YMMV / The Right Stuff

  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: With five uses of the F-word and a scene involving masturbation, the film was originally given an R rating. It was lowered to a PG on appeal on historic relevance grounds. If they had waited a year, this would've been a prime candidate for a PG-13 rating.
  • Anachronism Stew: Although most of the film is good with the history, the first reconnaissance film shown to the White House briefing room after Sputnik suffers a bit from this. It includes footage of a Soyuz rocket, which was first launched four years after the date range of this film. It also mentions the first two cosmonauts, Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov. Russia wouldn't even select their first batch of cosmonauts until 1960, almost a full year after the Mercury Seven were chosen.
  • Angst Dissonance: Grissom's prolonged attempt to prove he's not a "squirming hatch-blower." It's unfortunate, but at that point the movie has been going on for over an hour and it's hard to care about one guy's reputation amidst other people's fears of dying in space or the Soviets beating the US.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The astronauts and their wives all stand together to protect John Glenn's wife, a shy woman who stutters, from being in a televised meeting with LBJ.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Certainly the high point of Bill Conti's composing career.
    • A truly awesome film soundtrack — although the poster mentions a soundtrack album, it wasn't released until 2009 (thank you, Varèse Sarabande's CD Club); some of it was re-recorded for an album alongside extracts from Conti's North and South (Trilogy).
    • It may have something to do with the fact that the main theme's similarity to Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto teeters on the ragged edge of plagiarism (then again, such things never stopped other composers' music from getting released).
    • "Mars" and "Jupiter" from Gustav Holst's "The Planets" are used to an epic effect during John Glenn's launch.
    • Henry Mancini's The White Dawn also turns up.
    • The very apropos Clair de Lune during Sally Rand's dance.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The lines "You know what makes this bird go up? Funding makes this bird go up.", and "No bucks, no Buck Rogers.", was very painful when NASA was at a standstill after the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.
    • After Gus Grissom's flight, NASA executives realized that the explosive bolts were faulty and would pre-maturely explode on their own; therefore, NASA removed the explosive hatch on later models to avoid this from ever happening again. This became the ultimate demise of Grissom when the Apollo 1 capsule caught fire and the hatch could not open due to the immense pressure inside the capsule, trapping the 3 astronauts to their fiery deaths.
  • Squick: In the book, the description of finding the dead test pilot's cloth helmet liner with brain matter in it.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome