40 years on from it's original release, Peter Hyams' CAPRICORN ONE remains one of the most sterling examples of sci-fi thrillers - and one of the seminal offerings from the decade of the 1970s
Hyams created his script in the shadow of Watergate, based on the principle that some people didn't believe the Moon Landings happened.
Produced by Lew Grade's ITC company, which went south due to the big-budget failure of RAISE THE TITANIC, prompting Lord Grade to comment 'It would have been easier to lower the Atlantic, the film told of the first manned mission to Mars. Astronauts Charles Brubaker (James Brolin, father of Josh), Peter Willis (Sam Waterston, father of Katherine) and John Walker (OJ Simpson) are interrupted during the course of preparation for blast off and advised to leave the capsule.
Taken to a disused army based, they are told by Head of Space, Dr. James Kelloway (Hal Holbrook) that their life-support system has been subjected to budget compromises and that they would be dead three weeks after launch. Kelloway proposes an alternative - to fake the landing on a soundstage at the base and get them to participate in the scam.
However, a real-life problem in the mission causes Kelloway to rethink the plan - and the trio of spacemen have to survive somehow...
Topped off by a great score by the late Jerry Goldsmith, with cinematography by Bill (JAWS, ROCKY) Butler, CAPRICORN ONE is a classic suspend your disbelief yarn, with plenty of great moments, with great performances from Elliott Gould and David (CHARLIES ANGELS) Doyle, plus two great supporting performances in Karen Black as Gould's reporter colleague and Telly Savalas as the cynical but determined crop pilot Albain.
Hyams went on to direct Sean Connery in 1981's OUTLAND and Jean-Claude Van-Damme in TIMECOP and SUDDEN DEATH.
A 1970's sci-fi classic.