Countdown (1967)

Unrated   |    |  Sci-Fi, Thriller


Countdown (1967) Poster

Desperate to reach the moon first, N.A.S.A. sends a man and shelter separately, one-way. He must find it to survive. He can't return until Apollo is ready.


6/10
1,659

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  • Robert Duvall in Countdown (1967)
  • Charles Aidman and Joanna Moore in Countdown (1967)
  • James Caan in Countdown (1967)
  • James Caan and Michael Murphy in Countdown (1967)
  • James Caan in Countdown (1967)
  • James Caan in Countdown (1967)

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7 July 2014 | gavin6942
6
| Early Altman
Desperate to reach the moon first, NASA sends a man (James Caan) and shelter separately, one-way. He must find it to survive; he cannot return until Apollo is ready.

This film has been heavily scrutinized for being boring, dated and any number of other things. Critic Howard Thompson calls the film a "limp space-flight drama" which "makes the moon seem just as dull as Mother Earth". Some of this might be fair, some might not. Director Robert Altman, who later went on to big things, got the job through Warner Brothers' B-movie producer William Conrad (1920-1994). So maybe we are wrong to expect too much. (Although it is great to see such early performances from Caan and Robert Duvall.)

Where the movie is and is not Altman's is unclear. The bulk is obviously his, but the story goes that Jack Warner (1892-1978) did not like Altman's use of overlapping dialogue, had him removed from the set, and Conrad shot some new footage. So how much did Altman get to edit into the final film?

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