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Countdown (1968) - movie overview

Countdown (1968)

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Plot Description

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 41 minutes

Country USA

Studio Seven Arts, Warner Brothers

More info on

Other Titles
• Countdown
• Countdown - Start zum Mond (1968)

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Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi, Space, Suspense, Tragedy, Doctor

Plot: After decades of working in commercial documentaries and television, Robert Altman got his first crack at Hollywood filmmaking with this dramatic adventure about the first manned space trip to the moon. The story, based on the novel by World War II pilot Hank Searls, concerns two NASA astronauts whose friendship is tested by the race with Russia to land the first man on the moon. The more confident and assured Chiz (Robert Duvall) is bypassed for Lee (James Caan), an apprehensive husband and father, yet together the two men learn to rise above their conflict and work to accomplish the miraculous task. Altmanís first major Hollywood film is a more traditional drama compared to the directorís later efforts, largely due to the fact that he was signed as a director-for-hire, which forced him to keep the narrative tight and focused. He began, however, to explore his ground-breaking overlapping dialogue techniques, which ended up being used in producer William Conradís re-cutting of the picture. Despite being a more controlled project than is associated with Altman's maverick style, COUNTDOWN is a gripping work of entertainment that successfully blends science fiction with personal melodrama, featuring realistic performances from Duvall and Caan as the conflicted friends.

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 Directed by
Robert Altman
Gosford Park, The Player, MASH
 Written by
Loring Mandel
Conspiracy, The Little Drummer Girl
James Caan
The Godfather, Dogville, Eraser
Robert Duvall
The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, Apocalypse Now
Joanna Cook Moore
Touch of Evil, The Hindenburg, Son of Flubber
Barbara Baxley
Sea of Love, East of Eden, Nashville
Charles Aidman
The Wrong Man, Uncommon Valor, Pork Chop Hill
Steve Ihnat
In Like Flint, Madigan, Hour of the Gun
Michael Murphy
X-Men: The Last Stand, Batman Returns, MASH
 Music By
Leonard Rosenman
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Rebel Without a Cause, Barry Lyndon

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Fail-Safe (1964)
Fail Safe (2000)

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