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Space Cowboys (2000)

When a retired engineer is called upon to rescue a failing satellite, he insists that his equally old teammates accompany him into space.

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Cocktail Waitress
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Storyline

When a Russian satellite orbiting the Earth starts to veer off course. It seems like the guidance system in the satellite is of American origin. It's important to try and fix it before it comes into the atmosphere. The NASA man, Bob Gerson tries to find out who designed it and discovers that it was designed by Frank Corvin, an Air Force pilot who 40 years ago was part of the team who was originally suppose to go to space but when NASA was formed and Gerson's influence they were dropped. Gerson asks Frank to help but Frank still holds a grudge. But after some prodding he agrees but only if he and his team can go there so he can fix it. Gerson reluctantly agrees so Frank recruits his former team members, Tank Sullivan, Jerry O'Neill and Hawk Hawkins to join him. After some strenuous tests, they're cleared. And they go up with two other astronauts and check out the satellite and discover that they weren't told the whole truth. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Space will never be the same See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 August 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jinetes del espacio  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,093,776 (USA) (4 August 2000)

Gross:

$90,454,043 (USA) (12 January 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Bell X-2 was the first airplane to reach an altitude of 100,000 feet and to exceed Mach 3. See more »

Goofs

When the guys are discussing the problem of bringing the damaged shuttle back they list lots of problems. When Clint Eastwood says he'll bring it back in he's told all the problems plus "you'll have to do it dead stick." Dead stick means no engines running so this shouldn't be a problem since all shuttle landings are dead stick. See more »

Quotes

Frank Corvin: [after Hawk crashes the shuttle during a simulation] Hawk, this isn't a stripped-down showplane. You've got to do it their way.
Col. William 'Hawk' Hawkins: I don't need a damn computer to tell me how to land an aircraft.
Roger Hines: It's not an aircraft, Colonel. It's a flying brick, and you've GOT to use the computer's protocols.
Col. William 'Hawk' Hawkins: What if the on-board computer fails?
Ethan Glance: It never has.
Col. William 'Hawk' Hawkins: [to the simulator supervisor] Houston, Horizon
Mission Control Tech: Go ahead
Col. William 'Hawk' Hawkins: Request second landing please.
[pause]
Col. William 'Hawk' Hawkins: Houston - Horizon, request on board computer FAILURE on second ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.220 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

FLY ME TO THE MOON (In Other Words)
Written by Bart Howard
Performed by Frank Sinatra with Count Basie and His Orchestra (as Count Basie And His Orchestra)
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User Reviews

 
Yea right, we have John Glenn to thank for this one.
11 July 2001 | by (Fresno, Ca. USA) – See all my reviews

Space Cowboys builds its humor around a quartet of aged characters who seize their first and last opportunity to fulfill their lifelong goal of going into space. Space Cowboys satirizes the traditionally romanticized conception of the young hero by portraying its characters as sagacious --yet imperfect-- old men.

Space Cowboys revisits its embittered protagonist, the retired Air Force test pilot Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood), forty years after a humiliating episode where he is replaced by a monkey for a 1958 NASA mission to space. Unexpectedly, Frank is summoned by ex-boss and NASA official Bob Gerson (James Cromwell) to fix a Russian communications satellite that is soon to crash, and that contains the obsolete guidance system that he and his colleagues designed for the earlier satellite, Skylab. Realizing he is the only one who can fix the system, Frank coerces the desperate Bob into rehiring his old team: pilot Hawk Hawkins (Tommy Lee Jones), structural engineer Jerry O'Neil (Donald Sutherland), and navigator Tank Sullivan (James Garner) --all seemingly unlikely candidates for the task at hand. Gaining the trust of NASA Engineer Sara Holland (Marcia Gay Harden) and the mistrust of flight director Eugene Davis (William Devane), the reunited "Team Daedalus" face the biggest mission of their lives.

Space Cowboys, which benefits from the performances of four seasoned actors, successfully establishes its four main characters as the source for all its comedy. Space Cowboys' initial introduction of its protagonist (in the brief black and white sequence which includes the humiliating incident with the monkey), offers a convenient setup which allows the ellipsis of forty years to hyperbolize the four characters' emotional states and to justify their subsequent actions. Furthermore, this initial sequence, which also depicts the four characters as audacious US Air Force pilots, establishes itself as a point of reference against which the present inconsequential lives of Frank, Hawk, Jerry and Tank will be contrasted.

Space Cowboys subtly and effectively creates an analogy between the characters and the troublesome "guidance system": while the men's present occupations are portrayed as rather useless, the guidance system's design is described as old and obsolete, yet neither the men nor the system are entirely expendable. (This suggested duality of man/system is emphasized by Frank's ironic statement: "...it wasn't designed for this duration.") While Space Cowboys draws its humor from the characters' efforts to revert to their prior occupation and regain importance, the second part of the film --the mission-- serves a dramatic purpose, where the characters' true mission is to disprove the others' belief that they are outdated and replaceable. Narratively, Space Cowboys' space sequence does little more than simply prolong the characters' task of proving themselves, yet visually, it offers eye-catching special effects and set design.

Nevertheless, Space Cowboys succeeds more as a comedy that deconstructs its heroes than as a drama that exalts their heroism.


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