Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1945. Engineer Preston Tucker dreams of designing the car of future, but his innovative envision will be repeatedly sabotaged by his own unrealistic expectations and the Detroit automobile industry tycoons.
***Fascinating story of a genius; done with kinetic and amusing style*** Based on the real-life story of Preston Tucker from the late 1930s-1950, the genius inventor (Jeff Bridges) designs the Tucker 48 sedan, aka the “Tucker Torpedo,” an automobile way ahead of its time with aerodynamic style, padded dash, seat belts, pop-out windows, fuel injection and disc brakes. He rounds up a team, develops the prototype and starts producing cars in his Chicago factor. But this didn’t sit well with the Big Three automakers in Detroit and the politicians & sharks (lawyers) in their pockets; so they try to squash him like a bug with a smear campaign and legal attacks. The setting is historical (mostly taking place during the 40s) while the tone is fun & snappy and the pace is quick, akin to “Seabiscuit” (2003), which shows that the movie itself was ahead of its time. It was released in 1988, but has a timeless feel, like it could be released today, no kidding; probably because it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, a genius in his own right. Speaking of Francis, he was probably attracted to the story because Tucker’s experiences parallel his own in the movie business. The big shots who run any industry don’t want some new guy, virtuoso or not, waltzing in to their territory and taking a piece of their pie, making them look bad in the process. Tucker’s story parallels independent prodigies in any industry, like Trump strolling into D.C. and stirring up the slanderous ire of the Demonic-rats and their Left-leaning media, not to mention the RINOs. The film runs 1 hour, 50 minutes and was shot in the Bay Area, California. GRADE: A-/B+