Capricorn One

1977

Action / Thriller

171
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 61%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 18,336

Synopsis


Downloaded 17,236 times
April 9, 2019

Director

Cast

Elliott Gould as Ronald 'Ron' Devereaux
Hal Holbrook as Gus Leroy
James Brolin as Fabbrizio Disguisey
Karen Black as Sandra / Eleanor
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
929.81 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
123 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.9 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
123 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by virek213 8 / 10 / 10

A Mission To Mars That Wasn't

The notion of conspiracy within the bowels of the U.S. government was very much on people's minds following the triple traumas of the JFK assassination, Vietnam, and Watergate. Even something as noble as manned space flight couldn't escape the grasp of the conspiracy theorists out there, as many of them didn't believe that the Apollo 11 moon landing of July 20, 1969 ever took place, and that it was all done on a Hollywood soundstage. In 1978, one film took this conspiracy all the way to Mars and back. That film was CAPRICORN ONE, a fairly taut combination of science fiction and conspiracy thriller elements that, in some ways, presaged later TV shows like "The X Files", and, perhaps inadvertently, also accelerated the conspiracy theorists' attacks on America's manned space program. James Brolin, Sam Waterston, and O.J. Simpson portray the three men who are about to embark on a ten-month space voyage whose ultimate goal is a manned walk on Mars. But just minutes before their ship, Capricorn One, is to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center, they are immediately ordered off; and the spacecraft launches to Mars without them. Bewildered and upset, they are then told by NASA's director (Hal Holbrook) that the life support system built into the spacecraft was faulty and that it is likely that it would have failed before the ship could ever get into Mars' orbit. They are instead ordered to "fake" the landing and the Mars walk on a soundstage in a hangar somewhere in the Mojave Desert, much against their principles though under the threat of their families being killed. But when the spacecraft they are supposedly coming home in loses its heat shield upon re-entry, everyone presumes that the three men have been incinerated. The trouble is, of course, that all three men are actually alive and well, and Holbrook knows that the space program's continued success is incumbent upon them never appearing anywhere in public again. In steps an enterprising news reporter (Elliott Gould) who, against all odds and some very sardonic colleagues, investigates the Capricorn One incident and uncovers the truth, only to be pursued by military personnel in Blackhawk choppers. In the meantime, Brolin, Waterston, and Simpson break out of the hangar and escape into the Mojave Desert. Only Brolin is able to evade capture or death, however; and it is only through the quick thinking of Gould and an eccentric crop-dusting pilot (Telly Savalas) that he is able to sort everything out for the world. Writer/director Peter Hyams, whose later sci-fi forays included the HIGH NOON-inspired 1981 opus OUTLAND, and the much-underrated 1984 film "2010" (the sequel to the 1968 Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) directs with a good flair for suspense sequences, especially Brolin's struggle for survival in the desert as he is chased by government agents, including loose homages to both Kubrick's DOCTOR STRANGELOVE and Hitchcock's NORTH BY NORTHWEST. He also gets good performances from his cast, however, not only from Brolin, Simpson, and Waterston as the beleaguered would-be heroes, but also from Holbrook, who does a typically solid turn as the NASA bureaucrat with a mess on his hands. The Mars landing sequences, though done on a soundstage for obvious reasons, have a crazy kind of realism to them, thanks to the special effects work of Bruce Mattox, Henry Millar, and Robert Spurlock, and the solid cinematography of Butler, who worked on Steven Spielberg's 1975 suspense masterpiece JAWS. Goldsmith, who had won an Oscar for THE OMEN in 1976, and whose sci-fi credits include PLANET OF THE APES, also provides a tense and dramatic score, with almost Stravinsky-like menace. CAPRICORN ONE is not necessarily the perfect science fiction film; one can spot a number of implausible situations right off. That said, however, it was definitely one of those films that was right for its time, in that it managed to attach something as honorable as manned space travel to a Watergate-type of cover-up scenario. Even if the plot doesn't hold up to 21st century standards (and it may have bee hard to imagine even back in 1978), it still (rightly) made a big deal about how our government too often attempts to dissemble the truth.

Reviewed by Maddyclassicfilms 8 / 10 / 10

A funny thing happened on the way to Mars

Capricorn One is written and directed by Peter Hyams and has music by Jerry Goldsmith. The film stars James Brolin, Elliot Gould, Hal Holbrook, Sam Waterson, O.J Simpson, Telly Savalas, Karen Black and Brenda Vaccaro. NASA's first manned flight to Mars is about to lift off. The three man crew Charles Brubaker(James Brolin), Peter Willis(Sam Waterston)and John Walker (O.J Simpson)are removed from the capsule before takeoff. They are flown to a remote base far away from any inhabited area. Demanding answers they learn that the capsules life support system was shown to be faulty, revealing that and cancelling the mission would have given the government a perfect opportunity to end the space programme on the grounds of financial cost. Dr. James Kelloway(Hal Holbrook)is a high ranking NASA employee, he threatens the lives of the Astronauts families and persuades the Astronauts to fake TV transmissions as if they were flying to Mars and landing on the planet. Using recordings of the crew from the test simulations Mission Control thinks the crew are aboard the spacecraft. NASA Technician Elliot Whitter(Robert Walden)suspects something is wrong when he notices strange readouts, he reports this to his superiors. He also tells his friend Robert Caulfield(Elliott Gould)who is a reporter. When Whitter disappears, Caulfield does some investigating of his own. In a TV studio on the base, a fake Martian landscape is set up for the transmissions, the crew must step before the cameras trying to think of some way of communicating something is wrong.When the craft is destroyed in space the crew can't be released because the hoax would be exposed. They try and escape but are pursued by agents intent on killing them. This is a real tense thriller. Goldsmith's score fits well with the film and the cast are all quite good. Telly Savalas is hysterical as a rude crop duster who helps Caulfield. Brenda Vaccaro is moving as Brubaker's wife Kay, the scene where she reads to her children while trying not to cry is very touching. I liked the film but have a couple of complaints. One is with the ending, yes you can argue that at that moment the truth is out but I wanted more. It couldn't have hurt to make the ending a bit longer and show us justice being done. Secondly it seems that the crew didn't put up enough of a fight when they are ordered to take part in the hoax, yes their families are threatened but they are shown no proof to back up what they are told, we are also never shown proof of what Kelloway tells them regarding their families. How did they know that it wasn't just a bluff? Apart from those things though this is a really good film. One of my favourite films from the 1970's.

Reviewed by stevenlshoup 8 / 10 / 10

"We're dead." "What?" "We're dead."

WHY CAPRICORN ONE? Capricorn: "Capricorn is one of the most stable and (mostly) serious of the zodiacal types. These independent, rock-like characters have many sterling qualities. They are normally confident, strong willed and calm. These hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme persons, are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves." It ain't just about the mission's name. The space program is in trouble. Their next mission MUST succeed or the funding is axed and the entire agency vanishes. That next mission is the first manned landing on Mars and it is going very smoothly indeed, to the awe and excitement of the U.S.A. and the entire world. What the world outside of the space agency doesn't know is that the whole mission is fake. It's been set up and broadcast from a deserted military base 300 miles west of Houston. It seems a critical piece of equipment proved faulty too late to abort the project and so the space agency (it is never directly called N.A.S.A.)-- in cahoots with shadowy, high government powers -- had pulled the three astronauts from the capsule moments before launch, whisked them to the deserted base, explained the situation, pleaded for their (reluctant)cooperation through some not-so-subtle intimidation, and all has been peaches and cream and now it looks like their "re-entry and landing" will be near perfect albeit 200 miles off-course so that they can get the spacemen back into the capsule. Nothing is going to ruin this mission. So what if one of the console technicians has noticed that the TV broadcasts are earthbound, not from space? He simply disappears. Nothing is going to ruin this mission. ALmost nothing: a bad circuit in one of the other consoles claims that the heat shield has separated from the capsule upon re-entry and all three astronauts burned alive in the capsule. But they are alive and well in a deserted base in Texas . . . and they know that they are expendable. Nothing is going to ruin this mission. The chase is on between 3 frightened pilots, a far-flung, well organized cover-up machine, two relentless black-ops helicopters, and a lazy, cynical reporter (friend of the missing console jockey) who smells a rat. Writer/Director Hyams has build himself one slick, fast-paced thriller from a script conceived during his CBS reporter days covering Vietnam. It was there that he envisioned how easy it could be for a huge government to cover up anything it wished. In the post-Moonwalk years, when some wing-nut conspiracy groupies insisted NASA had faked the moon landing, Hyams found his base plot and it works like a charm! The casting is near perfect. Dependable old Hal Holbrook is the head of the space agency, in over his head and resigned to having to kill his crew, including the team leader (Brolin); his friend of 16 years. Nothing is going to ruin this mission. Brolin, O.J. Simpson, and Sam Waterston never really get any chance for character development, save for Waterston's likable wise-cracking. Brenda Vacarro and Karen Black give equally strong performances; David Huddleston is dead on as the Florida senator in support of the space program. In tow with James Karen as the Vice President, they have some enjoyable moments satirizing Washington Double-Speak; Robert Walden, as the doomed console technician, gives an intense, sad, dark sense of puzzlement in his performance of a man who is trying to help but feels like he's to blame. Elliot Gould just normally comes across to me as someone sleeping his way through a role, but for this picture it is perfect for the character of reporter Caulfield. This sleepy, cynical, unenergetic man who is slowly putting the pieces together and too frightened to say his surmises out loud, is deftly handled through Gould's stock-in-trade persona. I really felt that David Doyle and Telly Savalas should've switched roles. Neither man was truly convincing in his performance and their characters might have been better served being traded between them. However, the real star of the film is Bill Butler, the Director of Photography. What he releases on your screen is an artful array of cinema: The pull back, and cross pan shots of the in-studio Mars terrain; the terrifying out-of-control car Gould is trying to avoid being pulverized in; the quiet terror of Hal Holbrook's office as he makes and takes his telephone calls; Those evil insect-like helicopters in landing or in flight; the dark dread in the cave as Brolin, hiding from the pursuers, confronts a nasty viper; the stark, dry brittleness of the desert that Brolin, Waterston, and Simpson must challenge; The strain and exhaustion of Waterston as he scales the dry mountain side to escape his fate, but in vain. But most of all it is the exciting, jolting aerial ballet of the copter and bi-plane chase. It draws you in visually to the point of giving you a queasy stomach! (Yes, I know. There are no mountains in central Texas. There are no 50 feet tall gorillas in New York City either, but you enjoyed King Kong didn't you?) The icing on the cake of Butler's images and Hyams well done script is the pounding, driving score by Jerry Goldsmith. It is all beats of percussion, plucks of strings and short orchestral punches. It gives a sense of impending doom, fear, conspiracy, and paranoia. While it is safe to say that N.A.S.A is the most non-political, benign department of the government, an agency whose efforts have given the public such fruits of success as the microwave oven, superior fibers for insulation, freeze-dried foods, and Tang, just to name a scant few, if you can put your common sense on hold and believe that the space agency could be cold, crisp, self-serving, and ruthless enough to kill to stay alive, then you've come to the right movie.

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