6.0/10
1,694
26 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 »
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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

Portions of this movie were filmed at the TRW (now part of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems) Space Park campus in Redondo Beach, California. In 1965, TRW delivered the descent engines for the Apollo moon landing missions. See more »

Goofs

Stegler's helmet has no sun visor, which is critical in space. See more »

Quotes

Ross Duellan: Apollo 3, this is Ross.
Chiz: Ross, I've got a good orbit. Why don't you check your lights down there for malfunction.
Ross Duellan: I know all about your mission, eh, Pilgrim. Scrub it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Robert Altman (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good actors in an enjoyable film
28 December 2001 | by Dave BanksSee all my reviews

Although this movie was made back in the 1960's, tonight was the first time that I ever saw it. My wife and I found it to be an enjoyable Friday night offering. This movie was not about special effects, meteors hurling through space, etc. Rather, it was about the people who comprise the team that organizes and develops the US Space program. As always, Robert Duvall was excellent, this time as an Astronaut who, because of political considerations, was removed as the person who was scheduled to become the first to land on the moon. Duvall played his character with just the right amount of anger and disappointment before becoming the instructor and motivator to the man who replaced him, also well played by James Caan. I wish the ending had been a bit longer but that is a mere quibble with what I feel is a fine movie


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