October Sky

Maybe I’m just feeling sappy lately, but I watched the 1999 film October Sky again last night, but for the first time with my kids. The movie is a picture-perfect example of self-directed, expert learning directly after the launch of Sputnik. It’s based on a true story of a boy in coal mining town who isn’t going to get a football scholarship to college (like his older brother), so he’s pretty much destined to work in the mines. But that pesky Sputnik keeps crossing overhead in the October Sky.

Elements of this film could be called sappy, but the actual home movie footage of the real boys at the end of the film is remarkable. Reminds me of growing up in the country, which is almost a dangerous thing now that I’m raising my own kids in a city of 7.5 million people.

October Sky


(Fun note: Hickman’s memoir, the basis of the movie, was called Rocket Boys. The movie title, October Sky, is an anagram of the original title.)

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