6.0/10
1,634
21 user 16 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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Sandy Dennis, Michael Burns, Susanne Benton
A Wedding (1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a Louisville truck driver marries the scion of a very wealthy family, but reception at the family estate is boycotted by the invited guests.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Desi Arnaz Jr., Paul Dooley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A frustrated young man, separated from his younger girlfriend, gets involved in a juvenile gang.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Peter Miller, Richard Bakalyan
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

This documentary, which was undertaken soon after James Dean's death, looks at Dean's life through the use of still photographs with narration, and interviews with many of the people ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Altman, George W. George
Stars: Martin Gabel, James Dean, Lew Bracker
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When two men break out of prison, they join up with another and restart their criminal ways, robbing banks across the South.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A repressed, middle-aged divorced U.S. Greek meets a young singer through a dating service and becomes smitten.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Dooley, Marta Heflin, Titos Vandis
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A cynical Buffalo Bill hires Sitting Bull to exploit him and add his credibility to the distorted view of history presented in his Wild West Show.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Newman, Joel Grey, Kevin McCarthy
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a casual gambler befriends a professional one, he begins to mirror his life, sending both deeper into the sleazy gambling world where the stakes keep getting bigger.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: George Segal, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss
Kansas City (1996)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A pair of kidnappings expose the complex power dynamics within the corrupt and unpredictable workings of 1930s Kansas City.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, Harry Belafonte
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Disciples of James Dean meet up on the anniversary of his death and mull over their lives in the present and in flashback, revealing the truth behind their complicated lives. Who is the... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Cher, Karen Black, Sandy Dennis
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Roth, Paul Rhys, Adrian Brine
HealtH (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A parody and satire of the U.S. political scene of the time, HealtH is set at a health food convention at a Florida luxury hotel, where a powerful political organization is deciding on a new president.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, James Garner
Edit

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.)
Edit

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 »
Edit

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:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Released eighteen months before the first manned mission to the moon. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in Florida but there are hills and low mountains in the background of many exterior scenes (except for the ones actually showing launch pad at the NASA Space Center at Cape Canaveral). The highest elevation in Florida is only 345 feet and it is only 10 feet above sea level at Cape Canaveral. See more »

Quotes

Chiz: All right, now, listen. A week before Pilgrim goes, we send up a shelter stocked with food, oxygen, all life support systems on the same type of bird. Everything's in here. There's systems, communications, trajectories and Dunc is my backup. Now, the shelter has a flashing beacon and a radar signal. And Surveyor will probably spot it too. Now, if I don't locate it with all that, I complete a figure eight around the moon, swing back, and reenter behind a beefed up heat shield. Now, three days ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Altman (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Altman's First Time at Bat
28 July 2006 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

"Countdown," Robert Altman's first theatrical release, is the only film I've seen by the prolific director that feels nothing like an Altman project. A bit of history surrounding it reveals that Altman battled the studios over creative control, and that the final version of the film exists more as a product of the studio than of the auteur. Never again, for better or worse, would Altman relinquish control of his films, a tenacity that won him an instantly recognizable style not afforded to many other directors.

So "Countdown" isn't terribly interesting formally and feels like it could have been directed by anybody, but that's not to say it isn't an interesting movie. Released a year before man actually landed on the moon, it provides a remarkably accurate guess at what such a feat would look like, and the film is played with conviction by a strong cast of actors led by James Caan, Robert Duvall and Michael Murphy. Duvall and Murphy would appear again in "MASH," and Murphy would go on to become an Altman regular. Barbara Baxley, known to Altman devotees as Haven Hamilton's wife in "Nashville," fulfills wifely duties in this film as well, though women may as well not even exist for all the attention the screenplay affords them.

As a studio film, "Countdown" isn't half bad. As an Altman film, it's one of his weakest. But nevertheless, it's well worth seeking out, especially for fans of the iconoclastic director.

Grade: B-


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed