“The Right Stuff” (1983) was nominated for Best Picture and lost to “Terms of Endearment.” Sam Shepard (who plays a badass test pilot) was nominated for Best Actor and lost to Jack Nicholson (who plays a pretend astronaut) from “Terms.” (I’ve never seen “Terms.”) “The Right Stuff” has slipped from the public consciousness. That’s unfortunate, because it’s a modern-day epic about the birth of the U.S. space program. It is also epic in length (193 minutes), which might be why it is overlooked. It’s worth sitting through just to learn Chuck Yeager’s story and peek behind NASA’s sanitized public image.

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