IMDb > Capricorn One (1978)
Capricorn One
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Capricorn One (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Capricorn One -- A NASA Mars mission won't work, and its funding is endangered, so they decide to fake it just this once. But then they have to keep the secret...

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   14,257 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Peter Hyams (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Capricorn One on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 June 1978 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most important event in our nation's history...what if it never really happened? See more »
Plot:
A NASA Mars mission won't work, and its funding is endangered, so they decide to fake it just this once. But then they have to keep the secret... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A great premise is rendered merely watchable by a script that produces a poor middle section See more (145 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Elliott Gould ... Robert Caulfield

James Brolin ... Charles Brubaker

Brenda Vaccaro ... Kay Brubaker

Sam Waterston ... Peter Willis

O.J. Simpson ... John Walker

Hal Holbrook ... Dr. James Kelloway

Karen Black ... Judy Drinkwater

Telly Savalas ... Albain

David Huddleston ... Hollis Peaker

David Doyle ... Walter Loughlin

Lee Bryant ... Sharon Willis

Denise Nicholas ... Betty Walker

Robert Walden ... Elliot Whitter

James Sikking ... Control Room Man (as Jim Sikking)

Alan Fudge ... Capsule Communicator

James Karen ... Vice President Price
Virginia Kaiser ... Mrs. Price
Nancy Malone ... Mrs. Peaker
Hank Stohl ... General Enders

Norman Bartold ... President
Darrell Zwerling ... Dr. Bergen
Milton Selzer ... Dr. Burroughs
Lou Frizzell ... Horace Gruning
Chris Hyams ... Charles Brubaker, Jr.
Seanna Marre ... Sandy Brubaker

Paul Picerni ... Jerry

Barbara Bosson ... Alva Leacock
Paul Haney ... Paul Cunningham

Jon Cedar ... F.B.I. Man Number 1
Steve Tannen ... Man at Hangar Number 1
Trent Dolan ... Man at Hangar Number 2
Todd Hoffman ... N.A.S.A. Usher
Marty Anka ... Bartender
Kenneth White ... Tracking Technician (as Ken White)
John Hiscock ... Reporter Number 1
Bridget Byrne ... Reporter Number 2
Colin Dangaard ... Reporter Number 3
James Bacon ... Reporter Number 4
Sandy Davidson ... N.A.S.A. Reporter
Ron Cummins ... F.B.I. Man Number 2
Dennis O'Flaherty ... F.B.I. Man Number 3
Zack Taylor ... F.B.I. Man Number 4

Frank Farmer ... Policeman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monty Jordan ... Army Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Hyams 
 
Writing credits
Peter Hyams (written by)

Produced by
Paul Lazarus III .... producer (as Paul N. Lazarus III)
Michael I. Rachmil .... associate producer (as Michael Rachmil)
 
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
 
Cinematography by
Bill Butler (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
James Mitchell 
 
Casting by
Jane Feinberg 
Mike Fenton 
 
Production Design by
Albert Brenner 
 
Art Direction by
David M. Haber 
 
Set Decoration by
Rick Simpson 
 
Costume Design by
Patricia Norris 
 
Makeup Department
Emma M. diVittorio .... hair stylist (as Emma Di Vittorio)
Michael Westmore .... makeup artist (as Mike Westmore)
 
Production Management
Michael I. Rachmil .... unit production manager (as Michael Rachmil)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Frost Sanders .... second assistant director (as Jack Sanders)
Irby Smith .... first assistant director
Peter L. Bergquist .... dga trainee (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Joe Longo .... lead man
Ken Orme .... second prop man (as Kenny Orme)
Julian Sacks .... assistant art director
George Stokes .... construction coordinator
Marty Wunderlich .... property master
Vern Hendrickson .... swing gang (uncredited)
Nikita Knatz .... production illustrator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Les Fresholtz .... re-recording mixer (as Lester Fresholtz)
Jerry Jost .... sound mixer
Joseph Kite .... boom man (as Joe Kite)
William Manooch .... sound recordist (as Bill Manooch)
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Arthur Piantadosi .... re-recording mixer
Robert G. Henderson .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Bruce Mattox .... special effects
Henry Millar Jr. .... key special effects
Henry Millar .... special effects (as Henry Millar Sr.)
Robert Spurlock .... special effects (as Bob Spurlock)
John Minasian .... miniature helicopter pilot (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Ernie Huber .... miniature coordinator
 
Stunts
Bill Hickman .... stunt coordinator
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Carol Daniels .... stunt double: Brenda Vaccaro (uncredited)
J. David Jones .... aerial stunts (uncredited)
Monty Jordan .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Walter Robles .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank Tallman .... stunts: aerial (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David L. Butler .... aerial camera operator (as David Butler)
Colin J. Campbell .... gaffer (as Colin Campbell)
Earl L. Clark .... first assistant camera operator (as Earl Clark)
James R. Connell .... camera operator
George Hill .... key grip
J. David Jones .... pilot: camera helicopter (as David Jones)
Bruce McBroom .... still photographer
Rene Menoni .... second assistant camera operator
David B. Nowell .... assistant aerial camera operator (as David Nowell)
A.D. Presley .... electrical best boy
George Staubs .... best boy grip
John Burton Jr. .... animation camera operator (uncredited)
Ron Veto .... grip (uncredited)
 
Animation Department
Bob Richardson .... animator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jered Green .... costumer number 1 (as Jered Edd Green)
 
Editorial Department
Nancy Sales .... assistant film editor
Charles Tetoni .... associate film editor
 
Music Department
Aaron Rochin .... music recordist (as Aron Rochin)
Leonard A. Engel .... music editor (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Ed Arter .... transportation co-captain
James D. Brubaker .... transportation coordinator
Russell McEntyre .... transportation co-captain
 
Other crew
Lew Grade .... presenter: for Associated General Films (as Sir Lew Grade)
J. David Jones .... aerial coordinator (as David Jones)
Karen Jones .... bookkeeper
Clay Lacy .... pilot: Lear Jet
George Nolan .... helicopter pilot
Brent Sellstrom .... video coordinator
Dr. Seuss .... Miss Vaccaro's reading of "Fox In Socks" presented by special arrangement with
Al Shenfeld .... production auditor
Frank Tallman .... aerial coordinator
Frank Tallman .... pilot: Stearman
Ron Underwood .... location manager (as Ronald B. Underwood)
Karl A. Wickman .... helicopter pilot (as Karl Wickman)
Marshall J. Wolins .... script supervisor (as Marshall Wolins)
Tracy Berns .... secretary to director (uncredited)
Tracy Berns .... secretary to producer (uncredited)
Dixie J. Capp .... production secretary (uncredited)
Charles Conley .... craft service (uncredited)
Carol Shapiro Janson .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Dan Perri .... title designer (uncredited)
David Schmoeller .... intern: American Film Institute (uncredited)
Art Scholl .... pilot (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Dr. Seuss .... Miss Vaccaro's reading of "Fox in Socks" presented by special arrangement with
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
123 min | Japan:130 min (original release)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Mono (35 mm optical prints)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:6 | Netherlands:12 (DVD rating) | Norway:16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (2000) (2005) | USA:PG (certificate no. 25000) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Candice Bergen was originally offered the part of Judy Drinkwater, but turned it down.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: When Caulfield looks at the magazines in Alva Leacock's apartment, there is a close up of the address label. The ZIP code is 80144. This is not a Houston ZIP code. All ZIP codes in Houston start with 77.See more »
Quotes:
Congressman Hollis Peaker:You're a good kid, you'll do alright.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Room 101: Episode #11.5" (2007)See more »

FAQ

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
A great premise is rendered merely watchable by a script that produces a poor middle section, 19 July 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

America is excited by a new space launch; the mission to mars putting them past their 'space fatigue'. However, mere minutes before the launch, the astronauts are spirited away from the rocket while the mission goes ahead but unmanned – with the vast majority of NASA, the media, the politicians and the American people completely unaware that this has occurred. The astronauts are taken to a soundstage and informed that the mission would have failed, killing the space programme; however the plan is to fake the landing and keep the funding – a plan the astronauts begrudgingly agree to when they see their options are very limited. However when the rocket explodes on re-entry, the astronauts realize that the men in charge have only one way to keep their secret– killing them. Meanwhile journalist Robert Caulfield tries to follow a suspicious lead given to him by a man inside NASA only for the man to vanish and for Robert to be nearly killed when his brakes 'fail' – he investigates what he suspects but cannot believe.

The film opens with a blacked out screen with a man introducing the mission launch to gathering (unseen) journalists. This is a solid start and it continues in an aborted launch that immediately sets up a premise that is so simple and so effective that it promises a great film to come. However from the moment the astronauts escape the film has already taken a real dip from the good start. What spoils it is the writing; the start gives it the foundation to build on but it doesn't manage to build very much at all. Things happen but there is no consistent tension or excitement to speak of – the astronauts are forced into one-off moments of danger but that's about it; this leaves Caulfield as the main thread which, while enjoyable, still doesn't manage to cut it. The film should have been tighter, with a deeper conspiracy, a tangible threat and a real sense of it being a race against time – but it doesn't manage it. It still remains interesting and watchable but the word 'thriller' is not one that I would pick.

The film ends in a stronger final 20 minutes where we get a helicopter chase and some well shot scenes with a crop duster but even these are filled with the same lack of logic that the middle section of the film suffers from. Sadly even an exciting conclusion gives way to a rubbish final shot of slow-mo sentiment. The cast are part of the reason that the film is watchable as they are quite good even if the material lets many of them down. Gould is always watchable even though his section should have been much more dramatic. Of the astronauts, Brolin is OK, Waterson has an average character and Simpson is wisely given little opportunity to flex his acting muscles. Holbrook starts with a good sense of conspiratorial menace but the film practically forgets he is there and he just slips away. Black is wasted and she doesn't even look like she wants to be there, but the presence of Huddleston is always welcome. Savalas is good value even if he seems to have walked in from another film – but he is good fun and breathes quite a lot of life back into what was becoming a rather stale affair.

Overall this is watchable and quite enjoyable but it is frustrating to see the potential of the premise wasted. The opening 30 minutes is great and sets up a tense film that is sadly never forthcoming. The majority of the film after the rocket is destroyed goes gradually downhill as logic fails and it totally fails to ratchet up the tension in the manner it really should have. Watchable but it should have been loads better – I'm not a remake fan per se, but surely somebody can remake this film and make good on the potential.

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