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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,446 ( 308)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas.

Director: Tim McCanlies
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall
Holes (2003)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A wrongfully convicted boy is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight
The Rookie (2002)
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Texas baseball coach makes the major league after agreeing to try out if his high school team made the playoffs.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Dennis Quaid, J.D. Evermore, Rachel Griffiths
Jumanji (1995)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.

Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt
Family | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago White Sox come.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Stars: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray
Soul Surfer (2011)
Biography | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack.

Director: Sean McNamara
Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt
Fly Away Home (1996)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A father and daughter decide to attempt to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air.

Director: Carroll Ballard
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin, Dana Delany
Home Alone (1990)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rocket Boys  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$32,481,825 (USA) (23 July 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Homer Hickam Jr often attends the annual Rocket Boys/October Sky festival now held near the town of Coalwood. See more »

Goofs

The boys created a remote ignition device by having a spring-loaded match rub past a match strike stip and then light the fuse. The strike strip they used was the modern "polka dot" kind. In 1957 all the strike strips were solid strips. See more »

Quotes

O'Dell: Besides, didn't your dad say no more rockets?
Homer: No, he said no more rockets on company property.
O'Dell: Do you realize how far we'd have to go to be off company property?
Homer: Yeah, we'd have to go to Snakeroot.
Quentin: Snakeroot? That's eight miles!
Homer: It's not *that* far. I mean we could walk if we had to...
O'Dell: Hey, walk! Heh! That's a great idea!
Homer: Come on let's go!
Roy Lee: Wait the hell up, will you Homer? Now I got about as much chance of winning that science fair as you do winning a football scholarship. I know I'm gonna be a...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

That'll Be the Day
Written by Norman Petty, Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly
Performed by Buddy Holly & The Crickets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nostalgic, Inspirational and Worthwhile
4 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was watching this when my wife called to inquire from the other room as to my choice of fare. My comment? "I am watching my Life!"

Though younger, but only by 5 years or so, than the "Rocket Boys" I remember the absolute urgency with which Sputnick was greeted by our administrators of education and how the whole Science Fair thing gained momentum and took me and others into the competitive whirlwind. My own tornado landed me in my own State's Science Fair, in Physics by '62, though our group was less successful in gaining the support of, for example, firefighters we approached for guidance and counsel until after a tragic event, our city went so far as to allow us to tour the Nike missile site on Chicago's lakeshore.

This movie brought it all back for me and I will bet that it brought it all back for a bunch of us "UberNerds" of the late '50s and early 60's.

We are in a similar science brain drainage period now and really need this movie as a country. See It!


37 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did You Think Laura Dern Overacted? glasshull
who else cried at this movie? mattiemurphy76
5 movies avalanche1994
Why is this movie not in IMDB TOP 250 ?? askrahul
A time when U.S. kids could learn chemistry and rocketry on their own schear
does anyone think nasa might not be as squeeky clean as mayanlongcount
Discuss October Sky (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page