MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 90 this week

October Sky (1999)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 56,807 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 332 user | 105 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 26 Apr 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 15 Dec 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 03 Sep 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 1 week ago
 

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:

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

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 boys rarely tested a single rocket per day. They often manufactured several rockets and tested them in sequence. The rocket that hit Homer's father's office during their early testing, when they were launching rockets near the mine, was actually the last rocket of several they launched that day. 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

Principal Turner: Miss Riley, our job is to give these kids an education.
Miss Riley: Mmm-hmm.
Principal Turner: Not false hopes.
Miss Riley: False hopes? Do you want me to sit quiet, let 'em breathe in coal dust the rest of their life?
Principal Turner: Miss Riley, once in a while... a lucky one... will get out on a football scholarship. The rest of 'em work in the mines.
Miss Riley: How 'bout I believe in the unlucky ones? Hmm? I have to, Mister Turner, I'd go out of my mind.
See more »

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A film that hits close to home....
7 February 1999 | by (California) – See all my reviews

"October Sky" is a film that will steal your heart, fill your mind with vivid imagery, and lift your spirit. The tale of Homer Hickham and his dream of creating a rocket seem so simple at first, especially when the film is set in a mining town, where the future is as clear cut as the lumps of coal in the mine. But Homer cannot follow in his father's footsteps. With the encouragement of Miss Riley,(a friendly teacher), members of his father's staff, and his friends, Homer attempts to make his dream a reality.

Yet as in any true to life story, there are many stops along the way. Director Joe Johnston lowers us into the coal mines, where we witness the chilling plight of miners stooped beneath a ceiling of rock. With lit helmets and bent posture, they resembled alien insectoids more than humans in the darkness. The hacking coughs of the miners and the blackened faces were a constant reminder of the danger the miners faced in their work.

Contrasting the mine shaft's lugubrious load are the images of Homer and his friend's rocket launches. Underneath the blue bowl of sky, rockets are placed upon a pad and launched into the stratosphere...And nothing can match the scene when Homer sees Sputnik for the first time.

Yet what makes the film so endearing is the relationship between the characters. Homer's father is a classic hardened man...but he has a soft side as well. We see that he does love his son, despite their many arguments. The love and support of Miss Riley is evident as well. Best of all, the film is uncomfortable. It doesn't tie everything up in a nice bow. It tears at you, lifts you up. It keeps an air of reality, which is important in a film like this.

This film can be considered a complete work. At first, I was disappointed that the film did not continue with Homer's life. I didn't want it to end. Then I realized...that's what a good film does to a person. If it has done its job, you won't want it to end. And "October Sky" accomplishes just that.


94 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did You Think Laura Dern Overacted? glasshull
5 movies avalanche1994
who else cried at this movie? mattiemurphy76
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