Tom Wolfe's book on the history of the U.S. Space program reads like a novel, and the film has that same fictional quality. It covers the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager to the Mercury 7 astronauts, showing that no one had a clue how to run a space program or how to select people to be in it. Thrilling, funny, charming and electrifying all at once.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies. See more »
When the astronauts are first introduced to the public, a matte line is clearly seen when they each stand up one by one. See more »
There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.
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The Australian theatrical release omitted the short section of dialogue where Nurse Murch describes to the astronauts how to produce the sperm sample. However, it was included in the video and television versions. The Australian television premiere edited out the stronger profanities and the close up of Chuck Yeager's burnt face. See more »
This picture was selected as Best Picture of its year by 2 of the best movie reviewers in recent memory, Siskel & Ebert. They both chose this film because "it showed how things get done in America."
This is one of my favorite films. If you remember the space race (and not fantasize you do like some other reviewers on this page) and the Mercury astronauts were your heroes too, then watching this movie is like going home again.
As for the younger crowd? Watching this true story will be a lot of fun, and there are a lot of laughs. But more importantly, it will give you a look into a time when your country actually tried to do important things: not b/c they were easy, as President Kennedy said, but b/c they were hard. A concept so sadly lacking these days.
Watch everyone, and enjoy. It's quite a ride, and it all really happened.
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