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The American Astronaut (2001)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,280 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 52 user | 35 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

Samuel Curtis, an interplanetary trader, sets forth through a rustic and remote solar system, unaware that his old friend Professor Hess is trying to kill him.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Cory McAbee ...
Samuel Curtis / Silverminer
...
Professor Hess
...
The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast
...
Cloris
...
Bodysuit
Joshua Taylor ...
Blueberry Pirate
...
Old Man
...
Eddie
...
Lee Vilensky
Mark Manley ...
Henchman #1 (Hey Boy!)
Ned Sublette ...
Henchman #2 (Hey Boy!)
...
Doorman
Doug McKean ...
Silverminer Jake
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Miner at Bar
George Piscopo ...
Mars Worker
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Storyline

Space travel has become a dirty way of life dominated by derelicts, grease monkeys, thieves, and hard-boiled interplanetary traders such as Samuel Curtis, an astronaut from Earth who deals in a rare goods, living or otherwise. His mission begins with the unlikely delivery of a cat to a small outer-belt asteroid saloon where he meets his former dance partner, and renowned interplanetary fruit thief, the Blueberry Pirate. As payment for his delivery of the cat, Curtis receives a homemade cloning device already in the process of creating a creature most rare in this space quadrant... a Real Live Girl. At the suggestion of the Blueberry Pirate, Curtis takes the Real Live Girl to Jupiter where women have long been a mystery. There, he proposes a trade with the owner of Jupiter: the Real Live Girl clone for the Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman's Breast. The Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman's Breast is regarded as royalty on the all-male mining planet of Jupiter because of his unique and exotic ... Written by nathue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Space is a lonely town.

Genres:

Musical | Comedy | Sci-Fi

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O amerikanos astronaftis  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,206 (USA) (12 October 2001)

Gross:

$33,884 (USA) (11 January 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the alarm goes off: "What did your father teach you?", Curtis has to answer "My father taught me to kill the sunflower," which was something Cory McAbee once mistakenly thought someone said to him. See more »

Quotes

Samuel Curtis: [Commenting on The Boy's odd attire] How long they been makin' you dress like that?
The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast: The word is not "make," it's "let." They let me wear whatever I want.
Samuel Curtis: I see.
See more »

Crazy Credits

We Remember Desmond Harvey See more »

Soundtracks

Baby in the Jar
Written by Cory McAbee, James Beaudreau, Michael Silverman (as Mike Silverman) and Robert Lurie (as Bobby Lurie)
Performed by The Billy Nayer Show with Gregory Russell Cook (as Gregory Russell Cook)
Published by Fickey Music (BMI)
Courtesy of BSG Records
Administered and Licensed by BNS Productions
©2000 Cory McAbee, James Beaudreau, Mike Silverman and Bobby Lurie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very original and virtually unique film
28 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is billed as a sci-fi, musical-western comedy. Sounds both original and strange doesn't it? The American Astronaut proves to be both of these (and strange definitely in a good way, believe me).

The story is centred around space trader Samuel Curtis (played by writer and director Cory McAbee), who we find in a bar on an asteroid belt, landing in order to make a deal. The scene in the bar is extremely funny, and introduces us to the fact that this is partly a musical. In the bar, unbeknownst to Curtis, is his intermittently-reoccurring nemesis, Professor Hess. Hess, a psychotic killer, pursues Curtis throughout his subsequent journey, in which he performs a number of deals, culminating in travelling to Venus to provide a suitable male to the women of Venus, in order that they release the body of their late suitor, Johnny R), and the dialogue between the two is one of the highlights of the film.

This film is stylishly shot in black and white, and Cory McAbee manages to convey the idea of outer space extraordinarily well with some simple direction. Especially impressive is the collage of still photographs showing Curtis explaining why Professor Hess is in his pursuit - it is funny, original, and ingeniously simple. Shot on a low budget, this film does not suffer from the fact in any way. McAbee's use of light and shadows is reminiscent of Orson Welles' direction in Citizen Kane - simple, but astonishingly effective.

With a superb soundtrack from McAbee's band The Billy Nayer Show, and the script as impressive as the direction, the film's slightly abrupt ending is the only chink in this otherwise flawless masterpiece; although even that has an upside, in that it leaves you wishing to hear more of Samuel Curtis, and the others.

Hopefully more from the same director will do.


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