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X-15 (1961)

During the Cold War in the 1960s the U.S.A.F.and NASA tested the experimental rocket-powered aircraft X-15 that set altitude and speed records and reached the edge of outer space.

Director:

Richard Donner (as Richard D. Donner)

Writers:

James Warner Bellah (screenplay), Tony Lazzarino (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
David McLean ... Matt Powell
Charles Bronson ... Lt. Col. Lee Brandon
Ralph Taeger ... Maj. Ernest Wilde
Brad Dexter ... Maj. Anthony Rinaldi
Kenneth Tobey ... Col. Craig Brewster
James Gregory ... Tom Deparma
Mary Tyler Moore ... Pamela Stewart
Patricia Owens ... Margaret Brandon
Lisabeth Hush Lisabeth Hush ... Diane Wilde
Stanley Livingston ... Mike Brandon
Lauren Gilbert Lauren Gilbert ... Col. Jessup
Phil Dean Phil Dean ... Maj. McCully
Chuck Stanford Chuck Stanford ... Lt. Cmdr. Joe Lacrosse
Patty McDonald Patty McDonald ... Susan Brandon
James Stewart ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

At the height of the Cold War during the 1960s the U.S. Air Force and NASA tested an experimental rocket-powered research aircraft code-named X-15.The X-15 experiments were conducted at Edwards Air Force Base.The X-15 aircraft set altitude and speed records by reaching the edge of outer space.The project is managed by U.S. Air Force Colonel Craig Brewster and scientist Tom Deparma. The main test pilots are Matt Powell, Colonel Lee Brandon and Major Ernest Wilde.During the test flights the X-15 aircraft is dropped from a B-52 Stratofortress mother ship before starting its engine.The whole test team is enthusiastic about the project but the project is plagued by setbacks and near disasters right from the start. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Actually Filmed in Space! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avião Foguete X-15 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$422,500 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Essex Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Donner's feature film directorial debut. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie in a close-up side shot of the X-15 hanging under the B-52's wing, you can see that the cockpit cover on the X-15 is not fully seated in the closed position even though they are in a countdown to in-flight launch. A launch in that condition would have ripped the cockpit cover off of the aircraft and killed the pilot. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Lee Brandon: When you're a man, you be a man.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Uncommonly good technical accuracy, otherwise mostly lame
22 July 2001 | by Paul RavelingSee all my reviews

Substantial good footage of actual X-15 flights, better than in some of the documentaries I've seen. The strongest points of this film are the flight footage and its technical accuracy.

This film was produced with meticulous script review of technical details by NASA Dryden and by the Air Force. Even in shots showing actors faking flight actions in the cockpit what they show is accurate in the sense that it's the truth even if it's not the whole truth. The best way to appreciate much of this is to first study the X-15 flight manual. In any case the attention to technical accuracy is remarkable by the standards of sci fi & aviation/space movies made around 1961. It appeared that nearly the entire film was shot on location at NASA Dryden and Edwards AFB. All flight footage is real except for a couple short hokey segments showing a model for flight outside the atmosphere and during reentry.

The rest (script, production, directing, & such) is fairly lame and underwhelming. If only Tom Hanks had an urge to redo this film the result probably would be a great one, but it wasn't Tom Hanks who did this edition.

Bottom line: X-plane enthusiasts will love the real & authentic action, but most others will conclude that it's appropriate for this flick to only show up infrequently on obscure cable & satellite channels.


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