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Operation Avalanche (2016)

1:57 | Trailer

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In 1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history.


Matt Johnson
2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Johnson ... Matt Johnson
Owen Williams Owen Williams ... Owen Williams
Andrew Appelle Andrew Appelle ... Andy Appelle (as Andy Appelle)
Jared Raab Jared Raab ... Jared Raab
Josh Boles Josh Boles ... Josh Boles
Ray James Ray James ... CIA director Brackett
Sharon Belle ... Sharon Belle
Krista Madison Krista Madison ... Julie Williams
Joe Thomas ... James Webb (voice) (as Joe J. Thomas)
John Henry Robson John Henry Robson ... Baby Simon
Madeleine Sims-Fewer ... Madeleine
Tom Bolton ... Agent #1
John Osmokrovic John Osmokrovic ... Agent #2
Chris Gonsalves ... Agent #3
Brad Brackenridge Brad Brackenridge ... Texas studio manager


1967: the height of the Cold War. The CIA suspects there is a Russian mole inside of NASA, sabotaging the Apollo program. They send two young agents on a mission to go undercover, posing as documentary filmmakers to capture NASA's race to the moon. The real mission - use their access and technology to hunt down the leak. But what they discover is far more shocking than soviet spies - Their government may be hiding a secret about Apollo that could define the decade, and the White House will stop at nothing to silence anyone who learns it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including a brief sexual reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


Canada | USA



Release Date:

16 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operaatio Avalanche See more »


Box Office


$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$55,000, 21 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (opening sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is director Matt Johnson's thesis film. See more »


When the "documentary crew" first arrives at NASA in Houston near the beginning of the film, a montage of different NASA buildings is shown in the background. Very few if any of these buildings are actually in Houston, including the Saturn V rocket they "drive by", which is actually next to Highway 65 outside Huntsville, Alabama. See more »


Matt Johnson: Have you heard of a conspiracy theory before?
Owen Williams: Yeah. I think we're in one.
See more »


References Lolita (1962) See more »


Whipping Post
Written by Gregg Allman (uncredited)
Performed by John Fogerty
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice try about a piece of history, too often overlooked by today's film industry
24 October 2016 | by qeterSee all my reviews

Seen at the Viennale 2016: It seems that Matt Johnson, an exaggerated enthusiastic filmmaker, had a lot of fun doing this movie. He was able to transfer his enthusiasm onto the movie and the movie was able to transfer it to the Viennese audience. There are a lot of meta levels in the making of this mock documentary. The movie content is based upon the crazy conspiracy theories surrounding the first moon-landing. The main level just shows a documentary that shows the tricks that had to be played that the whole world believed that the landing was real. One sub level is that Johnson interviewed the real NASA in tricky ways to get answers in the right direction, so he was able to include that footage into his movie. Another level is the story of the camera team that develops this story in the movie itself. Johnson is the director of the film crew in the movie and also the director of The Avalanche. Another story is about politics and the power of state to hide its secrets. Even footage of Stanley Kubrick could be used. Quite entertaining. But most impressing: the pictures showing the moon mission of Apollo itself. The result is a homage about this great decade of the US flying to the moon. The mock documentary is not faultless, but quite good entertainment. And also added is a low-budget car chase - a real highlight to see.

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