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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

Sometimes one dream is enough to light up the whole sky. 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rocket Boys  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It's true that many Americans were concerned about the Russians launching Sputnik into Earth orbit, mainly because they had beaten them into space, which fueled the Americans' determination to beat them to the Moon. See more »

Goofs

In real life, both the father and son were named Homer Hickam, however in the film the father's name is changed to John. This was most likely done to avoid confusing viewers by having two characters with the same name. See more »

Quotes

Homer: No. Coal mining may be your life, but it's not mine. I'm never going down there again. I wanna go into space.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Yakety Yak
by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Performed by The Coasters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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.


42 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 349 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial