The Straight Story Movie Poster Image

The Straight Story

(i)

 

Great, but young kids may be bored and restless.
  • Review Date: May 9, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Violence

Mild.

Sex

Reference to unwed pregnancy.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Most characters smoke, reference to past alcohol abuse.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has no four-letter words or nudity, and there is nothing in the movie that is likely to cause offense or trauma. Still, it is not for most younger kids, who will be bored and restless.

What's the story?

In this seemingly simple story, 73 year old Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth), sets off to visit his estranged brother, after hearing that he has had a stroke. Alvin uses two canes and can't see well enough to drive. So he hitches a trailer to his riding mower and sets off on a 300-mile journey from Iowa to Wisconsin, encountering along the six-week drive a range of people, landscapes, and adventures. On his journey, Alvin meets an engaging assortment of people, including a teen- age runaway, a team of bicyclists, twin repairmen, and a man who spent his career working for John Deere, and is unfailingly treated with kindness and dignity.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Don't let the G-rating and the Disney label mislead you - this is an adult movie in the old-fashioned sense of the word, meaning that its story and themes will most appeal to adults and some teens. It gets a G rating because it does not have any of the usual triggers for a PG or PG- 13 rating. Thoughtful middle- and high schoolers and adults will find a lot to appreciate and talk about.

Children who watch a lot of television and movies often develop what psychologists call the "mean world" syndrome. Based on what they learn about the adult world from the media, their estimates of the incidence of murder and corruption are distorted way out of proportion to reality. And our cautions about not talking to strangers contribute further to their sense that the world is a dangerous place. This movie is a nice antidote to that. Also, Richard speaks feelingly to people he meets about the importance of the bond between siblings. This is a point that is always worth raising to kids who think that there may never be a day when they will have more to talk to their brothers and sisters about than whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the essential decency of all of the characters in this movie, and the film's strong themes of the importance of family.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 15, 1999
DVD release date:November 7, 2000
Cast:Jane Galloway Heitz, Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek
Director:David Lynch
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Drama
Topics:Adventures
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Straight Story was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares June 7, 2009
The most un-Lynch film David Lynch ever made, but perhaps that is what's best about this.
Adult Written bysoymissk8 April 9, 2008

AMAZING movie.

But you have to be old enough to understand and enjoy it. It moves slowly... on purpose. Kids, and even most high school students and some adults, may be bored.
Teen, 13 years old Written byHweetseart April 18, 2015

A BIT of boring

But otherwise -fine film.

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