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Sci -Fi - Space Travel

Space Cowboys (2000)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: PG, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorClint Eastwood
Writers/ScriptKen Kaufman, Howard Klauser
StarringCliint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner, James Cromwell, Marcia Gay Harden, William Devane, Jay Leno, John Hamm, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.5/10 by 80,556 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 78% by 119 reviewers. Review2view: 8/10.

Elevator Pitch: When the orbit of a Russian satellite of enormous size begins to decay, it is found that its operating system was American and actually designed by former test pilot Frank Corvin. Hence the manager in NASA, Bob Gerson, an old enemy of Frank asks him to train an astronaut to go up and fix it. In return Frank requires that he and his three team members, all old stagers, be trained and sent up in a space shuttle to fix the satellite. Bob has no intention of allowing them to fly but pretends to go along with the request, until the plan is leaked to the media and the four become celebrities, enhancing NASAs chances of getting government funding. Hence, despite the fact that one of them is suffering from cancer they take off in the shuttle and get to the satellite, but out in space nothing is quite as it seems.

Content: No sex, and the only nudity is a rear view of the geriatric spacemen during their medical examinations. Corvin gets the band together and they go through astronaut training including that thing that creates unpleasant G forces. He argues with Bob Gerson – they are reliving their former antipathy. The team also take part in simulator training to land the shuttle. It looks like a real shuttle launch is used as they go into space. There is a bit of romance between Hawk, one of the guys, and Sara Holland, one of Bob’s colleagues. The four appear on the Jay Leno show. Once out there we see the shuttle at work with the very unusual Russian satellite.

A View: I am working at a slight disadvantage here. I have always suspected that the cable channels in Spain carry out unauthorised cuts in order to fit the adverts in. For this film they seemed to have lopped the first ten minutes off so I missed the Bell X-2. Other than that it was great to see the other old stagers making up the team particularly James Garner, Donald Sutherland and also William Devane who was the flight controller. And the stuff in space – some of the best I have ever seen.  So in my view, well worth the cost of a download.

 Three other films which deal with space travel within the solar system which have been reviewed here include: Gravity, The Martian and Ad Astra.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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