Capricorn One

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Capricorn One is a 1977 film about Capricorn One — about to be the first manned mission to Mars — when, just before its launch, it is discovered that a faulty life-support system will kill the astronauts during the flight. As the manned space program needs a success to continue, they decide to fake the landing rather than cancel the mission.

Directed and written by Peter Hyams.
The mission was a sham. The murders were real. taglines

Colonel Charles Brubaker

  • This is really wonderful. If we go along with you and lie our asses off, the world of truth and ideals is, er, protected. But if we don't want to take part in some giant rip-off of yours then somehow or other we're managing to ruin the country. You're pretty good, Jim. I'll give you that.

Lt. Colonel Peter Willis

  • Hey, Dr. Kelloway. Funny thing happened on the way to Mars.
  • Anybody hungry? Oh, the marvels of American science. Here we are millions of miles from earth, and we can still send out for pizza.

Dr. James Kelloway

  • Okay, here it is. I have to start by saying that if there was any other way, if there was even a slight chance of another alternative, I would give anything not to be here with you now. Anything. Bru, how long have we known each other? Sixteen years. That's how long. Sixteen years. You should have seen yourself then. You looked like you just walked out of a Wheaties box. And me, all sweaty palm and deadly serious. I told everybody about this dream I had of conquering the new frontier, and they all looked at me like I was nuts. You looked at me and said, "yes." I remember when you told me Kay was pregnant. We went out and got crocked. I remember when Charles was born. We went out and got crocked again. The two of us. Captain Terrific and the Mad Doctor, talking about reaching the stars, and the bartender telling us maybe we'd had enough. Sixteen years. And then Armstrong stepped out on the Moon, and we cried. We were so proud. Willis, you and Walker, you came in about then. Both bright and talented wise-asses, looked at me in my wash-and-wear shirt carrying on this hot love affair with my slide-rule, and even you were caught up in what we'd done. I remember when Glenn made his first orbit in Mercury, they put up television sets in Grand Central Station, and tens of thousands of people missed their trains to watch. You know when Apollo 17 landed on the Moon, people were calling up the networks and bitching because reruns of I Love Lucy were cancelled. Reruns, for Christ's sake! I could understand if it was the new Lucy show. After all, what's a walk on the Moon? But reruns! Oh, geez! And then suddenly everybody started talking about how much everything cost. Was it really worth 20 billion to go to another planet? What about cancer? What about the slums? How much does it cost? How much does any dream cost, for Christ's sake? Since when is there an accountant for ideas? You know who was at the launch today? Not the President. The Vice-President, that's who. The Vice-President and his plump wife. The President was busy. He's not busy. He's just a little bit scared. He sat there two months ago and put his feet up on Woodrow Wilson's desk, and he said, "Jim. Make it good. Congress is on my back. They're looking for a reason to cancel the program. We can't afford another screw-up. Make it good. You have my every good wish." His every good wish! I got his sanctimonious Vice-President! That's what I got! So, there we are. After all those hopes and all that dreaming, he sits there, with those flags behind his chair, and tells me we can't afford a screw-up. And guess what! We had a screw-up! A first-class, bona-fide, made-in-America screw-up! The good people from Con-Amalgamate delivered a life-support system cheap enough so they could make a profit on the deal. Works out fine for everybody. Con-Amalgamate makes money. We have our life-support system. Everything's peachy. Except they made a little bit too much profit. We found out two months ago it won't work. You guys would all be dead in three weeks. It's as simple as that. So, all I have to do is report that and scrub the mission. Congress has its excuse, the President still has his desk, and we have no more program. What's 16 years? Your actual drop in the bucket! All right. That's the end of the speech. Now, we're getting to what they call the moment of truth. Come with me. I want to show you something.
  • You think it's all a couple of loony scientists, it's not! It's bigger. There are people out there, forces out there, who have a lot to lose. They're grown ups. It's gotten too big, it's in the hands of grown ups!


Walter Loughlin: Listen to me and listen good. I don't like you, Caulfield. You're ambitious. You think the way to get ahead is to come up with the scoop of the century. Woodward and Bernstein were good reporters, that's how they did it. Not by telling me they've located Patty Hearst three times like you did or that brilliant piece of investigative journalism you pulled off by finding an eye witness to the second gunman in the Kennedy assassination. The small fact that the man had been in a mental institution at the time never deterred you, not 'Scoop' Caulfield. Now most reporters are like me. They are plodders. They spend a lot of their time checking little things... like facts. They cover mundane stories like wars and trials and hearings. You never seem to have enough time in your busy schedule to stoop so low as to cover a story. You occupy your time with tips from people who never existed. Driving your car into water and claiming it wasn't your fault. Getting shot at by unseen gunmen. Now I really hate to interrupt your meteoric career with something so plebeian as a legitimate story. However, a train load of propane gas had the bad taste to derail near Galveston and there's a whole town that just might blow up. So it would be just really peachy of you if you would join your film crew that's waiting for you on the plane at this very moment while we speak.
Robert Caulfield: That was some speech.
Loughlin: I thought so.

Robert Caulfield: Look, when a reporter tells his assignment editor that he thinks he may be on to something that could be really big, the assignment editor is supposed to say: "You've got 48 hours, kids, and you better come up with something good or it's going to be your neck!" That's what he's supposed to say, I saw it in a movie.
Walter Loughlin: You're not crazy, I'm crazy. I'm crazy for listening and I'm crazy for saying what I'm about to say. I'll give you 24 hours to come up with something. Not 48. I saw the movie too, it was 24.

Judy Drinkwater: I'll fix you some coffee, then you can jump me.
Robert Caulfield: There's no other one besides White Bluff?
Drinkwater: No, except one abandoned base they used for training during World War II. Jackson. There's nothing there now. Don't you want to jump me?
Caulfield: Of course I do. Where's Jackson?
Drinkwater: About 300 miles directly west. I think I'm going to get angry with you.
Caulfield: Do you have any money on you?
Drinkwater: You want me to pay you?
Caulfield: How much?
Drinkwater: About a hundred. Why don't I just leave it on the dresser in the morning?
Caulfield: Give it to me now.
Drinkwater: In advance? That's the height of conceit.
Caulfield: Please, and your car keys.

Robert Caulfield: You in charge here?
Albain: See that sign there?
Caulfield: Yes.
Albain: Well, read it.
Caulfield: I did.
Albain: Out loud.
Caulfield: A&A Crop Dusting Service.
Albain: You wanna know who I am?
Caulfield: I bet you're one of the A's.
Albain: But which one? I bet you can't answer that question, smart-ass.
Caulfield: The first one.
Albain: Wrong.
Caulfield: Can I have one more guess?
Albain: You got it.
Caulfield: The second one.
Albain: Wrong. I'm both of them. My name is AlBaine. Now, I got a son. You know, the other A was for him but he don't like to fly. He became a lawyer. I think he's a pervert so I took the A away from him. You want to speak to someone in charge, you're speaking to the both of them.
Caulfield: My name is Caulfield.
Albain: Hey, I can't help that.

Robert Caulfield: Mr Albaine, how much do you charge to dust a field?
Albain: Twenty five dollars.
Caulfield: I'd like to hire your plane.
Albain: That'll be a hundred dollars.
Caulfield: You said you charged 25?
Albain: Twenty five dollars to dust a field, but you ain't got no field because you ain't no farmer, which means you ain't poor and I think you're a pervert!
Caulfield: Okay, one hundred.
Albain: One hundred and twenty five.
Caulfield: What?
Albain: Because you said yes to a hundred too quick, which means you can afford a hundred and twenty five.


  • The mission was a sham. The murders were real.
  • Would you be shocked to find out that the greatest moment of our recent history may not have happened at all?
  • The most important event in our nation's history—what if it never really happened? (trailer only).


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