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.