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The Dish (2000)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  4 May 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 12,080 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 195 user | 90 critic | 27 from

A remote Australian antenna, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.



(conceived and written by), (conceived and written by), 2 more credits »
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3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Mitchell ...
Roz Hammond ...
Christopher-Robin Street ...
Luke Keltie ...
Naomi Wright ...
Ben Wright-Smith ...
Beverley Dunn ...
Secretary (voice)
Grant Thompson ...
Bille Brown ...
Prime Minister
Newspaper Reporter
Kevin Harrington ...
Tom Long ...


In the days before the July 19, 1969 space mission that marked humankind's first steps on the moon, NASA was working with a group of Australian technicians who had agreed to rig up a satellite interface. That the Aussies placed the satellite dish smack dab in the middle of an Australian sheep farm in the boondocks town of Parkes was just one of the reasons that NASA was concerned. Based on a true story, The Dish takes a smart, witty, comical look at the differing cultural attitudes between Australia and the U.S. while revisiting one of the greatest events in history. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


As Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, our only link was a satellite dish in rural Australia with a few bugs (And a few hundred sheep). See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Antena  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$70,612 (USA) (16 March 2001)


$2,252,970 (USA) (6 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station south of Canberra had a 26m dish and is referred to during the movie. It was actually Honeysuckle which supplied the first 8 minutes of footage of the moon landing before Parkes took over. You can see the flicker on the screen if you watch the original footage as they change receiving dishes. Sadly little is left of Honeysuckle TS which also controlled Skylab. See more »


The dish that was filmed in the movie is the up to date version of the radio telescope, with a larger diameter white portion in the center of the dish. The dish in the original old black and white photos behind Mayor Bob and the Prime Minister in the hallway had a much smaller white center portion to the dish antenna. See more »


[first lines]
Worker: Excuse me sir, I'm afraid you've come in the wrong way.
Cliff Buxton: I'm sorry...
Worker: Yeah, this is the old entrance. The visitors center is back out and around to the left.
Cliff Buxton: Right well, I'll wander out then.
Worker: Well worth it. Some amazing times.
See more »

Crazy Credits

John Glenn (III), Neil Armstrong (I), Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (II) are credited by announcers in the flashback preceeding the Apollo 11 flight. See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #9.1 (2012) See more »


God Save the King!
(1744) (uncredited)
Music attributed to Henry Carey
Played by the band at the ceremony for the U.S. Ambassador
See more »

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User Reviews

What a Pleasant Surprise...
7 April 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Once and a while a true surprise comes along. A film that is pleasantly surprising and enjoyable. Well, that's what "The Dish" is. It never takes itself too serious and never takes itself too lightly. It is just right.

It is centered around the true story of the largest satellite dish in the world, found in the middle of a sheep paddock in Australia. The dish, at one time, broadcast the Apollo 11 moon landing to the world, and this is the story of the problems the men who ran the dish went through.

Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton lead the group of four that manage the dish; the characters are all nice and pleasant and likable. No one is unlikable in this film.

Sam Neill is a great actor; I've liked him in films since "Dead Calm," but my real respect for his performances rose after he brought Dr. Allen Grant to life in "Jurassic Park."

Patrick Warburton, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated comedic actors in Hollywood. He always gets throwaway roles ("MIIB," "Big Trouble,"=etc...), but in this film he gets a leading role (sorta) and handles it excellently. He proves he really can act--serious or comedic--in films.

One thing that is so nice about "The Dish" is that it doesn't try to really prove anything extremely memorable. It's not trying to be the next big hit. It sticks to the facts while presenting some great actors and a twist of humor. And because of this, it is, possibly, one of the most pleasant film experiences I've had in recent years. Sometimes it's nice to sit back, relax and just watch a movie.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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