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David Lynch's "The Straight Story" to Be Distributed Under the Disney Banner in the U.S. and Select Foreign Territories

May 07, 1999 3:25 PM EDT

BURBANK, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--May 7, 1999--David Lynch's latest film, "The Straight Story," will be released by Buena Vista in the United States and other select foreign territories under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, it was announced Friday by Joe Roth and Peter Schneider, chairman and president, respectively, of The Walt Disney Studios, and Richard Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group.

The film, which stars Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek and Harry Dean Stanton, was directed by Lynch from a script written by John Roach and Mary Sweeney and was produced by the Picture Factory. It is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, where it will play in competition.

Under the terms of the arrangement, Disney has acquired all theatrical distribution rights to the film in the United States, Scandinavia and Australia. A release date will be announced shortly. Alain Sarde and Le Studio Canal +, who together financed and produced the film, will handle sales and distribution in all other international markets.

Based on true-life events, "The Straight Story" follows the colorful six-week journey of 73-year-old Alvin Straight as he travels from Iowa to Wisconsin for a reunion with his estranged and seriously ill elder brother.

Starting out on his riding mower and with little money, the determined sibling finds unexpected adventures on his Midwestern odyssey and has a profound impact on the cast of characters he meets. Overcoming some incredible obstacles, Alvin plods the final mile to discover his brother's fate.

Lynch's previous film credits include "Eraserhead," "The Elephant Man," "Dune," "Blue Velvet," "Wild at Heart," "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and "Lost Highway."

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© Mike Hartmann