When the first manned flight to Mars is deemed unsafe and scrubbed on the launch pad, anxious authorities must scramble to save face and retain their funding - and so an unthinkable plot to fake the mission is hatched.


Peter Hyams


Peter Hyams
5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Elliott Gould ... Robert Caulfield
James Brolin ... Charles Brubaker
Brenda Vaccaro ... Kay Brubaker
Sam Waterston ... Peter Willis
O.J. Simpson ... John Walker
Hal Holbrook ... Dr. James Kelloway
Karen Black ... Judy Drinkwater
Telly Savalas ... Albain
David Huddleston ... Hollis Peaker
David Doyle ... Walter Loughlin
Lee Bryant ... Sharon Willis
Denise Nicholas ... Betty Walker
Robert Walden ... Elliot Whitter
James Sikking ... Control Room Man (as Jim Sikking)
Alan Fudge ... Capsule Communicator


Charles Brubaker is the astronaut leading NASA's first manned mission to Mars. Seconds before the launch, the entire team is pulled from the capsule and the rocket leaves earth unmanned much to Brubaker's anger. The head of the programme explains that the life support system was faulty and that NASA can't afford the publicity of a scratched mission. The plan is to fake the Mars landing and keep the astronauts at a remote base until the mission is over, but then investigative journalist Robert Caulfield starts to suspect something. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If the action and adventure don't get you, the suspense will. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The make and model of the old red crop-dusting bi-plane was a Boeing-Stearman Model 75. See more »


The Mars lander used in the film was an identical copy of an Apollo Lunar Module. The LM was designed as a true spacecraft and no aerodynamic design was needed to land on the Moon since the Moon does not have an atmosphere. A lander designed for Mars, however, would have to cope with a substantial atmosphere and would therefore look considerably different from that portrayed in the film. See more »


Lt. Col Peter Willis: Anybody hungry? Oh, the marvels of American science. Here we are millions of miles from earth, and we can still send out for pizza.
See more »

User Reviews

A botched mission to Mars provides suspense and drama.
23 April 2000 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

James Brolin, Sam Waterston and O.J. Simpson are astronauts on the way to Mars. NASA knows the mission will not be a success; so the trio is removed from the capsule before the actual launch. The astronauts are then coerced into playing a hoax on the watching world.

Fine performances also from Hal Halbrook, Brenda Vaccaro, Robert Walden and Elliot Gould. Gould actually has the most exciting scene of the movie. He tries to blow the whistle on the hoax and someone fixes his car to malfunction.

Interesting movie that gives you something to think about.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Official Sites:

HBOMAX | Official site





Release Date:

2 June 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Capricorn One See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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