I think I read this someplace: Joe Johnston (director of the film and also one of the guys who founded Industrial Light and Magic for work on the first Star Wars film) and one of his producers or something were racking their brains for a title for the movie, "Rocket Boys" (I guess) was lacking something.
One day they were messing with a PC program that forms words from other words (ie: you type in a word or series of words and it mixes the letters up and forms other words) I think the technical term is an "anagram"
Anyway, they typed in "Rocket Boys" and sure enough what comes back is "October Sky". They were shocked to say the least. The title summed up everything in the movie since the movie revolves around Sputnik. At first Homer Jr did not like the idea, but he warmed up to it after the "movie poster paperback novel" came out and took off.
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