The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

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3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Natalie Canerday ...
Scott Thomas ...
Jim Hickam (as Scott Miles)
Randy Stripling ...
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Dorothy Platt (as Courtney Fendley)
David Dwyer ...
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Storyline

In a 1950's mining town called Coalwood, Homer Hickam is a kid with only one future in sight, to work in the local coal mine like his father. However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rocket | coal | sputnik | mining | mine | See All (142) »

Taglines:

Based On An Extraordinary True Story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, brief teen sensuality and alcohol use, and for some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rocket Boys  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,905,250 (USA) (19 February 1999)

Gross:

$32,481,825 (USA) (23 July 1999)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie Homer Hickem is enamored with Wernher Von Braun a former Nazi scientist. In real life Wernher von Braun and Jake Gyllenhaal (who plays Homer) in the movie are actually distant cousins. They are both descendants of William the Conqueror. See more »

Goofs

When the phonograph record is changed during the dance at the Dugout, the records are 45 rpm, but the turntables are rotating at 78 rpm. See more »

Quotes

Homer: [jumps into Roy Lee's car to go to football tryouts] Let's go, Roy Lee! It's almost nine.
Roy Lee: You sure are in a hurry to get yourself killed, huh, kid?
O'Dell: There are easier ways to commit suicide, Homer.
Homer: Would you just step on it, Roy Lee?
Roy Lee: [frustrated with his car] I *am* stepping on it.
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Crazy Credits

The real life people portrayed in the movie are shown during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Spotlight on Location: October Sky (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

That'll Be the Day
Written by Norman Petty, Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly
Performed by Buddy Holly & The Crickets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Inspirational
31 July 2004 | by (Ogden, UT) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie. It is one of the few movies that I have consistently recommended to friends to rent and have had all of them thank me for the referral. The film has some powerful themes that are beautifully scripted. The acting is superb all around (Chris Cooper has never turned in a bad acting role in my opinion!) The message of this film is so well delivered, so powerful, that it moved me to tears the first time I saw it. Not sad tears, which are easily solicited by cinema formula, but tears of joy--a rare thing.

Although I did not grow up in the 1950's, I believe this film honestly portrays the mood and setting of the time. Given today's harsh world with all its complications, watching this film is a welcome escape to a time of innocence, wonder, and discovery. Highly recommended!


60 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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