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Project Mercury: A New Frontier
Project Mercury A New Frontier
Director: Mark Gray
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
NR     2005     24hr 0min

Spacecraft Films made new digital transfers of over 54 hours of material on Mercury in the production of this 6 DVD set. From development to each manned flight, you'll experience Mercury as never before. The most complete ...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Mark Gray
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
Studio: Spacecraft Films
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 12/10/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 24hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 6
SwapaDVD Credits: 6
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set,Collector's Edition
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

You have to see this to believe it!
Michael D. Harrold | Terre Haute, IN | 01/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the last couple years I've started buying up the Spacecraft Films on Gemeni and Apollo. I was only a little boy when the Apollo missions took place, and my memories of the moon footage are vauge at best. However, with these sets I've been able to go back and enjoy all those amazing moments and images in increadible detail. I thought that Apollo 11 or the late Apollo missions were the greatest hight this series could reach, but I was wrong. Project Mercury is the finest DVD set of the series.

Why? Well, party it's because the original Mercury astronauts are more legendary than any other individuals in the space program (with the possible exception of Ed White's first space walk, the crew of Apollo 11 first landing on the moon, and the brilliant performance and bravery of the crew of Apollo 13). From films like The Right Stuff, so many people know the names of these early pioneers of American space exploration. So how amazing is it to find that in this set we have, in astonishingly clear color imagry, all of the testing, training, launches, onboard and recovery footage preserved for us in this one set. Not only that, but you get to hear the press conferences and interviews and mission transmissions. Now I'm not one of those people who can be easily entertained by endless testing footage or engineering discussions. In other sets I've fast forwarded through some things because of this. In this set, however, every interview and conference is marked by the humor, wit and spirit of America's original Mercury astronauts, and I found myseld thorougly enjoying the cutting remarks and clever comebacks of these great Americans. There's a spirit and joy to this set that's hard to explain, but it's definately there.

For anyone with a real interest in the history and personalities of early space exploration, this is as rich a banquet for you as I can imagine. Even if you don't have the patience to sift through all of it at once, there's a great documentary overview on Mercury that begins the set with voice over from the Mercury astronauts themselves. You'll learn things you never knew about those flights, and I guarantee you'll come away even more impressed with the bravery and character of the astronauts and the hundreds of people who made these flights possible. If you've never purchased a Spacecraftfilms title before, this is the MUST HAVE title to being with."
So This Is How It All Started ...!
Laurenc SVITOK | Bratislava Slovakia | 01/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought my first Spacecraftfilms set two years ago knowing nothing about the company, nothing about the man called Mark Gray.It was Gemini set and I was stunned ! After seeing that material my first idea was how nice it would be to have similar document on Mercury.
Well, it's here, and it's not just documentary, it is a surgical study of the first US steps into space which opened the road to the moon later in the decade. Six discs contain tremendous quantity of the material mapping the history of putting men and machines together to reach outer space for the first time.
There is everything from first ideas, development, tests to actual flights of the technology, detailed materials on recruitment, medical tests, training, flights and post-flight activities of the Original Seven.
Hours of material you simply cannot stop watching! One thing is absolutely sure - there exists nothing matching this documentary neither in completeness nor in quality.
Three full discs are dedicated to the missions itself with long hours of preparation, launcher assemblies, capsule tests and matings to the launchers, suiting of the astronauts, Mercury ingress, multi-angle launches, onboards (both video and audio), splashdowns (available with last two missions) and recoveries in full detail.
There are many rarities ( Carpenter onboard the rescue helicopter, Grissom watching the drogue canister of his lost Liberty Bell 7 onboard the aircraft carrier - the only part of his spaceship recovered that time, you can see the living legends like Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Gunter Wendt at their beginnings, you will admire the skills of the truck drivers maneuvering the trailers with launchers into impossible directions and angles, etc.), many surprises ( origin of the figure 7 in each Mercury spaceship name), added commentaries and interviews, VOA materials, and more. Simply 24 hours of watching and listening !

All unmanned test flights are covered - Little Joe escape tower tests are beautiful showing the detailed study of the escape system and parachutes sequence including onboards.
Liberty Bell 7 loss is another highlight - you can actually see Gus Grissom leaving the capsule and when you look at him minutes after being brought onboard the carrier you see how exhausted he was and that it was a close call really ! Multiangle footage of his capsule rescue attempts are documented in marvelous detail.
And there is competition as well ! Included is 16 minutes footage of the early Soviet Sputnik and Vostok flights in fantastic quality. You should see the Sputnik 1 or 2 launch - when starting rocket engines the flames are higher than than the launcher (!) - you would think it will all explode within seconds but it was probably normal (?).

The quality of the Spacecraftfilms materials is astonishing - I can't imagine the efforts to locate and refurbish all the old reels of film after that many years ! This is the biggest contribution of Spacecraftfils when making these materials available for public - the preservation of the history in much bigger quality than in original.
Big THANKS! to Spacecraftfils and to Mark Gray for this set - and all others still coming and those available - we space enthusiasts (and I do believe not only us) appreciate this work very very much.

Laurenc Svitok, Bratislava, Slovakia

OrangeCrush | Farmington Hills, MI USA | 06/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Spacecraft Films is without a doubt the single best producer of DVD Documentary material around today. The first thing that struck me when I first started ordering these sets was just how clean and impressive the packaging is. I love that they follow a standard design with all of their sets. I hate how companies put out DVD sets that are in every shape and size imaginable. All the DVD companies should take Spacecraft Films lead and just make the packaging for sets simple & beautiful.

This set was the one I have been looking forward to the most as it has all of the astronauts that I was most familiar with while I was growing up. Anyone who has seen the movie the Right Stuff has the idea on who the astronauts are in this set. 6 monstrous discs full of everything imaginable regarding Mercury is included and I honestly think that this is the best made set to date. I wont go into the details on whats included as it would take forever, ill just say trust me its all in here.

If your a fan of Spacecraft films or just a fan of the mercury program, this set is a must buy. While it is a little expensive, its well worth every penny. People spend 20 bucks on a movie that is under 2 hours long and they will most likely never view it again. This set has over 24 hours of footage that i guarantee will have multiple viewings. So again my hats of to Spacecraft Films, You have done for space documentaries what Criterion has done for classic movies. I honestly think that you and Criterion are the 2 best studios on the field today and nobody else is even close in terms of quality and subject matter. my only wish was that your stuff was available at my local Best Buy :-)

Best Project Mercury Collection..... EVER .
Ross D. Reed | Eastern Pennsylvania, USA | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With so much information, this is the definitive collection on our methods and "madness," of how the US started into the manned space race. And how about HERO's? Everyone involved in this project should be wearing a medal... Wish I could give the Amazon rating 50 stars. Many thanks to Spacecraft Films, and Mark Gray for taking the time to document this spaceflight era, and include a lot of never-seen-before and rare footage for the general public. I highly recommend this collection, and thank you for reading my thoughts on it!"