Over the years there have been many conspiracy theories about the moon landings and how they were faked and filmed somewhere in the desert etc and it was only a matter of time when someone took that theory and made it into a motion picture and that film was Capricorn One.
This time the voyage is a bit more ambitious, for man to set foot on Mars, but minutes before the launch of their mission, the Capricorn One crew are told to exit their capsule and are secretly taken to an abandoned desert hangar.
For the sake of the nation’s morale and the future of NASA funding, they are coerced into taking part in an elaborate hoax but when the captive astronauts learn their capsule burned up on re-entry and the world believes them dead, they know their very lives are at risk. The three men escape, hoping that one of them will live to expose the sensational cover-up…
Director Peter Hyams keeps the suspense high through the whole film, the plot of the hoax is extremely well done and a very clever script keeps the film from drifting from reality. The actors are excellent, especially Hal Holbrook the head of the Mars mission who will stop at nothing to keep the truth from unfolding.
Elliot Gould plays a reporter who gets sucked into the story when a friend who was working for NASA vanishes after finding something odd in the instrument readings. Look out for a strange cameo by Telly Savalas as a crop spraying pilot. Overall a satisfying, fast-paced and fascinating thriller.
The Blu ray released by Network has a mostly strong transfer with bright colours and good black levels. A couple of indoor scenes had excessive grain but overall it is a good transfer. Audio has Linear PCM stereo soundtrack which is clear and fine just the sort of sound you would expect from a film from this era. Extras are served with a short making-of feature, half an hour of behind the scenes shooting in the desert as well as 4 minutes of studio filming, finally a theatrical trailer.
A decent thriller with a good transfer and fair extras.
FILM: 7.5 PICTURE: 7.5 AUDIO: 6 EXTRAS: 5