193 user 96 critic

The Dish (2000)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, History | 4 May 2001 (USA)
0:33 | Trailer

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A remote Australian community, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.



(conceived and written by), (conceived and written by) | 2 more credits »
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Cliff Buxton
Billy Mitchell ... Cameron
... Miss Nolan
Christopher-Robin Street ... Damien
Luke Keltie ... Graeme
Naomi Wright ... Melanie
Ben Wright-Smith ... Nicholas
Beverley Dunn ... Secretary (voice)
Grant Thompson ... Mr. Callen
Bille Brown ... Prime Minister
... Newspaper Reporter
Kevin Harrington ... Ross 'Mitch' Mitchell
Tom Long ... Glenn Latham
... Al Burnett
... Mayor Robert 'Bob' McIntyre


In the days before the July 19, 1969 space mission that marked humankind's first steps on the moon, NASA was working with a group of Australian technicians who had agreed to rig up a satellite interface. That the Aussies placed the satellite dish smack dab in the middle of an Australian sheep farm in the boondocks town of Parkes was just one of the reasons that NASA was concerned. Based on a true story, The Dish takes a smart, witty, comical look at the differing cultural attitudes between Australia and the U.S. while revisiting one of the greatest events in history. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Man's first step on the moon nearly stumbled on earth See more »


Comedy | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Antena  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$70,612, 18 March 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,252,970, 8 July 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Gorton was Prime Minister of Australia in 1969. See more »


When the band are rehearsing for the ball and play their Jimmy Hendrix song, the guitarist's strumming does not match the music. See more »


[first lines]
Worker: Excuse me sir, I'm afraid you've come in the wrong way.
Cliff Buxton: I'm sorry...
Worker: Yeah, this is the old entrance. The visitors center is back out and around to the left.
Cliff Buxton: Right well, I'll wander out then.
Worker: Well worth it. Some amazing times.
See more »

Crazy Credits

John Glenn (III), Neil Armstrong (I), Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (II) are credited by announcers in the flashback preceeding the Apollo 11 flight. See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #9.1 (2012) See more »


The Real Thing
Written by John Young
© Chappell Morris Ltd.
Used by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Russell Morris
© EMI Music Australia
Licensed courtesy of EMI Music Australia
See more »

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User Reviews

A delightful comedy/drama
18 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

This film hooked me the first time I saw it. I have watched it many times since and never tire of it. My reaction is why don't we get more films from Australia here? The humor that comes across during this tense time is what holds this film together. The acting is first rate from Sam Neil all the way down the line. The town of Parkes is proud to be part of the moon landing, but all in all takes it in stride.

Tayler Kane as Rudy was a delight. When he thought that Neil Armstrong was actually on his walkie-talkie, I really laughed. The scene was priceless. Likewise Tom Long as Glenn, the computer expert played his role to perfection. When he jumps to take off his glasses whenever Janine comes into the facility is too much for words. The final bit of hilarity came when Mayor Bob asks everyone at the dance to remain "upstanding" for the American anthem, and the band breaks into the theme for "Hawaii Five-O." The looks on the faces of the American ambassador and Patrick Warbourton are priceless. It doesn't get any better than that.

Yet, the seriousness of the mission still comes across and the pride felt by the crew of the dish is readily visible. When it looks like the wind storm might take them out of the mission, you really feel for Cliff Buxton and his guys. You know he's going to go for it because he earlier said that "This is science's chance to be daring." This is one movie I will never get tired of viewing. It is funny, it is serious, it is poignant, all without being mawkish or overly sentimental. Having lived through the entire U.S. space program (I was 21 when Apollo 11 landed), I know the excitement shown by the characters in the film as Apollo 11 first lifted off, and then when Armstrong came off the LEM and stepped onto the lunar surface. It was an exciting time and the final point of the movie that I enjoyed, was that this event affected many people outside the U.S. This is something that is often overlooked and it was great to see how the people of Parkes and in particular, the crew of the dish, helped bring the pictures from the moon to the rest of the world. Well Done!!!

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