Capricorn One (1976)

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James Brolin heads a team of astronauts who are pulled from their capsule seconds before its launch and told they must help fake a Mars landing in order to save the space program.

This hugely entertaining conspiracy theory thriller from Peter Hyams delivers an interesting premise told with boy’s own panache. Elliot Gould does what he does best as the smart mouthed reporter and gets all the best lines in some witty quick fire banter with his editor and love interest, and the action is provided in the astronaut’s escape from the NASA compound. Hyams makes great use of the desert locations and there’s an exciting finale in the form of an aerial chase through its canyons between two black ops helicopters – cleverly given a kind of faceless, malevolent personality through formation flying – and a barnstorming crop duster played by Telly “Kojak” Savalas.

Occasionally a little far fetched, but it’s in turns funny, intriguing, exciting and great fun.

8/10

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