Tucker: The Man and His Dream
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while this movie is set in the 1940s and 1950s, there's considerable drinking, smoking, and swearing. There's also some kissing. Expect discrimination typical of the era: Abe calls Preston's partner a "Jap," and Preston says Jimmy's family is all in a relocation camp. Characters also use the phrase "New Yorker" to mean "Jewish" when speaking of Abe. And Bennington calls Vera "the little woman" in a belittling way. Also, some images of people killed in car accidents and bloodied may be too much for younger or more sensitive viewers.
What's the story?
TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM chronicles the struggles of ahead-of-his-time inventor Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges), who finds inspiration from a poll stating that 87 percent of people coming back from World War II want a new car. Behold the Tucker: A car with all kinds of bells and whistles that didn't exist at that time, including fuel injection, seatbelts, disc brakes, and roll bars. And he'll even make it look like a jet and put the engine in the rear. He could make a bundle! Tucker's dream has a chance to become a reality when he gets a friend to write an article extolling the virtues of a car he's not yet manufactured and gains the business sense of Abe Karatz (Martin Landau). But when faced with the corruption of elected officials and a board of directors bent on tabling all his innovative ideas, what will happen to his invention? The answer may surprise you.
Is it any good?
This film could have been one long, self-righteous screed against corporations, a la An Unreasonable Man, but fortunately it's directed by legendary Francis Ford Coppola. He makes his characters loveable, charming, even impish, and makes the telling of the story as important as the point it has to make.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the kind of work it takes to pursue a dream. Was Tucker a dreamer, a businessman, or an inventor? He did research, he worked with engineers, and he was a great salesman. Do you have to be all those things to start a new company? Do you have to lie?