[[caption-width-right:300:A heartwarming, uplifting film for the whole family from [[Creator/DavidLynch the man]] who brought us ''{{Film/Eraserhead}}'' and ''Film/BlueVelvet''...]]

''The Straight Story'' is a 1999 film from [[{{Creator/Disney}} Walt Disney Pictures]], starring Richard Farnsworth in the eponymous role along with Creator/SissySpacek and Creator/HarryDeanStanton.

The film is based on the true story of a man named Alvin Straight. Straight, an elderly World War II and Korean War veteran living with his brain-damaged daughter Rose, hears that his estranged brother Lyle has had a stroke. Disappointed that he's never made up for the incident that (he was drunk at the time) led to their split, he decides to reconcile with Lyle before one of them dies.

[[NotSoFast Unfortunately]], Straight is almost blind and half paralyzed, which leaves him unable to walk long distances or get a legal driver's license. [[{{Determinator}} Unwilling to let life end this way]], he hitches a trailer to his riding lawnmower and proceeds to tackle the 240 mile journey from Laurens, Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin so that he may make amends with his sick brother.

Creator/DavidLynch [[PlayingAgainstType directs the sweetest, gentlest movie you could imagine]].

Not to be confused with ''Straight Story'', a Greek movie about straight couples in a gay world.
!!This film provides examples of:

* AdaptationalNameChange: The name of Alvin Straight's brother was changed from Henry to Lyle, mainly due to Alvin's brother not wanting his real name used in the film.
* {{Biopic}}: There was a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Straight real Alvin Straight]], though unfortunately he did not live to see the film.
* BlatantLies: The doctor tells Alvin he's dying (not in so many words, but still). When Alvin's brain damaged daughter asks how it went:
-->'''Alvin:''' Doctor said I'll live to be a hundred.
* CainAndAbel: Alvin and Lyle, even suggested by Alvin himself.
* CampfireCharacterExploration: Provides the setting for AnAesop subplot. Alvin passes a young female hitchhiker who later approaches his campfire and says that she could not get a ride. In conversation, Alvin astutely deduces that she is pregnant and has run away from home. Alvin tells the hitchhiker about the importance of family by using the [[TheSonsAndTheSpears metaphor of a bundle of sticks that is hard to break]]. The next day Alvin find that his hitchhiker friend has gone but left him a bundle of sticks tied together, implying that she plans to return home to her own family.
* ChildSoldiers: Invoked by Alvin, who mentions having to kill German soldiers during the war who couldn't have been more than seventeen.
%%* CoolOldGuy
* {{Determinator}}: Alvin Straight's biggest flaw, oddly enough. His life would probably be better if he stopped drinking when his brother wanted him to and listened to his doctor. Still, you have to say something for a man who's blind and barely able to walk who is able to make it across the country to visit his brother.
* DoubleMeaningTitle: The man's name is Straight, but calling the movie "The Straight Story" makes joking reference to the fact that Creator/DavidLynch is [[PlayingWithATrope "playing it straight"]] and telling a coherent, mainstream "story" instead of [[MindScrew screwing with your head]] as usual. On top of that, it's just a very simple, straightforward movie.
* {{Eagleland}}: Flavor 1. Without irony. All these white-picket fence communities filled with nice neighbors willing to help each other out, even a strange old man riding a lawnmower across the countryside.
* GhibliHills: The camera spends a lot of time caressing the landscape as Alvin travels.
* GoshDangItToHeck: Not in the movie, but a meta-example. Richard Farnsworth was going to turn down the film because he didn't like the language in ''Film/BlueVelvet''. Only after several personal assurances by Lynch and the other writers that the film would contain no cursing did he agree to do it.
* InformedFlaw: Alvin's alcoholism to an extent. In the film he's been reformed for years, but the movie makes it very clear the toll that hard living has had on him. Also, averted in RealLife - Richard Farnsworth really was half-blind and half-paralyzed. Indeed, the actor committed suicide shortly after the film rather than bear extremely painful and obviously terminal bone cancer.
* LighterAndSofter: Big time compared to the rest of David Lynch's filmography.
* NoAntagonist: Every character who appears in the film is a good person in some sense of the word; the closest we ever get is the fact that there are some people who try to talk Alvin out of the journey, and even then they're just concerned for his safety.
* RousseauWasRight: There is not a single character in this movie to be actually unpleasant. More or less everyone is a saint.
* SceneryPorn: The natural beauty of the region is on full display.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Alvin
* SignatureStyle: If you pay attention during a Creator/DavidLynch movie to anything other than the abstract weirdness, you'll be amazed how much this actually ''does'' resemble his previous work.
* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer: [[spoiler:Harry Dean Stanton]] plays Lyle.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Strongly Idealistic.
* TheSonsAndTheSpears: Used as a metaphor for [[ThickerThanWater family]], with Alvin convincing the pregnant teenage runaway to go back home to her family, who will eventually understand. Within Alvin's own narrative, it reinforces his plot-driving need to reconnect with his estranged brother.
* VerbalTic: Rose Straight has difficulty speaking and forces her words out in short bursts. This causes people to assume she's mentally challenged, but Alvin assures us she's perfectly intelligent.
* YouAnsweredYourOwnQuestion: Dorothy: "What's the number for 911?"