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The Astronaut (1972)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  8 January 1972 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 64 users  
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Government officials, not wanting to have the space program canceled, substitute a lookalike for an astronaut who died on a Mars mission.

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(teleplay), (teleplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Astronaut (TV Movie 1972)

The Astronaut (TV Movie 1972) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Eddie Reese / Col. Brice Randolph
...
Dr. Wylie
...
John Phillips
...
Gail Randolph
John Lupton ...
Don Masters
Walter Brooke ...
Tom Everett
...
Astronaut Higgins
Paul Kent ...
Carl Samuels
Loretta Leversee ...
Toni Scott
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wally Schirra
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Storyline

In the not too distant future the first American astronaut prepares to set foot on the planet Mars. The world is watching this event live on television. Everything is a success, or so the world thinks, and he is treated as a hero upon his return. Later, it is discovered that the mission was a failure and as the astronaut was on Mars he died of an undetermined condition either due to toxic poisoning due to conditions on Mars or some unknown bacteria native to Mars. Mission controllers on Earth saw this happening and fed a false image into the "live" broadcast so as not to panic the public. The "astronaut" who returned to Earth was actually a double who had undergone surgery so as to look like the real astronaut. Only the wife of the astronaut began to suspect the man who returned, although looking identical to her husband, was somehow different. Unfortunately for those who created the hoax, the Russians announced that due to the American success they had launched their own mission ... Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

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Drama

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Release Date:

8 January 1972 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Kurt Anderson: [final line] Mr. President, I have some very unpleasant news - for both of us.
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User Reviews

 
another wonderful Monte Markham performance
9 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Either Monte Markham has good taste, or he was lucky in the TV movies in which he was cast. He's certainly made some gems: Visions of Death, Death Takes a Holiday, and The Astronaut. The Astronaut pairs him with Susan Clark, a major actress of the '70s.

This film is based on the same idea as Capricorn One. In Capricorn One, the astronauts have to fake a space landing for the government. In The Astronaut, the astronaut doesn't make it back, so the government plants a look-alike and returns him to the man's wife (Clark).

Because of the story and strong acting, this is another film that sticks in the minds of people who saw it, and another one I wouldn't mind seeing again.


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