Remember Capricorn One? Schmaltzy sci-fi flick released in 1978 where high-up NASA officials arrange for a "fake" landing on Mars, after they discover their craft destined for the red planet had faulty life support. The story follows the reactions of the astronauts, and a Watergate-ish reporter who deduces the hoax.
Despite being portrayed as a villain, NASA provided technical assistance to the original film, including loaning out Apollo spacecraft! Of course, we all know that NASA has been accused of perpetrating hoaxes, har har, but come on... Hollywood cannot even make a movie about a space hoax without NASA's help!
Irony at it's best.
SciFiCool and Space.com both reported that this film was about to under go the re-make treatment, so I dug up a DVD and watched it again. Wow, it's just as bad now as it was back then –- but it might be interesting to see what Capricorn Two brings to the table in this era of special effects. I wonder who will play the astronauts this time around?
The original does have its moments. Even knowing full well this speech by actor Hal Holbrook was over 30 years old, it truly reached out and just smacked me right in the face... because it is as true now as it was in 1978!
"I remember when John Glenn made his first orbit in Mercury. They put up television sets in Grand Central Station, and tens of thousands of people missed their trains to watch. When Apollo 17 landed on the moon, people were calling up the networks and bitching because reruns of 'I Love Lucy' were canceled."
And yes, that is a very, very young Sam Waterston... and yes, that is indeed O.J. Simpson. Btw, is Barbra Streisand a Mars fanatic? At different times, she actually married BOTH of this films' lead actors (Elliott Gould and James Brolin).
Dwayne A. Day wrote a fantastic commentary about the original film and the possible remake over at The Space Review.
Worth the rental if you can find it!