Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1988. Lucasfilm. Screenplay by Arnold Schulman, David Seidler. Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. Produced by Fred Fuchs, Fred Roos. Music by Jeo Jackson. Production Design by Dean Tavoularis. Costume Design by Milena Canonero. Film Editing by Priscilla Nedd-Friendly. Academy Awards 1988. Golden Globe Awards 1988.
Francis Ford Coppola directs a film on the life of an American entrepreneur, a man (played by Jeff Bridges) who dreams of building the kind of car that Americans could faithfully rely on to transport them places and keep them safe. Tucker’s company is a popsicle stand compared to the Big Three auto manufacturers in Detroit, and his odds of beating the big guys were that of a minnow outswimming a whale. Joan Allen is excellent as his wife, while Martin Landau lends terrific support as one of his most concerned informers. It’s not difficult to read too much into Coppola’s allegory, an obvious reflection of his own attempt to get his own independent movies off the ground in a business overrun with powerful, greedy studios, but the allegory is told with too much bitterness and the film is enjoyable on its own even without this background knowlegge. Gorgeously shot and impeccably designed, it lacks the complexity of The Godfather or the warm emotional content of Peggy Sue Got Married, but it has its moments.