6.8/10
17,864
158 user 75 critic

Capricorn One (1977)

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A NASA Mars mission won't work, and its funding is endangered, so they decide to fake it just this once. But then they have to keep the secret.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writer:

Peter Hyams
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jet | car | biplane | rattlesnake | funeral | See All (64) »

Taglines:

The mission was a sham. The murders were real. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Capricornio Uno See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Peter Hyams once said of audience reaction to this movie: "Audiences just stood up and cheered at one point in the film. It wasn't because it was such a great movie, it's just that certain movies strike certain chords with people. In a successful movie, the audience, almost before they see it, know they're going to like it. I remember standing in the back of the theater and crying because I knew that something had changed in my life. Sitting on the film cans outside the screening room, I felt my cheeks were wet with tears. A bright man, David Picker [studio executive David V. Picker] came over to me and said, 'You're going to have a lot of new best friends tomorrow. You better know how to handle it'." See more »

Goofs

When the astronauts split up in the desert Col Brubaker (Brolin) says he's going West and tells John (Simpson) to go North, and Peter (Waterston) to go South. But actually John goes South and Peter goes North. This error is repeated later by Kelloway (Holbrook) when informed of John's death he tells the searchers to look West and South for Brubaker and Peter, instead of West and North. This all is further proven when each flare is fired; John to Brubaker's left (South) and Peter to his right (North). See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col Peter Willis: [Delirious, crawling up a cliff] Guy travels to Europe for a vacation... it's his first time, he sees the sights, has a real good time... after a while he decides to call home... gets his brother on the phone and says 'so how are things back home?'
[pauses, panting]
Lt. Col Peter Willis: ... and the brother says 'your cat died!'... the guy says 'you shouldn't break bad news like that, you should...
[pauses, strains as he pulls himself upwards]
Lt. Col Peter Willis: ... break it to me gently... like, you should say, 'the cat crawled out on ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes: Episode #1.3 (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Mars Hoax
2 January 2006 | by Movie_SavageSee all my reviews

This movie is indeed a noteworthy sci-fi/conspiracy flick, even after all these years.

Unmistakeably based on the real-life "moon hoax" pseudo-conspiracy, it takes the issue one step further and explores just how far your government might go to cover up its own incapacity and silence everyone who gets in its way (Ironically enough for that matter, the moon landings are portrayed in this movie as a non-hoax and really did take place).

When three would-be Mars astronauts are secretly pulled out of their capsule just minutes before liftoff due to a malfunctioning life support system that would have meant certain death, they are quickly transferred to an abandoned air force base out in the desert. Upon arrival, they are told that they'll have to play make-believe using the facility's very own "Mars" sound stage. It's got everything in place to fool the public about an actual Mars landing. Things go somewhat well and although the astronauts really begin to resent the big swindle they were drawn into, nobody really notices. That is, until their real-life landing capsule disintegrates while re-entering the earth's atmosphere. They figure that now that they're all supposed to be dead, the government will have them killed for real....

So much for the plot, the rest is yours to find out about. Definitely worth watching. One thing though, try to watch it in widescreen - somehow they showed the 4:3 full-frame version on TV here, which was a major drawback considering the movie's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

8 out of 10!


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