A retired farmer and widower in his 70s, Alvin Straight learns one day that his distant brother Lyle has suffered a stroke and may not recover. Alvin is determined to make things right with Lyle while he still can, but his brother lives in Wisconsin, while Alvin is stuck in Iowa with no car and no driver’s license. Then he hits on the idea of making the trip on his old lawnmower, thus beginning a picturesque and at times deeply spiritual odyssey.
- Alvin Straight: Richard Farnsworth
- Rose Straight: Sissy Spacek
- Dorothy, Straight’s Next-Door Neighbor: Jane Galloway Heitz
- Bud: Joseph A. Carpenter
- Sig: Donald Wiegert
- Nurse: Tracey Maloney
- Doctor Gibbons: Dan Flannery
- Pete: Ed Grennan
- Apple: Jack Walsh
- Sun Ray Tours Bus Driver: Gil Pearson
- Woman on Bus: Barbara June Patterson
- Tom the John Deere Dealer: Everett McGill
- Danny Riordan, Clermont Resident: James Cada
- Darla Riordan, Clermont Resident: Sally Wingert
- Janet Johnson, Clermont Resident: Barbara Kingsley
- Johnny Johnson, Clermont Resident: Jim Haun
- Harald Olsen: Kevin Farley
- Thorvald Olsen: John Farley
- Bar Patron: Leroy Swadley
- Farmer on Tractor: Ralph Feldhacker
- Lyle Straight, Alvin’s Brother: Harry Dean Stanton
- Crystal: Anastasia Webb
- Priest: John Lordan
- Steve: Matt Guidry
- Verlyn Heller: Wiley Harker
- Sound Effects Editor: Doug Jackson
- Sound Designer: David Lynch
- Screenplay: John Roach
- Producer: Mary Sweeney
- Executive Producer: Pierre Edelman
- Producer: Neal Edelstein
- Executive Producer: Michael Polaire
- Original Music Composer: Angelo Badalamenti
- Director of Photography: Freddie Francis
- Casting: Jane Alderman
- Casting: Lynn Blumenthal
- Production Design: Jack Fisk
- Set Decoration: Barbara Haberecht
- Costume Design: Patricia Norris
- Music Editor: Walter Spencer
- Assistant Art Director: Chris Kennedy
- Sound Designer: Ronald Eng
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: John Neff
- Costume Supervisor: W.T. Zacha
- Makeup Artist: Bob Harper
- First Assistant Editor: Hilary Schroeder
- John Chard: I want to thank you for your kindness to a stranger.
An absolute delight. From director David Lynch, The Straight Story finds the famous purveyor of the oblique on wonderfully mellow form. Story finds a superb Richard Farnsworth as Alvin Straight, an old boy long in the tooth who sets off across America on his lawn mower to visit his estranged brother. You see, he doesn’t have a driving licence, so lawn mower is the viable form of transport.
Lynch and writers John Roach & Mary Sweeney have offered up a wry and astute observation of Americana. The journey Alvin takes involves him meeting a number of eccentrics and confused souls, which pitches Alvin as our conduit to a rich view of the life we have – or will – live. Culminating in a finale that rewards anyone with an intelligent soul. The message is clear.
A beautiful film for the beautiful of heart. 9/10
- r96sk: Beautifully made film.
It’s a difficult one to describe. ‘The Straight Story’ features a very touching, true life, story about Alvin Straight. It’s a very simple premise but one that the film brings to life wonderfully. There’s a crap tonne of heart, alongside some brilliant cinematography and a top notch score.
Richard Farnsworth plays the role of Alvin expertly, it’s an outstanding performance from him. Credit also to Sissy Spacek, who makes an impact as Rose despite not really being in the film for all that long. Harry Dean Stanton (Lyle) makes an appearance, too.
It’s a slow burn but one that’s totally worth the 112 minute run time. What a great way to end the millennium for Disney’s live-action theatrical releases.