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The Reluctant Astronaut [1967]

Director:Edward Montagne
Writer:Everett Greenbaum
James Fritzell
Composer:Vic Mizzy
Length:101 minutes
(1 hour 41 minutes)
MPAA Rating:Unrated
Sorting Category:Comedy
IMDB Rating:6.0/10
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: A kind kiddy-ride operator ends up at NASA despite a deathly fear of heights.

Reaction: Don Knotts is, as always, watchable and likable. The story is not terribly involved which is fine for the kids. It's odd to see this early interpretation of what spaceflight is like.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Edward Montagne => Director
Everett Greenbaum => Writer
James Fritzell => Writer
Vic Mizzy => Composer
Arthur O'Connell => Buck Fleming
Don Knotts => Roy Fleming
Frank McGrath => Plank
Guy Raymond => Bert
Jeanette Nolan => Mrs. Fleming
Jesse White => Donelli
Joan Freeman => Ellie Jackson
Joan Shawlee => Blonde in Bar
Leslie Nielsen => Major Fred Gifford
Nydia Westman => Aunt Zena
Paul Hartman => Rush
Robert F. Simon => Cervantes (as Robert Simon)
Robert Pickering => Moran

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Factual errors: When Roy is in space, he's shown doing somersaults while weightless. One of NASA's ground personnel who is monitoring him reports that "he's rotating at a rate of 360 degrees per second", which means that he'd be making a complete rotation every second. His true speed of rotation is nowhere near that fast.
  • Crew or equipment visible: When in the space capsule, the strings holding the microphone, the doll, the crackers and peanut butter are visible. When Don Knotts is floating around the capsule, the strings holding him are also visible.
  • Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In the beginning scene, Roy announces a "Meteorite shower". A Meteroite is a chunk of rock from space that strikes the surface of Earth. Roy should have said "Meteor shower".
  • Continuity: In one scene Don Knotts's character tells Jesse White's character that he is an only child. A few scenes later his nieces dedicate a song to uncle Roy. How can he be an uncle without any siblings?
  • Continuity: When Fleming respools the capsule's programming tape, he has accidentally gotten the peanut butter mixed in with it. The tape reels are so clogged, they cannot play. Later, when Fleming looks out the capsule window at Hawaii, the tape reels are seen in the background running normally. The peanut butter then returns in subsequent shots.
  • Factual errors: There is no desert in the vicinity of the NASA space center in Houston.
  • Factual errors: Don Knotts' astronaut suit displays an American flag with 48 stars, not the correct 50 stars.