Look, The Right Stuff is a great movie that had some details wrong. People in various parts of the space program didn’t appreciate Tom Wolfe’s take on everything, either. But acting like the 1960s at NASA was no different than the early 1940s in the matter of civil rights is not a detail. It’s a major distortion of American history. Director Philip Kaufman didn’t pretend Chuck Yeager was still trying to break the sound barrier in 1965.
But then, Melfi couldn’t be bothered with the details in the book Hidden Figures. Why? The movie is based on a 55-page proposal to the publisher. A glorified outline. The filmmakers’ own prejudices about America took over from there.
Fine, they didn’t have the whole book. But couldn’t they have interviewed the principals—or used Google?
And this is why I refuse to watch the movie.
They took something awesome, and used it to lie.