Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Tucker’s Battle for Free Enterprise College

In the beginnings of American commercial culture, individualism and innovation were seen as the cruxes of the American dream. However, societal pressures and institutional barriers exist today to prevent any such growth foreign to the already established powerhouses. Such barriers to innovation become not only detrimental to the individual American dream, but also to the growth of American innovation. In Francis Ford Coppola’s film, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Preston Tucker dreams of a more affordable and safer vehicle that, he believes, could revolutionize the American automobile industry. However, Tucker’s innovative ideas are thwarted by certain institutional obstructions, including the Big Three automobile corporations, the United States government, and the press, all of which challenge the Tucker Motor Company. As these powerful forces attempt to break the upstart and his aspirations, Preston Tucker rises up to meet these institutional and social barriers, striving to produce his dream car, the “Tucker Torpedo.”

One of the institutional obstacles that Preston Tucker faces is the layout and hierarchy of the modern corporation. Within a corporation, the chairman of the board of directors -- in this case, Mr. Bennington --...

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