There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.
With that narration begins perhaps the best astronaut movie ever made. I am an unabashed fan of The Right Stuff in both movie and book formats. So this long narrative and series of interviews in The Wire are pure gold for a fan like me.
Perhaps the coolest character of the movie is Chuck Yeager played by Sam Sheppard who knew him in real life and had to be prodded into playing him. How cool is the real Yeager? Take a quick peek at his wiki page, it is full of awesome. He is 93 years old and has a very active Twitter presence (@GenChuckYeager).
Anyway, get the movie, the book or both. You won’t be disappointed.
PS: Almost forgot: The initial and final narrations are made by Levon Helm from The Band. I am guessing old farts and young serious rock historians will remember the group.