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The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi | 15 April 1968 (Denmark)
Don Knotts is Roy Fleming, a small town kiddie-ride operator who is deathly afraid of heights. After learning that his father has signed him up for the space program, Roy reluctantly heads ... See full summary »

Director:

Edward Montagne (as Edward J. Montagne)

Writers:

James Fritzell (as Jim Fritzell), Everett Greenbaum
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Don Knotts ... Roy Fleming
Leslie Nielsen ... Major Fred Gifford
Joan Freeman ... Ellie Jackson
Jesse White ... Donelli
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. Fleming
Frank McGrath ... Plank
Arthur O'Connell ... Buck Fleming
Joan Shawlee ... Blonde in Bar
Guy Raymond ... Bert
Nydia Westman ... Aunt Zana
Paul Hartman ... Rush
Robert F. Simon ... Cervantes (as Robert Simon)
Robert Pickering Robert Pickering ... Moran
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Storyline

Don Knotts is Roy Fleming, a small town kiddie-ride operator who is deathly afraid of heights. After learning that his father has signed him up for the space program, Roy reluctantly heads for Houston, only to find out upon arriving that his job is a janitor, not an astronaut. Anxious to live up to the expectations of his domineering father, Roy manages to keep up a facade of being an astronaut to his family and friends. When NASA decides to launch a lay person into space to prove the worthiness of a new automated spacecraft, Roy gets the chance to confront his fears. Written by Teresa E Tutt <tuttt@rpi.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's an ASTRO-KNOTT turned ASTRONAUT in the Maddest Mixup in Space History!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1968 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Botcsinálta űrhajós See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house the Flemings live in is the same set in which James Stewart and his aunts lived in "Harvey" (1950). See more »

Goofs

Don Knott's astronaut suit displays an American flag with 48 stars, not the correct 50 stars. See more »

Quotes

Rush: [reading sign next to mock up] "Representation of Lunar Surface"
Buck Fleming: This here, is what your moon looks like.
Rush: Oh...
Plank: [steps up onto mock up] Take a picture of me standin' on the moon!
Rush: Aw, that ain't really the moon!
Plank: We don't have to tell anybody.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Space Travellers (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Space Song
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Gershenson
Lyrics by James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great When I Was A Kid, But Now . . .
14 March 2005 | by thebigseeSee all my reviews

I LOVE Don Knotts, let me just say that up-front! He is an enormous talent and the best at what he does, which is portray a nervous, lovably befuddled loser thrown into a position of authority. He is fabulous in this role as Roy Fleming, the Reluctant Astronaut, but the film is pretty dull, really, even though as a kid my brother and I delighted in watching this and his other films. It's still worth watching but really it's a film that is best enjoyed by children. I'd categorize it as 100% family-friendly and something you could sit down and watch with your kids on a family night.

As with all of Knotts' films, there's a great cast of beloved character actors and you can't help but smile when Knotts gives one of his shaky, open-mouthed stares, no matter how old and jaded you are.

From an adult perspective, one thing I think that is great about this film is how it captures NASA in the 1960s -- all the new modern buildings, the hope, the optimism, the future! And I was surprised at how suave and studly Leslie Neilsen was back then. Only complaint about the story is Roy's love interest, a rather threadbare, unlikeable woman who can't give him the time of day until he becomes a big shot -- if you're like me, you'll be hoping that he gives her the shove-off at the end. Beware -- you'll be whistling the theme tune for days after watching, it's that catchy.


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