MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 1,295 this week

October Sky (1999)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Family  |  19 February 1999 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 57,931 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 331 user | 103 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

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)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 23 Jul 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 11 Nov 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 11 Feb 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 13 May 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 23 Jul 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "October Sky" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: October Sky (1999)

October Sky (1999) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of October Sky.

User Polls

3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Natalie Canerday ...
...
Randy Stripling ...
...
...
...
Dorothy Platt (as Courtney Fendley)
...
...
...
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 (141) »

Taglines:

Sometimes one dream is enough to light up the whole sky. 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

Although known as Virginia Tech since the early 1990's, at the time the movie takes place, the university was known as VPI. See more »

Goofs

When Quentin first looks at Homer's calculations for the lost rocket, the sheet already has the equation with all the necessary data to calculate the range written down. About 2/3 down the page, the horizontal range formula appears as d = (v² / g) × sin 2A = (450)² / 32 = 202,500 / 32. Solving this gives 6,328 feet, the answer that Quentin writes down later. (This assumes a launch angle A of 45°, which maximizes the range, so that sin 2A = 1.) See more »

Quotes

HomerRoy LeeO'Dell: [after lighting their first rocket] Ten, nine, eight...
Roy Lee: Should we get behind something?
[it blows up and they fly back]
See more »

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

Speedo
Written by Esther Navarro
Performed by The Cadillacs
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent family movie, and a fine story…
18 March 2007 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

I first saw Jake Gyllenhaal in Jarhead (2005) a little while back and, since then, I've been watching every one of his movies that arrives on my radar screen. Like Clive Owen, he has an intensity (and he even resembles Owen somewhat) that just oozes from the screen. I feel sure that, if he lands some meaty roles, he'll crack an Oscar one day...

That's not to denigrate this film at all.

It's a fine story, with very believable people (well, it's based upon the author's early shenanigans with rocketry), a great cast – Chris Cooper is always good, and Laura Dern is always on my watch list – with the appropriate mix of humor, pathos, excitement...and the great sound track with so many rock n roll oldies to get the feet tapping.

But, this film had a very special significance for me: in 1957, I was the same age as Homer Hickham; like him, I looked up at the night stars to watch Sputnik as it scudded across the blackness; like Homer also, I experimented with rocketry in my backyard and used even the exact same chemicals for fuel; and like Homer, I also had most of my attempts end in explosive disaster! What fun it was...

I didn't achieve his great (metaphorical and physical) heights though. But, that's what you find out when you see this movie.

Sure, it's a basic family movie, but that's a dying breed these days, it seems. Take the time to see it, with the kids: you'll all have a lot of good laughs.


10 of 10 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
does anyone think nasa might not be as squeeky clean as mayanlongcount
A time when U.S. kids could learn chemistry and rocketry on their own schear
Why is this movie not in IMDB TOP 250 ?? askrahul
Discuss October Sky (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page