Movies like Countdown


1967, Robert Altman


Countdown is a 1967 science fiction film directed by Robert Altman, based on the 1964 novel The Pilgrim Project by Hank Searls. Made before M*A*S*H, the film was subject to re-editing by the studio. Countdown stars James Caan and Robert Duvall as astronauts vying to be the first American to walk on the Moon as part of a crash program to beat the Soviet Union.

In the late 1960s, astronauts training in an Apollo simulator have their session ended early. They grumble about it, but their commander, Chiz (Robert Duvall), knows the reason for the abort: the Pilgrim Program. The Russians will be sending a Moon landing mission up in four weeks. The Americans had a secret alternate plan to the Apollo program, the fictional program Pilgrim, in case this happened. One astronaut would be sent to the Moon in a one-way rocket (depicted in the film as a Titan II), using a modified Project Gemini craft. He would stay on the Moon for a few months in a shelter pod launched and landed before him. Later, astronauts from an Apollo mission would come to retrieve him.

If you like Countdown, you might also like Films Based On American Novels, Films Based On Science Fiction Novels, Films Scored By Leonard Rosenman, and Cold War Films.

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