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1990s, Space Travel

Contact (1997)

Duration 2h 30m Rating (UK) PG
Source of story An adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel of the same name.
Director Robert Zemeckis
Writers/Script James V. Hart, Michael Goldenberg (story by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan)
Starring David Morse, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, James Woods, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe, Jake Busey, John Hurt
Elevator Pitch A SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) astronomer faced with having her funding withdrawn gains assistance from a reclusive billionaire but, when she identifies signals from the vicinity of Vega, the government attempts to take over the job. Despite the setbacks she remains involved and over time the communications from the star are identified as plans for the construction of an elaborate device which will allow one person to travel into space. Who would be more suitable to be a space traveller?
Content If you have followed any of the more conventional tales about journey into space you could tell how it goes. The scientist spends time on the vicinity of some radio telescopes and listens to noises on the radio. She lobbies people in formal situations for money. The space travel device is built, and after some things go wrong she travels. There is a bit of snogging and one implied sex act.
A View This is a very long, pretty linear film which, for those of us who remember Carl Sagan, is what we might expect. Some critics were unenthusiastic about it, but it achieved 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and it seems to have made money. Today we might consider it to be a bit dated, so if you want to watch a space travel film maybe choose another.
Additional Info This movie had been through an agonising period of development starting with a treatment by Carl Sagan back in 1985, which he later turned into the book. Several directors had been hired, including George Miller, before Zemeckis finally accepted the job, having turned it down years earlier.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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