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October Sky [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Jake Gyllenhaal , Chris Cooper , Joe Johnston    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen, William Lee Scott
  • Directors: Joe Johnston
  • Writers: Homer H. Hickam Jr., Lewis Colick
  • Producers: Charles Gordon, Larry J. Franco, Marc Sternberg, Peter Cramer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 27 July 1999
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IQVL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,585 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Based on the memoir Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam Jr., October Sky emerged as one of the most delightful sleepers of 1999--a small miracle of good ol' fashioned movie-making in the cynical, often numbingly trendy Hollywood of the late 20th century. Hickam's true story begins in 1957 with Russia's historic launch of the Sputnik satellite, and while Homer (played with smart idealism by Jake Gyllenhaal) sees Sputnik as his cue to pursue a fascination with rocketry, his father (Chris Cooper) epitomises the admirable yet sternly stubborn working-man's ethic of the West Virginia coal miner, casting fear and disdain on Homer's pursuit of science while urging his "errant" son to carry on the family business--a spirit-killing profession that Homer has no intention of joining.

As directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer), this wonderful movie is occasionally guilty of overstating its case and sacrificing subtlety for predictable melodrama. But more often the film's tone is just right, and the spirit of adventure and invention is infectiously conveyed through Gyllenhaal and his well-cast fellow rocketeers, whose many failures gradually lead to triumph on their makeshift backwoods launching pad. Capturing time and place with impeccable detail and superbly developed characters (including Laura Dern as an inspiring schoolteacher), October Sky is a family film for the ages, encouraging the highest potential of the human spirit while giving viewers a clear view of a bygone era when "the final frontier" beckoned to the explorer in all of us. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

October Sky

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film to base your life upon. 11 July 2000
After reading 'Rocket Boys' by Homer H Hickam, I was over the moon to discover that a film of this masterpiece had already been made. The book was a real inspiration and although excited by the prospect of the film, I knew that there was no way it could compete.
I was wrong, this film is absolutely wonderful. I laughed, cried and even though I knew the story, got generally excited. When I finally stepped away from my television as the end credits rolled, I could see where my whole life had gone wrong.
October Sky is a true story of a group of four boys who live in the small mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia and after seeing the worlds first satellite 'Sputnik' fly over their town in 1957, they decide to build their rocket to compete with the Russians.
It becomes an obsession, and against all the odds with help from certain members of the Coalwood community they strive and then strive a little bit more to achieve their dream.
Homer H Hickam the author of the book, is what you could call the leading member of these four boys and the driving force behind the whole project. He is without doubt an amazing human being and a person to set your standards against.
This is a beautiful film which you should watch it at least once, it may change your life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rocket to Somewhere 31 May 2007
This was a warm, meaningful and spirited film with a very strong message about building a life outside that which is expected of you and the supportive arm from people who can make the difference by offering you a helping hand.

It shows the journey of a bright intellignet boy and his motley crew (3 friends) in the coal mining area of Virginia. The group are resigned to the fact that they will all becomes miners or dead beats with no understanding of what life can offer.

Then one day the main character, Homer, decides he wants to do more with his life going against his father's wishes and dreams for the boy. His love of rockets and the knowledge base of his friends and teacher offer Homer the chance to explore his dream and see what is possible.

The plot shows the group aiming for success in a National Science competition, getting over the barrier of "can we really do this" leaving them with the chance thereafter to receive scholarships.

This is a journey and the hurdles life throws to overcome all and achieve beyond their wildest dreams.

It also shows a father - son bond or a possible bond with the finding of common ground and respect for each other.

The film is well thought, likeable and leaves a lot of questions - the main one being "what if"

Go buy it - it will leave you feeling warm and good about the world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly memorable film! 3 Mar 2003
October sky is fast becoming one of my favorite movies of all time, every time I watch it, it brings home a little of what Homer and the rocket boys experienced back in 1957. It is such a beautiful movie, with such an amazing story, and everything you could hope for in a good, honest drama. And what makes it even better is that it is all true. The story runs through 17 year old Homer Hickams aspirations and journey to the stars. Being inspired by Sputnik, he and three of his friends decide to take a chance at rockets, as a way to get out of the same life that everyone in their small town has, of working down in the mines. The movie documents their faliures and triumphs, whilst looking at the relationships between family members and friends, and gives you a truly memorable viewing experience. Watch this movie!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars October Sky high 4 Sep 2003
By Steve
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful film that can be watched again and again. Based on a true story of a group of friends destined to work the mine in a small, grim, late 1950s Virginian town who, lead by a space race inspired lad called Homer, they design and build small rockects. Going against everyones wishes (except their supportive school teacher) they learn the science and engineering skills bit by bit (when confronted by a problem, they learn how to solve it), craft their rockets and walk the 8 miles to their remote launch area they have built. Test after test reveals small progress and new problems until they finally build viable rockets. Along the way they have to endure various domestic, school and law enforcement problems (being arrested for a fire they didn't cause), but ultimately, the boys skill and determination is recognised and they are gratifiyingly rewarded. Homer goes on to work at NASA designing space rockets.
Set against a back drop of domestic drama and pressure this film reveals some excellent characters and determined spirit.
It could all have been spoiled by standard American slush tactics, but it wasn't. Well directed, produced and acted this film is a gem. Buy it, watch it, enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early morning look into the October Sky 29 April 2004
October sky would probably be a film that I would never have watched hadit not been for a 5.30am wake up call by my 18 month old son. On gettingup, I switched on to Sky Movies to watch anything that was on. Settlingdown on the settee, rocking my son to sleep, I proceeded to watch thisfilm.
Based upon an inspirational and true story of a boy whose dreams andaspirations for rocket science break him free from the mould of Coalwood'straditional "when you leave school you can work down the mine", the filmfollows the trials of teenage life for Homer Hickham and his group ofdedicated and loyal friends.
The film avoids the trademark American movie industry flaw of overdoingthe sentiment, but the soundtrack, memoir based stroyline and the sheerinspiration of believing in your dreams, is a powerful recipe and veryeffective and can be watched over and over again.
On a more personal level, October Sky has parallels with my own upbringingin Barnsley, part of the former South Yorkshire coalfield. Although norocket scientist, I was aware during my formative years that many peoplewere resigned to working in the coalmines if they didn't getqualifications, rather than following their dreams or aspirations. Now thelocal coalmines have closed for ever (as in October Sky), many communitieshave fallen apart.
Probably the best film I've seen - so good in fact that I bought the bookthe film is based on (Rocket Boys - Homer H Hickham)from Amazon, and hadthe DVD bought for Christmas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great read.
Heard about this from friend so read it on my Kindle. absolutely enthralled. To know it was a true story made it difficult to put down.
Published 4 months ago by Mick
4.0 out of 5 stars The power of a dream
Because it is based on a true story, it bears an authenticity that a novel doesn't. To see that success is often encouraged by "disinterested" people reminds us that not... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Paul van den Berg
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillient
I bought this for a film night with five middle aged women. We all loved this film which is based on a true story and is very uplifting. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Harvey
4.0 out of 5 stars Books to big screen
I had not read the book and purchased the film for a present. The story unfolded capturing the emotions and personalities of the characters demonstrating clearly how their lives... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars October sky
It's a real joy. It inspires young minds to reach for the stars in all aspects of life. What a picture! It's just so wonderful.
Published 17 months ago by Mrs Irene Cordery
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching!
I loved the book so much that I was keen to see the film too. It's very well realised and the performances are excellent but the book is a very hard act to follow! Read more
Published 17 months ago by MJJ
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome film
As true stories go, this one has perhaps the least deviations from the facts, so even small details you think are the director's license, actually happened, so sit back and enjoy... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Rolf Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars October Sky
The book on which this is based was first titled Rocket Boys.
Homer H Hickam was the son of a mine engineer in Coalwood, East Virginia, and inherited the brains and initiative... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Clare O'Beara
3.0 out of 5 stars October Sky DVD review
The box of the DVD wasnt in very good condition and there was also a scratch on the disk after 19 seconds which terminates the playing of the film. Read more
Published on 3 April 2012 by sean
5.0 out of 5 stars A must See DVD, so many positive messages
This is an excellent DVD with so many positive message for the young people, stay in school, make progress, go to college.... Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by Botialoach
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