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Countdown (1967)

Unrated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | February 1968 (USA)
Desperate to reach the moon first, NASA sends a man and shelter separately, one-way. He must find it to survive; he can't return until Apollo is ready.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Chiz
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Gus
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Rick
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Walter Larson
...
Ehrman
John Rayner ...
Dunc
Charles Irving ...
Seidel
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Stevie Stegler (as Bobby Riha Jr.)
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Storyline

When the U.S. learns the Soviets are about to launch a manned mission to the moon, they feel it imperative that they get there first. The moon program isn't ready to launch yet so they decide to send one man in a modified Gemini capsule that will be able to land on the moon. The astronaut will have to stay there for up to a year - in a special built shelter that will be sent ahead of time - until an Apollo mission can rescue him. The obvious choice for the mission is Chiz, who knows the Gemini inside out but the Soviets are sending civilians, not military men, so geologist Lee Stegler is asked to go. He has only three weeks however to learn about the intricacies of the spacecraft and no one is sure if he will make it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the director of "The Player" and "Nashville" comes a screen space adventure that's the real stuff. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moonshot  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Portions of this movie were filmed at the TRW (Now part of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems) Space Park campus in Redondo Beach, CA. In 1965 TRW delivered the descent engines for the Apollo moon landing missions. See more »

Goofs

When explaining the medical telemetry to Mickey Stegler, the doctor says one plot is respiration and another is breathing, even though both words mean the same thing. Also, several of the plots have completely different shapes from what they should. See more »

Quotes

NASA Engineer: What's he doing?
Gus: Every time he gets that Peter Pan rig on, he thinks he can fly.
NASA Engineer: That's not smart.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Robert Altman (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good enough second feature
21 June 2009 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Released two months before '2001: A Space Odyssey', and on a soap opera scale compared to that, 'Countdown' comes from a time when movies didn't have to have huge budgets, big stars or auteur directors to get national distribution: I saw it as a second feature (remember them? - to 'Ice Station Zebra', I think, a far worse movie) in one of the now defunct three small cinemas in my home town. It's pretty formulaic, with a 'time clock' plot, a little bit of character play, a fair bit of topicality, and for its time and budget, a reasonable stab at gritty space realism, compared to the stagey, squeaky 'Star Trek' universe that had boldly gone on TV only two years before, and Kubrick's tour de force that was to follow shortly. Interesting as a snapshot of cinema history, with a director and lead actor (and Robert Duvall) who went on to join the A-list, which nobody knew about then. They don't make 'em like this any more; or if they do, they go straight to DVD.


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