After spending several months in an orbiting lab, three astronauts prepare to return to earth only to find their rockets wont fire. After initially thinking they might have to abandon them in orbit, NASA decides to launch a daring rescue. Their plans are complicated by a hurricane headed towards the launch site and a shrinking air supply in the astronauts capsule.Written by
KC Hunt <email@example.com>
The Film Ventures International re-edit of this film (retitled "Space Travelers") was featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988). This was also the only film featured on the show to have won an Academy Award. See more »
The Earth as represented in the on-orbit shots is too small if the spacecraft is supposed to be in Low Earth Orbit (approx 200 miles) as would be expected for an orbital laboratory (and Voskhod) mission. The apparent altitude is more like 1000 miles. See more »
The version titled "Space Travelers" is the one spoofed by Mystery Science Theater 3000. In this version, the scene where Celia Pruett learns of her husband's death is accompanied by a truly AWFUL electronic score (it sounds literally like random keys played on a toy synthesizer, something MST3K made note of). The original version has no music during this scene (and almost no other music; a muted, very low-key score can be heard when Pruett leaves the ship to "fix" it). See more »
If you're inclined to consider when it was made, or you're old enough to remember when the idea of manned space exploration was actually exciting, you might even think it's great. The worst thing I can say is that it's certainly not fast-paced: if you're looking for a sci-fi action spectacular, this probably isn't going to be your cup of tea.
The specifics are covered very well in previous users' comments (and in Roger Ebert's ***/**** review), so I won't repeat them here.
There is one thing I'd like to clarify, though, if I may:
Anyone looking at the user ratings and user comments should take into consideration that a (very) abbreviated version of this movie was shown on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as "Space Travelers." I'm a pretty hardcore MST fan myself, and I agree that it was a funny episode. However, there's a certain type of MSTie that finds it entertaining to visit the IMDb and "vote" (negatively, of course) for the movies featured in their favourite episodes, with a view to knocking them down into the IMDb's "Bottom 100" list. Sometimes this is reasonably well-deserved: honestly, some of the worst (best) movies featured on MST3K would be indefensible in any form. Other times, particularly when the original is cut to pieces (this one lost approximately 1:15 of its 2:15 running time, while "gaining" some lousy incidental music and a shabby new title sequence*), I don't think it's right at all.
If you want to watch an interesting, thought-provoking sci-fi drama, "Marooned" is a good bet. If you want to watch a funny episode of MST3K, "Space Travelers" (#0401) is an equally good bet. You can even watch and enjoy both, as I have. Don't let the strange mix of votes and comments here dissuade you from watching it entirely, though, because that would be a mistake.
(A minor mistake, admittedly, but still -- a mistake.)
* Credit where it's due: most of this hack job was courtesy of re-distributor Film Ventures International, and not the folks at MST3K. If you come across a non-MST'd version of this movie that runs about 1:30, don't waste your time: I guarantee it'll be neither interesting _or_ funny.
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