6.0/10
1,754
27 user 19 critic

Countdown (1967)

Unrated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | February 1968 (USA)
Desperate to reach the moon first, N.A.S.A. sends a man and shelter separately, one-way. He must find it to survive. He can't return until Apollo is ready.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Loring Mandel (screenplay), Hank Searls (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Caan ... Lee Stegler
Joanna Moore ... Mickey Stegler
Robert Duvall ... Chiz
Barbara Baxley ... Jean
Charles Aidman ... Gus
Steve Ihnat ... Ross Duellan
Michael Murphy ... Rick
Ted Knight ... Walter Larson
Stephen Coit ... Ehrman
John Rayner John Rayner ... Dunc
Charles Irving Charles Irving ... Seidel
Bobby Riha ... Stevie Stegler (as Bobby Riha Jr.)
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Storyline

When the U.S. learns the Soviets are about to launch a manned mission to the moon, they feel it imperative that they get there first. The moon program isn't ready to launch yet so they decide to send one man in a modified Gemini capsule that will be able to land on the moon. The astronaut will have to stay there for up to a year - in a special built shelter that will be sent ahead of time - until an Apollo mission can rescue him. The obvious choice for the mission is Chiz, who knows the Gemini inside out but the Soviets are sending civilians, not military men, so geologist Lee Stegler is asked to go. He has only three weeks however to learn about the intricacies of the spacecraft and no one is sure if he will make it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The motion picture that puts a man on the moon ... and you will follow him every terrifying second of the way ... See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moonshot See more »

Filming Locations:

Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Pilgrim spacecraft is a ludicrous hybrid of the entire Gemini spacecraft grafted onto the descent stage of an Apollo lunar module. Such a thing was beyond impossible. There was a lunar Gemini program, the so-called "Big Gemini" which would have featured crew space for as many as 12 astronauts, but this never got past the concept stage and did not include a lunar lander. The model shown in the film has been assembled from plastic model kits of Gemini and Apollo available off the shelf in suburban stores during the late 1960s. See more »

Goofs

After landing on the moon, astronaut Lee Stegler normally walks on the moon surface, just like walking on Earth.Moving in the lunar gravity, one-sixth of Earth's gravity, is a process of loping, including two-footed kangaroo hops. The fine moon soil is quite slippery and the real-life astronauts who actually walked on the moon reported that they needed to plan their movements six or seven steps ahead. See more »

Quotes

Walter Larson: Hold it, hold it, just a minute, everybody. May I have your attention, please? Mission Control reports the Pilgrim has just landed successfully on the Moon.
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Connections

Featured in Altman (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
to the Moon !
8 August 2019 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

James Caan and Robert Duvall starred in a bunch of films together. This one shows them landing on the moon, two years before we actually did. President Kennedy had challenged the U.S. scientists to get us to the moon before the russians, not because it was easy, but because it was hard, and would challenge us to meet the best of our skills and abilities. Ted Knight is in here as "Walter", a couple years before Mary Tyler Moore. also small, uncredited appearances by Mike Farrell and William Conrad. suspense and adventure. just before it happened in real life. some added competition between the astronauts, which probably wasn't really there. i get that so much was unknown at this point, but they have added in arguing and competition where there probably wasn't. who knows. it's okay. Directed by Robert Altman, who had been repeatedly nominated for an oscar, and received it for a lifetime achievement of inspiring work .... think M*A*S*H.


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