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The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi | 15 April 1968 (Denmark)
A NASA janitor is sent into space.

Director:

Edward Montagne (as Edward J. Montagne)

Writers:

James Fritzell (as Jim Fritzell), Everett Greenbaum
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Don Knotts ... Roy Fleming
Leslie Nielsen ... Major Fred Gifford
Joan Freeman ... Ellie Jackson
Jesse White ... Donelli
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. Fleming
Frank McGrath ... Plank
Arthur O'Connell ... Buck Fleming
Joan Shawlee ... Blonde in Bar
Guy Raymond ... Bert
Nydia Westman ... Aunt Zana
Paul Hartman ... Rush
Robert F. Simon ... Cervantes (as Robert Simon)
Robert Pickering Robert Pickering ... Moran
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Storyline

Don Knotts is Roy Fleming, a small town kiddie-ride operator who is deathly afraid of heights. After learning that his father has signed him up for the space program, Roy reluctantly heads for Houston, only to find out upon arriving that his job is a janitor, not an astronaut. Anxious to live up to the expectations of his domineering father, Roy manages to keep up a facade of being an astronaut to his family and friends. When NASA decides to launch a lay person into space to prove the worthiness of a new automated spacecraft, Roy gets the chance to confront his fears. Written by Teresa E Tutt <tuttt@rpi.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Boldly going where no coward has gone before. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1968 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Reluctant Astronaut See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the film makes a big deal about the United States launching the first person into space with no military experience, the feat had already been done, in real life, by the Russians. Not only was she the first woman in space, but Valentina Tereshkova was the first person with no military experience, and only person until the 1980s. See more »

Goofs

The NASA weather reporter indicates sky conditions will be "CAVU" (clear and visibility unlimited) for the launch. When Roy arrives at the space center on launch day,though, it's an overcast sky. Just minutes later, at the base of the rocket, it's mostly sunny with a few clouds. See more »

Quotes

Roy Fleming: Why is Pa always trying to run my life?
Mrs. Fleming: Well, after all, he was a corporal in World War I, and you know how bossy they were.
Roy Fleming: But, Ma, that war's been over for ages.
Mrs. Fleming: Not to your father. He loves that war just as much today as he did then.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ironside: Five Miles High (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Space Song
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Gershenson
Lyrics by James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thin, dated, but clean comedy
13 September 1999 | by m2dadSee all my reviews

Typical Don Knotts humor though The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was by far a better film. Thin, dated, but clean comedy that might be enjoyed by younger kids, or adults who are nostalgic for that type of 60's genre. Very much reminiscent of the Disney comedies churned out in the 60's. Don Knotts plays a kiddieland "Astronaut" who applies to NASA. He is hired, not as an Astronaut as his family thinks, but a janitor.

To show up the Russians and show off American technology NASA decides to put someone in space who is totally unqualified. Naturally our hero gets the call with at first disastrous results. Not much action and storyline and as usual Knotts' love interest is mismatched. The film might seem like a breath of fresh air to parents considering what Hollywood often exposes us to these days. But contemporary kids will probably have a hard time sitting through The Reluctant Astronaut since there is no chase scenes, violence, sex, and foul language.


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