A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
When a Russian satellite orbiting the Earth starts to veer off course. It seems like the guidance system in the satellite is of American origin. It's important to try and fix it before it comes into the atmosphere. The NASA man, Bob Gerson tries to find out who designed it and discovers that it was designed by Frank Corvin, an Air Force pilot who 40 years ago was part of the team who was originally suppose to go to space but when NASA was formed and Gerson's influence they were dropped. Gerson asks Frank to help but Frank still holds a grudge. But after some prodding he agrees but only if he and his team can go there so he can fix it. Gerson reluctantly agrees so Frank recruits his former team members, Tank Sullivan, Jerry O'Neill and Hawk Hawkins to join him. After some strenuous tests, they're cleared. And they go up with two other astronauts and check out the satellite and discover that they weren't told the whole truth.Written by
To create "weightlessness," the actors clung onto objects as if they were grounding themselves. Clint Eastwood opted against using the "Vomit Comet," the plane used to film weightlessness in Apollo 13 (1995). See more »
While Jerry desperately needs his glasses for everything, including reading, on board of the shuttle he does some fine tuning on a computer panel without his prescription (sun) glasses. This is not unusual since glasses (including distance, reading, and progressive lenses) have a definite "starting" distance for proper focus. Many people who read glasses remove them for up close work. When Jerry is working on the panel and also using the calculator, he's working just a few inches from his nose, much closer than a person normally reads at. This is to adjust for his vision problems and be able to focus on things up close. See more »
There is so much about "Space Cowboys" that is unrealistic and, if you think about it, silly. But, it manages to tell this story in an entertaining fashion. So, my advice is just turn off your brain and enjoy.
The story begins in 1958. Despite all their training towards orbital travel, NASA is created and the Air Force folks who were working towards space were told to stand down. This part of the story is true and some of the pilots from all different branches of the military went on to become NASA astronauts. But some didn't...and the story now jumps to the present (2000). Frank (Clint Eastwood) is still rather bitter he never got a chance to go to space when his project for the Air Force was canceled...but now, in his senior years, an opportunity arises. A Soviet satellite is falling out of orbit and somehow the only person on a planet of 7,000,000,000 people who can fix it is Frank!! He insists that he doesn't want to tell a young astronaut how to fix it but will go to space himself...provided NASA also allows his three friends who were ALSO with project Daedalus to join him on the flight.
What follows are lots of old geezer jokes and montages. Eventually, the four guys are shot into space with two young hot shots. Unfortunately there are two huge problems. The satellite is NOT a communications satellite AND one of the crew members might just endanger millions because he's a horse's butt.
So is any of this believable? Not really. But it is engaging and the special effects quite amazing for 2000. My only real quibbles are that James Garner's character is poorly written, as he acts nothing like a Baptist minister (how many Baptist ministers say the Rosary as well as quote Alan Shepard instead of making a simple prayer??) and a lot of what surprises everyone in the film seems telegraphed. But the good far outweighs the bad and the picture is never dull.
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