October Sky

October Sky

4.6 36
Director: Joe Johnston

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern

     
 

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NASA engineer Homer H. Hickam, Jr.'s autobiography provided the basis for this drama about a teenager coming of age at the dawn of the space race. In 1957, Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a high school student in Coalwood, West Virginia when the Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. While most of his friends and neighbors react with fear or… See more details below

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Overview

NASA engineer Homer H. Hickam, Jr.'s autobiography provided the basis for this drama about a teenager coming of age at the dawn of the space race. In 1957, Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a high school student in Coalwood, West Virginia when the Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first man-made satellite. While most of his friends and neighbors react with fear or distrust, Homer is instantly fascinated and begins studying everything he can find on jet and rocket design. While many of Homer's friends are puzzled by his new obsession, several new friends share his enthusiasm, and with the encouragement of his teacher (Laura Dern), Homer and his fellow "Rocket Boys" begin designing and launching their own homemade missiles. However, Homer's father (Chris Cooper) takes a dim view of his son's interest in rockets and is convinced Homer's future should be the same as his own, working in the local coal mines. October Sky mixes the drama of traditional family conflicts with a nostalgic glimpse of life in the mid-50's and a look at the earliest days of our journey into space.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Joe Johnston's sentimental film, based on NASA engineer Homer Hickam's autobiographical The Rocket Boys, is a largely breezy, uplifting picture. A Stand By Me for space and science enthusiasts, the film features an excellent young cast, with Jacob Gyllenhaal, Chris Owen, and Chad Lindberg sharing the screen with veterans Laura Dern and Chris Cooper, the latter playing Homer's old-fashioned father with grit and feeling. The tear-jerking plot gathers strength by playing upon the viewer's emotions, and also benefits from its setting in a dim West Virginia mining town, which starkly contrasts with the film's lilting tone. The dark, coal-like tint suggests that the mining town is a virtually inescapable biosphere, a seemingly desolate reality that makes the film's conclusion all the more effective. Johnston's adaptation shores up the details of the book magnificently, moving from one plot point to the next in a free and easy fashion, making for a full-blooded and well-executed film.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
UPC:
0025192554421
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
2,085

Special Features

Closed Caption; Aiming High: The Story of the Rocket Boys; Feature commentary with Homer Hickam; Spotlight on location; Production notes; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jake Gyllenhaal Homer Hickam
Chris Cooper John Hickam
Laura Dern Miss Riley
Chris Owen Quentin
William Lee Scott Roy Lee
Chad Lindberg O'Dell
Natalie Canerday Elsie Hickam
Scott Miles Jim Hickam
Randy Stripling Leon Bolden
Chris Ellis Principal Turner
Terry Loughlin Mr. Dantzler
Elya Baskin Ike Bykovsky

Technical Credits
Joe Johnston Director
Lewis Colick Screenwriter
Betsy Cox Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Cramer Executive Producer
Robert Dalva Editor
Joey DiGaetano Special Effects Supervisor
Mary H. Ellis Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Fanning Art Director
Nancy Foy Casting
Larry Franco Producer
Charles Gordon Producer
Mark Isham Score Composer
Betsy Magruder Asst. Director
Fred Murphy Cinematographer
Gary Pilkinton Special Effects
Barry Robison Production Designer
Marc Sternberg Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Age of Sputnik [2:29]
2. The Coalwood Boy [6:35]
3. To Build a Rocket [8:43]
4. Stroke of Genius [7:30]
5. Cape Coalwood [9:14]
6. Rocket Roulette [3:35]
7. Splitting the Sky [3:01]
8. False Hopes [5:09]
9. Up in Smoke [6:52]
10. Valentine [1:27]
11. I Won't Shed a Tear [12:32]
12. A Life That Counts [1:53]
13. Search for Auk 13 [3:20]
14. Strike [8:55]
15. Homer's in Trouble [4:05]
16. The Highest Honor [3:47]
17. This Ones Yours [5:53]
18. Epilogue/Titles [4:44]

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