5.92 h 9 min1970G
Gripping, yet starkly realistic, portrayal of three astronauts on an extended special mission who find themselves unable to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. As the oxygen supply diminishes, the stranded astronauts must face the inevitability of death.
John Sturges
Gregory PeckRichard CrennaDavid Janssen
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
James FranciscusMariette HartleyGene HackmanLee Grant
John SturgesM.J. Frankovich
Columbia Pictures
G (General Audience)
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4.2 out of 5 stars

370 global ratings

  1. 60% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

TinwoodsReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Super Serious But Next to No Realism, Should Have Made It a Parody Instead
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The best part of this laughably melodramatic and yet totally boring space opera is that it was made on the eve of the actual Apollo moon landing. But those of us who have been following NASA and our international collective space effort since those days know that this dialogue is pure hokum. They use the right wordage, but not at all where any of them belong. And to see the emotional outbursts of all those in charge of flight operations, is almost horrifying inaccurate. And the way Peck's character almost immediately gave up and started to plan the press release of their deaths is an insult to the incredible resourcefulness of thousands of actual NASA personnel. Maybe this movie was entertaining to the ignorant masses back in the late-60's, but this is an absurdity now. If they had made a parody of the space program, that would have been hilarious and have made this a classic, instead of the movie most people didn't even know existed. A star for decent models (except for that non-existent docking module. The "clunk" of the docking was hilarious, too).
5 people found this helpful
J. Hagen-BrennerReviewed in the United States on March 6, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
After All These Years It's STILL Not Good!
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I have given this tedious film a taste, another chance, many times over the decades, and I've never been able to get through very much of it. The "pimple on the end of the nose in the beauty shot" is those RED HELMETS!!! OMG! Who approved THAT?! My guess is that the director, a producer or actor wanted the visors opened wider to show the actors' faces. When the film first released, though I was only 16, I think it was details like that and the bad matte shots in the trailers that steered me away from what was clearly a cheesy production made by old Hollywood hacks cranking out the sausage. They actually did a little research and came up with a plausible Russian spacecraft, but by 1967, the USSR was flying Soyuz, not Vostok or Voskhod. The ending was a big flat tire at the end of the bumpy dirt road of this film. I guess they didn't have the budget or imagination to attempt to show atmospheric reentry or just cut to a splash down, so they just had everybody say, "YEA!" and hug. They certainly could have sacrificed some of the groggy, sad astronaut "drama" and made room for it. I have always been a big follower of the manned space program, but I can only forgive so much. I was used to grimacing in films where they got things wrong, but saw it coming with Marooned. They tried, I guess. I just don't have the stomach for this film.
5 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Apollo 13 (the movie) sure owes a lot to this very good film!
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Ron Howard and Tom Hanks should get out their checkbooks and pay the writers and producers of "Marooned" because whether they intended or not, there were sure a lot of similarities. Marooned's downfall is the excruciatingly long runtime composed of maudlin overdramatic scenes with the astronauts wives, the drawn-out antics of NASA officials, and the astronauts themselves emotionally falling apart in the command module (I doubt this would have happened to real astronauts of the time who were all former combat and test pilots).

A re-edit of this movie would produce a seriously great picture. The entire idea of imagining an orbital laboratory years before Skylab, and then rescue by a lifting-body spacecraft, were watershed ideas that have since come to fruition and are staples of the real space program.
5 people found this helpful
James SchrumpfReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Saw this in the theater back in 1969
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This is one of those movies that didn't need any Hollywood stars to succeed, but it had some good ones. Gregory Peck and Gene Hackman didn't really get to shine, but their always rock-solid performances breathed some life into an otherwise bland script. The second tier was more TV-based -- David Jannsen, Richard Crenna, James Franciscus, Lee Grant, and Marianne Hartley -- but filled their roles adequately.

What I remember most from watching it as a 13-year-old back in 1969 was the tension of having the Russian show up. At that age I didn't yet have the sense of Man Against the Elements, and how sailors of every nation would give aid to their fellows in peril on the sea. The movie played this up a bit too, with Peck telling the astronauts "We don't know what he's going to do," and the expressionless features of the cosmonaut behind his face plate.

Something I wish the script would have addressed was the little green light labeled "Retro" that stubbornly stayed lit, even when all the power was shut down. The astronauts even mentioned it, one of them asking "Why is that still on?" and another dismissing it with "I don't know!" Might have been interesting to have the astronauts get curious about that as the situation got more desperate, and finally discover that a short in the wiring somewhere was sending the current that should have ignited the retros through the bulb.

Maybe a bit of epilogue to explain what did cause the failure would have been a nice touch.

I give the movie a 4 rating, because I save my 5s for things like Casablanca. A very enjoyable film
4 people found this helpful
MarkReviewed in the United States on March 9, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Well, you had to be there. . .
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I was 15 when I saw this, the first film I went to see by myself. NASA was big news and the plot, dialogue and awful science wasn't as much a factor as just being in space with the next generation spacecraft. We were all in with the space race. Actually sort of a progressive film for the time, with the Russians helping out. Needless to say, it doesn't age well. I'm sure all the actors involved would rather this film be at the bottom of any list of accomplishments. I give it two stars, just in honor of the space junkie I was (and still am) and how the film was at least trying to get a few things right. But face it, having two people do countdowns together is just the tip of the iceberg of bad directing and script! Enjoy it as a time capsule of pop entertainment as we went to the moon.
One person found this helpful
WikileakerReviewed in the United States on September 15, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
a masterpiece of space drama
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I seldom award five stars to anything -- to deserve the top rating it must be nearly flawless. Marooned is one of those very few that do.

The story is seemingly simple: an Apollo spacecraft with a crew of three experiences a failure that leaves it marooned in orbit with an oxygen supply of 46 hours. All attempts to correct the malfunction fail. A rescue mission is launched.

Simple, right?. Anything but! The tension slowly ratchets up throughout the film as NASA and the USAF confront and surmount obstacle after obstacle that block their every effort. First there is Keith's dry "the proposal is refused" response to the rescue mission. It takes the US President telling him to "put away your slide rule" to convince him that the rescue mission must be mounted at all cost. Eventually, we see Keith change from a hardheaded engineer to a true leader of men determined to accomplish the impossible rescue. He and his team cut through the maze of procedural orthodoxy to get the XRV and Titan booster ready in 42 hours, they risk launching the non-man rated rocket and untried spacecraft even without the necessary computer programs ("just put me in the ballpark and I'll fly it in manually"). Finally they are nearly thwarted by an unexpected hurricane, but succeed nonetheless.

Paralleling all this is the plight of the stranded astronauts. Together they struggle in their efforts to conserve oxygen (taking sleeping pills, keeping calm, distracting themselves) and agonize over the option of going EVA to inspect the spacecraft.

Notice that in this space flick there are no space aliens, no explosions, no shooting, no warp-speed dogfights or desperate jumps into hyperspace, no cantinas for gunslinging aliens. This is, little doubt, the reason for the few one- and two-star reviews here. Sorry fellas, this is a film for adults. If your mental age is less than thirty, or your attention span is less than two minutes, then no, you probably will dislike this film.

There are complaints that the pace is too slow, but I say that the plot moves along briskly from event to event. Yes, many or most all of the scenes are "just people talking" but they are talking about important and pertinent things having to do directly with the plot or with the character motivations. I don't see one single scene that could be deleted from the movie without taking away from its effect. Marooned is the most nearly perfect story of its kind ever filmed.

The scenes aboard Ironman 1 following the launch of the XRV are the most understated and poignant I have ever seen in film. In particular I refer to their necessary decision to sacrifice one of themselves so the other two astronauts can survive. Just for such a situation to arise is itself a most compelling feature. The writers have included the full range of possible human reactions: dark humor ("Let's do this scientifically -- the two big guys throw the little guy out"), denial, as when Stone comments that there probably really is enough O2 for the three of them until the resuce; rage, catatonia, euphoria (Hatch blown!), and finally, Pruett's courageous decision to get it over with at last (refusing Lloyd's dry offer "well, it's logical it should be me since I'm using the most oxygen"). What especially struck me was the subtle way Pruett decides to go about the grim business. He vows to go out and "fix that engine" when in fact he knows as well as the other two that he isn't going to. In this way, he transforms himself from a hapless victim of a space accident into a hero who set out on an impossible task. The only way I think this could have been improved would have been to stress that he is the mission commander and felt responsible for his two subordinate crew members. Perhaps he was an ex-USN ship captain and this feeling is deeply ingrained in his character. The movie does not make this explicit but that's the way I choose to interpret it.

The special effects are not the equal of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but they are nevertheless quite good. There are some scenes in which the colors are whited out. This happens when the camera is shooting downsun and the scene is washed in the solar glare. Also, the microgravity is respresented quite well given the technology in 1969. The actors were suspended from well-placed bungee cords or on spring-mounted platforms. The space scenes were not shot abourd the NASA Vomit Comet as were the scenes in Apollo 13.

I detected only a very few technical errors in the movie. For one, NASA would not have used a Saturn V merely to deliver an Apollo CSM to Earth orbit. They would have used the cut-down Saturn IB used to launch the Skylab crews, and the Apollo 9 mission to Earth orbit to flight test the LEM.

Lastly, I don't believe that the command module has enough cabin air to push the entire CSM away from the Voshkod as portrayed. At any rate, it would not simply have translated and then come to a stop; it would have continued drifting away because another thrust would have to necessary to arrest the craft's translational motion. Also, since the gas escapted through the CM hatch, it would have caused the CSM to tumble. The hatch is located far from the craft's center of mass.

Most importantly, given the depth of mission risk planning taken by NASA, they would not have expended so much of the RCS propellant to preclude returning to the space station after the retroburn failed. NASA would never foreclose such an alternative mission option. (Of course, it was necessary to the story for it to have been impossible for the crew to return to the Skylab.) I believe the filmmakers should have had the retroburn proceed about halfway through and then have it fail (perhaps with a small explosion to satisfy the children in the audience who need such excitement).

All in all, a drama not to be missed, and the most significant space film ever made. For adults, that is.
26 people found this helpful
James E. AddisonReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
She was something back in 69, so was I.
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1 star: couldn't watch more than 15 minutes. Unwatchable!
2 star: jumped my way to the end for the ending. Unwatchable, but interested in how this turd ended.
3 star: watched it all, but not happy about it. Nothing better to do.
4 star: I watched it, liked it well enough. Would never watch it again.
5 star: Great moving picture show! I'll watch it again, and maybe again in a few years.

Back in the day when I was 9 this film was something, but so was I, healthy, hair, and thin. Now I'm old, fat, and bald. LOL!!! Everything gets old, today me and this movie, tomorrow you.
Aaron rhetoricReviewed in the United States on December 30, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Marooned is a look behind closed doors at NASA.
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Marooned is a look behind closed doors at NASA. 1960s started making TV series, films with a darker edge,
as the Vietnam war dragged on. Very good old school effects and focus on story instead of mindless CGI. Public only sees cut-n-trim reports from NASA but this movie shows unsaid thoughts astronauts, managers may have had on the early space program. I liked the old computer sounds, audio tracks, and the 1960s futurism of the rescue craft. Eerie, grim, patriotic, the feelings shift. Great actors, enjoyed all of them. Not my first time watching.
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