7.8/10
66,774
341 user 108 critic

October Sky (1999)

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
3,065 ( 330)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
4 wins & 11 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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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Homer H. Hickam Jr. helped design and build the cannon that is used during the Virginia Tech Hokie football games. See more »

Goofs

The miners' union hall has a 50-star flag, but the strike takes place in 1958, a year before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states. See more »

Quotes

Homer: [Reading the newspaper aloud] "The silvery cylinder burst forth in a fiery column of smoke and flame, racing the very wind as it soared into the sky, a messenger of these Rocket Boys of Big Creek.
[Chuckling]
Homer: These boys use their brains, not brawn, who play not football, but with Apollo's fire."
O'Dell: [Chuckles]
Dorothy Platt: [Walks up to Homer, elated] Hi Homer.
Homer: [Quietly] Hi Dorothy.
Dorothy Platt: Would you please sign my newspaper?
Homer: Sure.
Dorothy Platt: I just know you're going to be really famous someday.
Homer: [Stares at Dorothy, mesmerized]
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

My Prayer
Written by Georges Boulanger, Jimmy Kennedy
Performed by The Platters
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A real piece of Americana, not for cynics!
17 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a gem, a real piece of Americana for all that this implies. If you are self programed to resist "life-afirming" stories, just stay away and leave the pleasure to the rest of us who still believe. And what makes the frosting on the cake truly delectable is that it is fact based on a real rags to riches story, no need to nit-pick what details were changed to make a compact story. Chris Cooper is one of the greatest living actors, and the complex, self-conflicted, bottom-line good at the core father he portrayed could only be pulled off successfully by someone with his skill and insight. The simple minded comments, refusing to accept a father who tries to lay down the law all the while sensing that he may possibly be off-track, expose the limitation of the commentator, not the writers or the acting. This is not for the cynical, or the simple minded.


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