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  • The Straight Story is a 1999 biographical drama film directed by David Lynch. The film was edited and produced by Mary Sweeney, Lynch's longtime partner and co-worker. She co-wrote the script with John E. Roach. The film is based on the true story of Alvin Straight's 1994 journey across Iowa and Wisconsin on a lawn mower. Alvin is an elderly World War II veteran who lives with his daughter Rose, a kind woman with a mental disability. When he hears that his estranged brother Lyle has suffered a stroke, Alvin makes up his mind to go visit him and hopefully make amends before he dies. Because Alvin's legs and eyes are too impaired for him to receive a driving license, he hitches a trailer to his recently purchased thirty-year-old John Deere 110 Lawn Tractor, having a maximum speed of about 5 miles per hour, and sets off on the 240 mile journey from Laurens, Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin. The film was a critical success and garnered audience acclaim, although the overall gross proved less than expected. Reviewers praised the intensity of the character performances, particularly the realistic dialogue which film critic Roger Ebert compared to the works of Ernest Hemingway.

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