Tucker: The Man & His Dream


D: Francis Ford Coppola

Paramount/MGM/Lucasfilm/American Zoetrope (Fred Fuchs & Fred Roos)

US 1988

110 mins


W: Arnold Schulman & David Seidler

DP: Vittorio Storaro

Ed: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly

Mus: Joe Jackson

PD: Dean Tavoularis

Cos: Milena Canonero

Jeff Bridges (Preston Tucker), Joan Allen (Vera Tucker), Martin Landau (Abe Karatz), Elias Koteas (Alex Tremulis), Frederic Forrest (Eddie Dean), Christian Slater (Preston Tucker, Jr.)

Francis Ford Coppola originally wanted to bring this film to the screen in the 1970's, starring Marlon Brando and conceived as a musical. The project fell through and was only re-imagined as a straight biopic when George Lucas came on board as executive producer.

Jeff Bridges stars as Preston Tucker, a car designer who markets a new automobile for the future, pitching it to big car companies only for them to take over the project and sacrifice his vision, culminating in accusations of fraud and legal proceedings.

Visually, the film looks every penny of its hefty £24m budget (quite a lot for the time), with immaculate production design, costumes and cinematography. The performances are also fantastic, especially Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen and Martin Landau. The biggest problem is that the narrative is quite boring and far too self-indulgent, doubling as a rather obvious metaphor for the film industry and major studios interfering with the director's vision.

The film was a box office flop, though this is never a fair way to gage quality. It's not a bad film, but it's no surprise that it couldn't find an audience.


Tucker: The Man & His Dream
Tucker: The Man & His Dream