction, it’s a whopping good tale. Rated PG.
Motion Picture of America rating definitions:
G — General audiences. All ages admitted.
PG — Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
R — Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
X — No one under 17 admitted. Some states may have higher age restrictions.
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Hamlisch strikes serious note
By JAY SHARBUTT AP Drama Writer
NEW YORK - Why not write a light, frothy musical? Marvin Hamlisch, composer for Ned Simon’s light, frothy hit musical of 1979, They're Playing Our Song, has an immediate reply.
“You can always do a light show,” he says. “Always. I tend to want to do something that someone else is not doing.”
Case in point: His new musical, Jean Seberg. It’s scheduled to premiere at London’s National Theater on Nov. 15. If it’s a hit, it may open in April on Broadway, he says.
With a book by Julian Barry, Jean Seberg is based on the tragic life of the small-town Iowa girl who at 17 achieved instant film fame, went from glamorous highs to agonized lows, then was found dead at 40 in Paris, victim of an apparent overdose of barbiturates.
Her former husband, novelist Romain Gary, later accused the FBI of driving her to suicide by planting a rumor that she was once pregnant by a member of the Black Panther Party.
In 1900, the FBI admitted that its Los Angeles bureau had suggested the rumor as part of a campaign — which the FBI says it will never do again — to discredit supporters of
black radicals. But the agency also said it didn’t know if the Seberg (dan ever was put into effect.
Not a pretty tale any way you look at it. But Hamlisch, a Tony-and Oscar-winning composer, emphasizes, strongly, that “we’re not writing a ’downer,’ a depressing evening. What we’re writing is, I think, a very moving story.
“And ifs not Just about Jean Seberg. It’s really about what happens in a system that can make a star and can break a star. And that you can dream the American dream, but the minute you start dreaming another dream — and if the FBI doesn’t want you to dream that dream — they come after you.
“So it’s really about a period in American history, trying to understand why it all happened and make sure it never happens again.”
The show will doubtless cause controversy here. It’s already caused a bit of a flap in London — but not because of its subject, says the tall, gregarious composer, sounding mildly dismayed.
Some folks there, he says, think the musical’s American creators are using London only as a tryout town. Not so, he insists.
Top 10 records
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The following are Billboard’s hot record hits for the week ending November 3 as they appear in nest week's issue of Billboard magazine. Copyright 1983, Billboard Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
1."Islands in the Stream" Kenny Rogers A Dolly Parton (RGA)
2.‘‘All Night Long” Lionel Richie (Motown)
3.“Total Eclipse of the Heart” Bonnie Tyler (Columbia)
4.“One Thing Leads to Another” The Fizz (MCA)
5.“Uptown Girl” Billy Joel (Columbia)
6.“Say Say Say” Paul McCartney A Michael Jackson (Columbia)
7.“Making Love Out of Nothing at All” Air Supply (Arista)
•.“Delirious” Prince (Warner Bros.)
9.“Telefone" Sheens Easton (EMI-America)
10.“True” Spandau Ballet
TOP LP S
1. “Synchronicity” The Police (AAM)
• "Thriller" Michael Jackson (Epic)
3.“Metal Health” Quiet Riot (Pasha)
4.“Faster Than the Speed of Night” Bonnie Tyler (Columbia)
5.“An Innocent Man” Billy Joel (Columbia)
8." Pyromania” Def Leppard (Mercury)
7.“Eyes That See in the Dark” Kenny Rogers (BCA)
I,“Greatest Hits” Air Supply (Arista)
•.“Tlashdance’ Soundtrack” (Casablanca)
18.“What’s Haw” linda Ranted! (Asylum)
I “Island Aft Ufii firms” Kenny Rats* A Delly Parian (BCA) ft.’Semebedfe Guana (am Yea” KUCA)
Gal a Lover” Risky
mm * w '
Sex, nudity scenes fill NBO programs
By FRED ROTHENBERG AP Television Writer
NEW YORK - This was a landmark week for sez and nudity on television.
“St. Elsewhere’’ had a sexual-bondage scene that was too hilarious to be taken seriously. “Bay City Blues" showed the first bare bottom on any body beyond the diaper stage. And, in “Hill Street Blues,” Joyce Davenport offered her husband, Frank Furillo, “a lukewarm bub-blebath with a backrub chaser.”
Yes, you CAN do that on television — at least on NBC's most sophisticated programs, all, incidentally, produced by Hollywood’s major mind mint, MTM Enterprises. The trick is clever dialogue, written for credible characters, and all part of a tasteful package.
“By and large our tastes are the same as theirs,” said Ralph Daniels, NBC’s vice president for broadcast standards.
This doesn’t mean that Steven Bochco, executive producer of “Hill Street” and “Bay City,” and Bruce Paltrow, executive producer of “St.
Elsewhere,” don’t have problems with NBC’s censors.
Paltrow had to lobby hard to keep intact the kinky scene from last Wednesday's “St. Elsewhere.” Dr. Victor Ehrlich, the show’s goodnatured, hard-luck lover, meets a cheerful girl-next-door type in the laundromat. She invites him to her apartment, then asks him to tie her hands to the bedposts.
“For a first-timer, you know your knots," says Roberta (Jean Bruce Scott).
“The manual says be prepared,” responds Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr.).
Before anything can happen, Ehrlich accidentally locks himself outside Roberta's apartment building. He tries to break in with a credit card, but a cop catches him first.
"You’re laughing at this, why can’t we put it on0” Paltrow said he told NBC’s censors. “It’s not sex, ifs comedy."
“Our sense was that the audience wouldn't see it that way,” said Daniels.
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4“One of a Kind Pair of Fools” Barbara Mandrel! (MCA)
5.“Holding Her and Loving You” Earl Thomas Conley (RCA)
6. "The Wind Beneath My Wings” Gary Morris (Warner Bros.)
7.“Tennessee Whiskey" George Jones (Epic)
8."Your Love Shines Through" Mickey Gilley (Epic)
9.”Lady Down on Love” Alabama (RCA)
10.“Baby I Lied” Deborah Allen
1.“Islands In the Stream” Kenny Rogers A Dolly Parton (RCA)
2.“All Night Long” Lionel Richie (Motown)
3.“True” Spandau Ballet (Chrysalis)
4.“Tonight I Celebrate My Love” Peabo Bryson A Roberta Flack (Capitol)
3.’’Spice of Life” Manhattan Transfer (Atlantic)
6.“Uptown Girl” Billy Joel (Columbia)
7.“How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye” Dionne Warwick A Luther Vandroas (Arista)
•.’’Say Say Say” Paul McCartney A Michael Jackson (Columbia)
• ’The Way He Makes Me Feel” Barbra Streisand (Columbia)
10.“Trouble In Paradise” Jarreau (Warner Bros.)
1.“All Night Long” Lionel Richie (Motown)
2. “Stop Doggin’ Me Around” (Clique (MCA)
J."I Am Love” Jennifer Holliday (Gaffes)
4."Party Train” Tbs Gap Band (Total Experience)
5.“Angel" Antu Baker (Beverly Glen)
•.“Ain’t Nobody” Rufus with Chairs Khan (Warner Bree.)
7.“Every Girl Wants My Guy” Aretha Franklin (Arista)
• ’Say Say Say ” Paul McCartney A Michael Jackson (Columbia)
•.“Unconditional Lava” Denna
11. “flay With Ms Tonight" Jaffrey adheres (AAM)
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