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 strip club 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 real life and in the novel "Rocket Boys," Quentin Wilson was a traditionally handsome looking boy, whereas Homer Hickam looked like the stereotypical "nerd" that the film's Quentin is made to look like. Their physical appearances were switched due to the casting of then-teen heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal. See more »

Goofs

In real life, both the father and son were named Homer Hickam, however in the film the father's name is changed to John. This was most likely done to avoid confusing viewers by having two characters with the same name. See more »

Quotes

[about Homer going to college]
Jim Hickam: Yeah, on a science fiction scholarship, maybe.
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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

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Written by Jerome Kern, Otto A. Harbach
Performed by The Platters
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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!


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