12 user 1 critic

The Astronaut (1972)

Government officials, not wanting to have the space program canceled, substitute a lookalike for an astronaut who died on a Mars mission.


(teleplay), (teleplay) | 3 more credits »


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Credited cast:
... Kurt Anderson
... Eddie Reese / Col. Brice Randolph
... Dr. Wylie
... John Phillips
... Gail Randolph
... Don Masters
... Tom Everett
... Astronaut Higgins
Paul Kent ... Carl Samuels
Loretta Leversee ... Toni Scott
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ray Dimas ... Freddie
Patsy Garrett ... Boy's Mother
... Agent Wilson
Paul Micale ... Beachgoer
John S. Ragin ... Walters


In the not too distant future the first American astronaut prepares to set foot on the planet Mars. The world is watching this event live on television. Everything is a success, or so the world thinks, and he is treated as a hero upon his return. Later, it is discovered that the mission was a failure and as the astronaut was on Mars he died of an undetermined condition either due to toxic poisoning due to conditions on Mars or some unknown bacteria native to Mars. Mission controllers on Earth saw this happening and fed a false image into the "live" broadcast so as not to panic the public. The "astronaut" who returned to Earth was actually a double who had undergone surgery so as to look like the real astronaut. Only the wife of the astronaut began to suspect the man who returned, although looking identical to her husband, was somehow different. Unfortunately for those who created the hoax, the Russians announced that due to the American success they had launched their own mission ... Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

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Release Date:

8 January 1972 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kurt Anderson: [final line] Mr. President, I have some very unpleasant news - for both of us.
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User Reviews

A favorite film
30 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is the movie that made me a fan of Monte Markham. He positively shines! And I love how the movie is more concerned with the human factor rather than the hardware. Special effects are well and good, but that's all a lot of newer movies have. I taped this a couple of years after its first airing, and have never tired of watching it!

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