: : : Space Cowboys

Story

This slice of cornball Americana is so much fun you'll be tempted to stand up and salute. Director and costar Clint Eastwood manages to turn what might have been ludicrous into a jubilant tribute to age and experience, and Space Cowboys succeeds as two movies in one--a comedy about retired pilots given one last shot at glory and an Apollo 13-like thriller with all the requisite heroics. With a dream cast of Hollywood vets playing old farts described in tabloids as "The Ripe Stuff," the movie jumps from a 1958 prologue (establishing their lost bid for space travel) to 40-plus years later, when the retired Air Force aces (Eastwood, James Garner, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones) volunteer to rescue a falling Russian satellite that only Eastwood's character can repair.

It turns out that Russky bird is a cold war leftover equipped with live nuclear warheads, and Space Cowboys revs up to a rousing climax in which our heroes prove their mettle. But first the comedy: watching these codgers struggle to pass NASA's physical tests is a total hoot, with running gags about wrinkles, dentures, and oysters for sagging libidos. (Sutherland is the scene-stealer, but they're all having a blast.) Once in space, the movie gets down to business, and the visual-effects wizards at Industrial Light and Magic provide stunning vistas from Earth's orbit; a shot looking down at the boot of Italy is particularly beautiful. A subplot involving a weasely NASA administrator (James Cromwell) is rather perfunctory, but it hardly matters. Space Cowboys earns its wings, once again demonstrating Eastwood's comfort with any genre he chooses. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Available subtitles: English, French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • 4 Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries:
  • Back at the Rance (on Location with Cast and Crew and Exploring the Special Effects)
  • The Effects
  • Tonight with Leno (Expanded Version of the Jay Leno Sequence)
  • Up Close with the Editor (Unforgiven Oscar Winner Joel Cox)

Cast

Clint EastwoodFrank Corvin
Tommy Lee JonesHawk Hawkins
Donald SutherlandJerry O'Neill
James GarnerTank Sullivan
James CromwellBob Gerson
Marcia Gay HardenSara Holland
William DevaneEugene Davis
Loren DeanEthan Glance
Courtney B. VanceRoger Hines
Barbara BabcockBarbara Corvin
Rade SerbedzijaGeneral Vostov
Blair BrownDr. Anne Caruthers
Jay LenoHimself
Nils Allen StewartTiny
Toby StephensYoung Frank
Eli CraigYoung Hawk
John AsherYoung Jerry
Matt McColmYoung Tank
Billie WorleyYoung Gerson
Jon HammYoung Pilot #2

  • Genre: Sci-Fi Movies
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Producer: Warner Brothers
  • Length: 130 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaAug 4, 2000
    EuropeSep 22, 2000
    JapanNov 3, 2000
    AustraliaOct 5, 2000
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    EuropePG
    AustraliaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaFeb 3, 2004
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