7.8/10
71,706
349 user 110 critic

October Sky (1999)

The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,290 ( 145)

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ON DISC
4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Homer Hickam
... John Hickam
... Miss Riley
... Quentin
... Roy Lee
... O'Dell
... Elsie Hickam
... Jim Hickam (as Scott Miles)
Randy Stripling ... Leon Bolden
... Principal Turner
... Ike Bykovsky
... Dorothy Platt (as Courtney Fendley)
David Dwyer ... Jake Mosby
... Mr. Dantzler
... Valentine Carmina
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Storyline

In a 1950's mining town called Coalwood, Homer Hickam is a kid with only one future in sight, to work in the local coal mine like his father. However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on an extraordinary true story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, brief teen sensuality and alcohol use, and for some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rocket Boys  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,905,250, 21 February 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,481,825, 25 July 1999
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John's reference to "Bloody Mingo" is about the early 20th century mine war in Matewan. Chris Cooper, who played John, also portrayed union activist Joe Kenehan in the 1987 film Matewan (1987). See more »

Goofs

The boys created a remote ignition device by having a spring-loaded match rub past a match strike strip and then light the fuse. The strike strip they used was the modern "polka dot" kind. In 1957 all the strike strips were solid strips. See more »

Quotes

Homer: [to John] Dad, I may not be the best, but I come to believe that I got it in me to be somebody in this world. And it's not because I'm so different from you either, it's because I'm the same. I mean, I can be just as hard-headed, and just as tough. I only hope I can be as good a man as you. Sure, Wernher von Braun is a great scientist? but he isn't my hero.
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Crazy Credits

The real life people portrayed in the movie are shown during the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battlestar Galactica: Flight of the Phoenix (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Speedo
Written by Esther Navarro
Performed by The Cadillacs
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A real piece of Americana, not for cynics!
17 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a gem, a real piece of Americana for all that this implies. If you are self programed to resist "life-afirming" stories, just stay away and leave the pleasure to the rest of us who still believe. And what makes the frosting on the cake truly delectable is that it is fact based on a real rags to riches story, no need to nit-pick what details were changed to make a compact story. Chris Cooper is one of the greatest living actors, and the complex, self-conflicted, bottom-line good at the core father he portrayed could only be pulled off successfully by someone with his skill and insight. The simple minded comments, refusing to accept a father who tries to lay down the law all the while sensing that he may possibly be off-track, expose the limitation of the commentator, not the writers or the acting. This is not for the cynical, or the simple minded.


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