7.8/10
69,817
347 user 109 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
3,355 ( 481)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Jim Hickam (as Scott Miles)
Randy Stripling ...
...
...
Ike Bykovsky
...
Dorothy Platt (as Courtney Fendley)
David Dwyer ...
...
Mr. Dantzler
...
Valentine Carmina
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 (143) »

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) (21 February 1999)

Gross:

$32,481,825 (USA) (25 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

When Homer Hickam called Quentin Nigerian, he was correct because Quentin's parents actually were in Nigeria when he was born. 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

Jim Hickam: [at football practice] Hey, Lenny; take it easy on my kid brother, but make it look good, all right?
Jim Hickam: [Homer is tackled hard] I thought I told you to take it easy on him.
Lenny: I *did* take it easy on him
Homer: [playing against Lenny] I'm gonna run right over you, you son of a bitch! You hear me?
[is tackled several times more]
Coach Gainer: [helping Homer up] Well, Homer, you've sure got guts; but ya gotta know when to quit.
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

It's All in the Game
Written by Carl Sigman, Charles Dawes (as Charles G. Dawes)
Performed by Tommy Edwards
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I've Been There and It's Real
21 February 1999 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

I have yet to read "The Rocket Boys", the book upon which this film is based, but this situation will not continue! I did read a short story by Hickam which was apparently the seed that started him on the novel. It grabbed me even then.

I am one of those fortunate enough to have lived adjacent to Cape Canaveral during the Mercury program, where my father worked, and this childhood situation no doubt fostered my lifelong interests and hobbies. I also met Werner von Braun, and one of the other German rocket scientists repaired a rubber band driven model plane I had (I WISH I still had that plane!) I mention this because I went into the movie with serious expectations and very much desired to see a film with authentic treatments for the nostalgia and emotions of the period.

I was not disappointed. While there were superficial flaws here and there, the movie came together like so few Hollywood films do. Good storytelling, authentic emotions and period atmosphere. As others have experienced at this excellent film, I was choked up at the end and had to wipe away the tears. The father of the family next to me asked to borrow my spare paper napkin to wipe his tears. About half the audience applauded at the end, and most everyone stayed through the credits. It's just one of those films.

Not the greatest movie ever made, but one of the best family movies in a long time.


58 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Here We Go: Welcome to "The IMDb Show"

Kevin Smith weighs in on Justice League and the future of DC and Marvel, and answers fan questions. Plus, we battle with fans over who played the greatest Batman of all time.

Here we go