Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don Knotts plays a real space case

The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)
Starring: Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, Arthur O'Connell, Jesse White, and Joan Freeman
Director: Edward Montagne
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A small-town carnival kiddy-ride operator (Knotts) is thrust into local fame when his pushy father (O'Connell) submits an application on his behalf to NASA... and the application is accepted.

This film is something of a nerd fantasy. Knotts plays a kindhearted loser of limited talent and ambition (but with plenty of dreams) for whom everything works out in the end. There really isn't much else to this movie, other than the fact that it features a decent cast that all get their individual funny moments.

While I remained mildly entertained throughout the film, I think this is a movie that time has left behind; I suspect it would have seemed a lot funnier in 1967, at the height of space-program mania. (The film is an interesting historical artifact in another way: Leslie Nielsen is featured here as a sqaure-jawed, handsome straight man. It's often forgotten that his career took a hard turn into comedy in the mid-Seventies, and that he actually started out as a dramatic actor.)

1 comment:

  1. Leslie Nielson is kind of like the modern Don Knotts....