The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

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(written for the screen by), (based on the book by)
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charles Frank ...
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Jack Ridley / Narrator
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Storyline

Tom Wolfe's book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

America was looking for a hero who had what it takes to become a legend. America found seven of them. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Stoff aus dem die Helden sind  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$21,500,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Wahl, who previously starred in director Philip Kaufman's The Wanderers (1979), was initially cast as Gordon Cooper. Dennis Quaid replaced Wahl, giving up an undisclosed role in The Outsiders (1983), which was being produced simultaneously. See more »

Goofs

When the seven astronauts are at a bar that has an underwater view of the pool outside, Deke Slayton can be seen being chased by several girls while waving at the astronauts inside the bar. Deke Slayton couldn't swim. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.
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Connections

Referenced in It's Garry Shandling's Show.: Driving Miss Garry (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Taiko Drums
Performed by Seiichi Tanaka
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User Reviews

far out in space, for the first time...
21 July 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I always loved anything connected to science fact and science fiction and this movie is no exception.

I already owned the Laserdisc version of it, but the DVD is even better.

I love this movie, but I must consider the interest of the public and I honestly cannot say that this is one for the vast public.

The theme alone is a difficult one and deals with the history of the Space Age, as it began from an American perspective, and by telling the story of the astronauts involved in the Mercury project.

Being very long, it might not fit the modern view of a quick-fix movie. This one has to be watched as if your were watching "JFK" or "Gettysburg", therefore with the outmost attention.

It has spectacular recreations of the actual launches, combined with more private moments, involving the astronauts, their loved ones and those who trained them.

This is not Science Fiction and it is not an Adventure movie, this is truly a history lesson about how the Space Race got started, how, with whom and why.

It is a very thoroughly researched movie, although it is not to be confused with a documentary. It is an intelligent movie, with good dialogues, good character recreations, with humor and moments of sadness and tragedy. The heroism of the first astronauts is not represented by their fabulous deeds, but rather by the sacrifices they had to make, in order to be successful.

If you can bare to sit in front of your TV for 3 hours and 15 minutes without unnecessary interruptions, then this documentation may make it clear why men and women risk so much in going "where no one has gone before".

But, as I stated before, this is not an easy going movie and is reserved for all those who want to enjoy a good movie in peace.

I would recommend its showing in every school of the United States, and why not, also throughout the world. Many children would then really appreciate what the conquest of space is all about.


45 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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