Marooned (1969)

Marooned (1969)
  • 4700
  • G
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Release year: 1969 ()
  • Running time: 134 min
  • Original Title: Marooned
  • Voted: 4700

After spending several months in an orbiting lab, three astronauts prepare to return to earth only to find their rockets wont fire. After initially thinking they might have to abandon them in orbit, NASA decides to launch a daring rescue. Their plans are complicated by a hurricane headed towards the launch site and a shrinking air supply in the astronauts capsule.

1Gregory PeckCharles Keith
2Richard CrennaJim Pruett
3David JanssenTed Dougherty
4James FranciscusClayton Stone
  • For the record... by 8

    ...Marooned is a good movie.

    If you're inclined to consider when it was made, or you're old enough to remember when the idea of manned space exploration was actually exciting, you might even think it's great. The worst thing I can say is that it's certainly not fast-paced: if you're looking for a sci-fi action spectacular, this probably isn't going to be your cup of tea.

    The specifics are covered very well in previous users' comments (and in Roger Ebert's ***/**** review), so I won't repeat them here.

    There is one thing I'd like to clarify, though, if I may:

    Anyone looking at the user ratings and user comments should take into consideration that a (very) abbreviated version of this movie was shown on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as "Space Travelers." I'm a pretty hardcore MST fan myself, and I agree that it was a funny episode. However, there's a certain type of MSTie that finds it entertaining to visit the IMDb and "vote" (negatively, of course) for the movies featured in their favourite episodes, with a view to knocking them down into the IMDb's "Bottom 100" list. Sometimes this is reasonably well-deserved: honestly, some of the worst (best) movies featured on MST3K would be indefensible in any form. Other times, particularly when the original is cut to pieces (this one lost approximately 1:15 of its 2:15 running time, while "gaining" some lousy incidental music and a shabby new title sequence*), I don't think it's right at all.

    If you want to watch an interesting, thought-provoking sci-fi drama, "Marooned" is a good bet. If you want to watch a funny episode of MST3K, "Space Travelers" (#0401) is an equally good bet. You can even watch and enjoy both, as I have. Don't let the strange mix of votes and comments here dissuade you from watching it entirely, though, because that would be a mistake.

    (A minor mistake, admittedly, but still -- a mistake.)


    * Credit where it's due: most of this hack job was courtesy of re-distributor Film Ventures International, and not the folks at MST3K. If you come across a non-MST'd version of this movie that runs about 1:30, don't waste your time: I guarantee it'll be neither interesting _or_ funny.

  • Great for fans of science fiction; others need not apply by 7

    I found this movie while I was searching through all the new movies on OnDemand. I usually look through the new movies about once a week, searching for some hidden gem I've never heard of. I'm not always successful, but this time I was.

    I'm a pretty big sci-fi fan and especially love "speculative fiction;" meaning content about the near future that isn't necessarily out-of-this-world sci-fi. Authors like Philip K Dick and Jonathan Lethem excel in this genre, and I like Marooned fits in it very nicely.

    Released in 1969, it obviously takes place at a not-much-later date - the inclusion of SKYLAB, launched in 1973, proves this. The rescue vehicle used also looks like a very crude version of the space shuttle - a futuristic test vehicle that looks grounded in reality enough to escape being campy. A few lines of dialogue also hint that a Mars expedition is something that is considered to be right around the corner.

    Most complaints in the comments section refer to the pacing. All i can say is: go read a book. If 90-minute action fests are your barometer for the worth of a film, go elsewhere. There are no exploding fireballs or meteors ripping through space stations with stereotypical crazy Russians here. Instead, you get a fully realized and believable view into what might happen if some of our astronauts became stranded in space.

    Personally, I was invested fully into the film and felt sad when the movie ended, the same way I feel when I finish a good book. The pacing here, if you are interested in the subject matter, is fine. For fans of science fiction, this movie is a must-see. For those of us who actually can sit through a book and enjoy it (and I don't mean "page-turners"), this movie is a great way to spend an afternoon. For everyone else, please avoid. You will only drag this movie's rating further into the mud.

  • Long original Opener by 8

    I've always liked this movie, still holds some modern jaded audiences to the edge of their seats. One comment. I saw this at age 10 in a downtown theater in original 70mm print. The curtain opened and the house lights went half dim. I knew what I was looking at on the screen but I suspect I was the only one there who did. I kept yanking on my dad's arm, pointing at the (blank?) screen, yelling "look!" "look!". The original opening was the coolest thing I've EVER seen on screen, a near silent, ultra-slow zoom-out and slow pan to the horizon through a fully extended Baker-Nunn camera that was looking out into nothing but black outer space. Damn amazing. Total, utter, deep space - pure blackness until it got to the horizon. Outstanding. There's about 10 seconds on the DVD, it was more like 10 minutes in the theater. Gave you a real feel for where these guys were about to end up Marooned -in-. The only thing I've ever seen on film that compares - and it's the reverse situation - is the ending of Electraglide in Blue. I'll never forget it. Thank you old time American cinema. These days you'd get commercials for your 9 dollars.

  • A little dry, but good. by 7

    I just rented this on VHS recently. After watching it, I remember that I had seen it many years ago. It was so long ago that I didn't remember details.

    I actually liked it. The movie is rather dry, but I actually found it a refreshing change from movies that will throw in all sorts of irrelevant extras to make it an "excitement fest".

    Apollo 13 did do a much better job of showing how Mission control worked in a crisis, but Marooned was made before the Apollo 13 mission took place.

  • Slow moving space drama with a decent cast by 5

    This creepingly slow space drama was mainly conceived, I'd posit, as a showcase for the acting talents of the four leads: we're treated to Hackman, Crenna and Franciscus playing the astronaut trio trapped in space, and Peck as the no-nonsense controller back on the ground whose attempts to return them to Earth make up the bulk of the running time.

    Sadly, 'bulk' is right when it comes to this movie: it's way overlong, with much of the length consisting of repetitive dialogue sequences or scenes which add little to the narrative. In some cases, it actually feels quite stodgy, especially during the lengthy mid section. I was often looking at the clock and wondering how much more of this I could sit through.

    Invariably, the special effects are quite dated and often look laughable in this day and age. Yet despite these detractions, the film does have a special kind of timeliness to it (considering the year it was made) which adds significance to the production. And I'll admit that things do get quite thrilling in the last half hour, when we're treated to the kind of suspense that should have been present all the way through.

    The actors are the main reason to tune in these days: it's hard to fault any of them, but I think Crenna gives the best performance of the lot as a compassionate family man. Hackman is almost unrecognisable in comparison to the later tough, mannered character actor he became, and as always Franciscus seems to me to be underrated. Peck is very good too, but then that's a given.

1Daniel L. Fappcinematographer
2John Sturgesdirector
3Walter Thompsoneditor
4M.J. Frankovichproducer
5Mayo Simonwriter
6Martin Caidinwriter