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

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6.8/10   14,449 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 Mission To Mars That Wasn't 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:
The film was made and released about nine years after man first landed on the moon in 1969.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When James Brolin's character cuts his left pant leg to make a bandanna, the suit somehow repairs itself later on. Note when he's in the cave with the snake, the left pant leg is totally intact.See more »
Quotes:
Charles Brubaker:This is really wonderful. If we go along with you and lie our asses off, the world of truth and ideals is, er, protected. But if we don't want to take part in some giant rip-off of yours then somehow or other we're managing to ruin the country. You're pretty good, Jim. I'll give you that.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Monster Squad Forever! (2007) (V)See more »

FAQ

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A Mission To Mars That Wasn't, 20 March 2013
Author: virek213 from San Gabriel, Ca., USA

The notion of conspiracy within the bowels of the U.S. government was very much on people's minds following the triple traumas of the JFK assassination, Vietnam, and Watergate. Even something as noble as manned space flight couldn't escape the grasp of the conspiracy theorists out there, as many of them didn't believe that the Apollo 11 moon landing of July 20, 1969 ever took place, and that it was all done on a Hollywood soundstage. In 1978, one film took this conspiracy all the way to Mars and back. That film was CAPRICORN ONE, a fairly taut combination of science fiction and conspiracy thriller elements that, in some ways, presaged later TV shows like "The X Files", and, perhaps inadvertently, also accelerated the conspiracy theorists' attacks on America's manned space program.

James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J. Simpson portray the three men who are about to embark on a ten-month space voyage whose ultimate goal is a manned walk on Mars. But just minutes before their ship, Capricorn One, is to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center, they are immediately ordered off; and the spacecraft launches to Mars without them. Bewildered and upset, they are then told by NASA's director (Hal Holbrook) that the life support system built into the spacecraft was faulty and that it is likely that it would have failed before the ship could ever get into Mars' orbit. They are instead ordered to "fake" the landing and the Mars walk on a soundstage in a hangar somewhere in the Mojave Desert, much against their principles though under the threat of their families being killed. But when the spacecraft they are supposedly coming home in loses its heat shield upon re-entry, everyone presumes that the three men have been incinerated. The trouble is, of course, that all three men are actually alive and well, and Holbrook knows that the space program's continued success is incumbent upon them never appearing anywhere in public again.

In steps an enterprising news reporter (Elliott Gould) who, against all odds and some very sardonic colleagues, investigates the Capricorn One incident and uncovers the truth, only to be pursued by military personnel in Blackhawk choppers. In the meantime, Brolin, Waterston, and Simpson break out of the hangar and escape into the Mojave Desert. Only Brolin is able to evade capture or death, however; and it is only through the quick thinking of Gould and an eccentric crop-dusting pilot (Telly Savalas) that he is able to sort everything out for the world.

Writer/director Peter Hyams, whose later sci-fi forays included the HIGH NOON-inspired 1981 opus OUTLAND, and the much-underrated 1984 film "2010" (the sequel to the 1968 Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) directs with a good flair for suspense sequences, especially Brolin's struggle for survival in the desert as he is chased by government agents, including loose homages to both Kubrick's DOCTOR STRANGELOVE and Hitchcock's NORTH BY NORTHWEST. He also gets good performances from his cast, however, not only from Brolin, Simpson, and Waterston as the beleaguered would-be heroes, but also from Holbrook, who does a typically solid turn as the NASA bureaucrat with a mess on his hands. The Mars landing sequences, though done on a soundstage for obvious reasons, have a crazy kind of realism to them, thanks to the special effects work of Bruce Mattox, Henry Millar, and Robert Spurlock, and the solid cinematography of Butler, who worked on Steven Spielberg's 1975 suspense masterpiece JAWS. Goldsmith, who had won an Oscar for THE OMEN in 1976, and whose sci-fi credits include PLANET OF THE APES, also provides a tense and dramatic score, with almost Stravinsky-like menace.

CAPRICORN ONE is not necessarily the perfect science fiction film; one can spot a number of implausible situations right off. That said, however, it was definitely one of those films that was right for its time, in that it managed to attach something as honorable as manned space travel to a Watergate-type of cover-up scenario. Even if the plot doesn't hold up to 21st century standards (and it may have bee hard to imagine even back in 1978), it still (rightly) made a big deal about how our government too often attempts to dissemble the truth.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (145 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Coming to Blu-ray January 13, 2015. phoenixandrew
I know times have changed, but how many reviewers actually saw this? cirvin1258
What was the fate of the 'astronauts' bcwresearch
Were the moon landings faked? Gimpli
Things I learned after watching Capricorn One Jago_Instinct
6.6??????? You must be joking. Yabier
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