The Reluctant Astronaut

Watch The Reluctant Astronaut

"He's an Astro-Knott Turned Astronaut in the Maddest Mix Up in Space History!!"
  • Approved
  • 1967
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.3  (2,692)

The Reluctant Astronaut is a comedy film from 1967 directed by Edward Montagne, starring the hilarious Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, and Joan Freeman. The movie tells the tale of a man who finds himself thrust into the role of an astronaut, despite his persistent fear of flying. Don Knotts plays the character of Roy Fleming, a man who works at a space center as a technician, but longs for a life outside of the mundane world of maintenance work. He dreams of having a new career as an astronaut, but his fear of flying makes it an impossible dream. Despite this, Roy finds himself mistakenly assigned to a space mission due to a case of mistaken identity.

The mission is to launch and orbit an experimental spacecraft known as the Intrepid, and Roy has no choice but to go along with it, though he's terrified. The man tasked with training Roy for the mission is Major Gifford, played by Leslie Nielsen. Gifford is a hardened veteran astronaut who is not happy about having to teach an unqualified rookie, but Roy manages to prove himself by learning the basics of astronaut training through the use of some hilarious gags.

On the day of the launch, Roy's fear of heights and flying nearly gets the best of him, but he manages to close his eyes and take the leap of faith that sends him into space. The Intrepid malfunction shortly after takeoff, and Roy's skills are tested as he tries to figure out how to get their shuttle home safely.

As the journey progresses, it becomes clear that Major Gifford has his own agenda for the mission, and things get a little more complicated for Roy. Gifford's plan involves using Roy to set a new space record by staying in orbit for two weeks, a task that proves to be more challenging than it seems. Roy finds himself constantly at odds with Gifford and grappling with the fact that his fear of heights and flying may have finally caught up with him.

Along the way, Roy meets Ellie Jackson, played by Joan Freeman, a woman who works at the space center, and the two begin to form a bond. Ellie is sweet and supportive of Roy, as she helps him cope with his fears and navigate through the challenges of being an inept astronaut.

The Reluctant Astronaut is a family-friendly film that offers some wholesome fun that will surely tickle your funny bone. Don Knotts steals the show with his hilarious comedic timing and his ability to make the most out of every gag. Leslie Nielsen provides the perfect foil to Knotts, with his deadpan delivery and seriousness contrasted against Knotts rambling and bumbling antics. The film also offers up some impressive special effects, including scenes of Roy floating in space, all of which will leave you thoroughly entertained.

In conclusion, The Reluctant Astronaut is a fun and entertaining comedy that will have you laughing from beginning to end. This movie has stood the test of time, and its humor is still relevant and relatable today. If you're looking for a good laugh and a lighthearted romp through outer space, then The Reluctant Astronaut is the movie for you.

The Reluctant Astronaut
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (2,692)