A long-delayed dream project for director Francis Ford Coppola, TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM was one of the most visually sumptuous American films of the 1980s. In a style that hearkens back to the boundless optimism of 1940s American advertising art, the film tells the story of Preston
Tucker--part inventor, part con man--who in the late 1940s attempted to produce his own car, which he dubbed the Tucker Torpedo, "The Car of Tomorrow--Today!" Tucker (Jeff Bridges) has worked his way up in the auto industry and starts up a company to build his dream car. Meanwhile, the big three
auto manufacturers in Detroit get wind of Tucker's scheme and set out to squash the tiny interloper.
A glorious celebration of the creative process, TUCKER is Coppola's most overtly autobiographical film, even though it is about someone else's life. Coppola's treatment of the material is remarkably upbeat and joyous. Even when things get extremely dark for our hero, the film's style remains
peversely buoyant. Tucker's increasingly frenzied upbeat renditions of "Hold That Tiger" begin to take on the quality of madness. As with Frank Capra heroes, there is a strong suggestion of dark undercurrents beneath the surface optimism. While a darker film would have been more honest, TUCKER:
THE MAN AND HIS DREAM is a gorgeous, fluid, wonderfully exhilarating movie. Continuing and expanding upon the visual experiments he began in the notorious commercial flop ONE FROM THE HEART, Coppola fills TUCKER with some flawlessly executed scene transitions that will startle even the most jaded
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