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The Reluctant Astronaut
The Reluctant Astronaut
Actors: Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, Joan Freeman, Jesse White, Jeanette Nolan
Director: Edward Montagne
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2003     1hr 41min

A bumbling janitor with a fear of heights works at a space center and somehow ends up in space. Genre: Feature Film-Comedy Rating: NR Release Date: 2-SEP-2003 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, Joan Freeman, Jesse White, Jeanette Nolan
Director: Edward Montagne
Creators: Rex Wimpy, Edward Montagne, Sam E. Waxman, Billy Sands, Everett Greenbaum, James Fritzell
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Classic Comedies, Classics, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/02/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1967
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1967
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A Hilarious Cold-War Period Piece
Tome Raider | California, United States | 09/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I read Mr. Maltin's brief review and was astonished that somebody who is in the business of reviewing films could so easily write this movie off. This film is hilarious; it has an innocence that we don't see much anymore. Don Knotts was a comedic genius, I'd without hesitation put him on a par with Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, Jim Carey. He plays the nerdly goofball brilliantly, and we can all see a bit of ourselves in his various awkward moments. This movie skillfully mocks the Cold War tension with it's parody of the Space Race, and there's even a little romance as Don lusts for a beauty who barely acknowledges his existence until she hears that he's going to be an astronaut. The soundtrack is great as well, very happy stuff and it reminds me of the old Sunday night Disney show's music.My wife and I watched this on Septemeber 15, 2001, four days after September 11, 2001. It was exactly the ticket for helping us to forget for a moment the ugliness of the real world.I've never been very impressed by Mr. Maltin. He gives terse conclusions which are unsubstantiated by specific references. I'm 41 years old and this movie entertained me like few others. Don Knotts is an undervalued classic; my bet is that after he passes away there will be a big revival for his work."
Wrong, Mr. Maltin
Tome Raider | 02/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Once again Leonard Maltin is wrong, wrong, wrong (see above). You either like Don Knotts or you don't. For those who do, and there are millions of us, his comedies from the 1960s like "The Reluctant Astronaut" are very entertaining, and, yes, very funny films.I grew up in the 1960s and "The Reluctant Astronaut" was another of those Don Knott's comedies that the whole family was taken to the drive-in theatre on a Friday night. For Leonard Maltin to call this childish is an unfair statement. I'm almost forty now and I still LOVE watching this movie as every bit as I did back in '67. I would never pay a dime to see Leonard Maltin act and I always turn the channel whenever he comes on television with one of his one sided reviews. What is funnier than seeing Knott's up in space opening a special can that shoots out peanut butter and then proceeds to do a dance around him like a snake? I am on the floor rolling! And who would ever think that Leslie Nielsen would ever become the icon for 90s comedies that he has today? He is very straight in this film which gives the film balance.They don't movies like this anymore. I highly recomend this video. Buy it now before it goes out of print."
The best film of Don Knotts' brief film career
Tome Raider | 10/21/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"An entertainingly funny movie starring one of the most underrated acting talents of all time. This was one of the many low-budget comedies produced in Hollywood in the mid-sixties, but it ranks up there among the best. The screenplay and the role seem tailor-made for Knotts."
The Reluctant Astronaut
Beverly Kaynes | San Francisco, CA | 11/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"You gotta love Don Knotts. . . always the nervously dimwitted goof-up! There is something endearing about his naive harebrained ways. Knotts plays a humble small town carnival ride operator by the name of Roy Fleming. His father, Buck, who has bigger aspirations for his son, signs Roy up for the space program. Despite the fact that Roy is happy living his simple life, he heads off to Houston to follow his father's dream. As it turns out, Roy lands a job as a janitor. What a relief for him considering he is deathly afraid of heights! But fearing what his parents will think if they find out about his menial job, he manages to keep up the facade of being a big time astronaut. And when NASA decides to send a regular person to space to test out a new spacecraft, not only will Roy get to live up to his father's expectations, he will also get a chance to confront his own fear of heights. This is one goofball comedy that may be a little nonsensical to some, but for someone like Gulliver, whose all-time favorite sitcom is Three's Company (pre-Ralph Furley), I'm sure you'll find this no-brainer a riot to watch."