The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)

The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)

Directed by: Edward Montagne

Starring: Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, Joan Freeman

Before I start, I’d just like to thank whichever ad guy decided the best thing to put on this poster was an awkward shot of Don Knotts’ ass. I’m amazed that wasn’t something that caught on for selling everything from electrical appliances to sliced bread. Nothing makes you hungrier than Don Knotts’ taint!

Don Knotts works at a kid’s amusement park running a fake rocket ride (which is just a box you sit in and Don Knotts makes noises), but his dad sends in an application for him to be an astronaut and he gets hired through the mail! When he gets to NASA, he discovers that he’s merely a janitor, but everyone back in his home town are so proud of him he has to put up a charade. A charade that becomes a reality once NASA discovers that the commies are going to shoot a dentist into space, so they have to find the most incompetent fool to shoot up there first.

Sorry about mentioning Don Knotts’ taint, by the way, I feel bad about that. Anyway, this movie was really standard live-action Disney family film kinda stuff. Don Knotts falls over and has funny expressions and breaks expensive equipment, same ol’ same ol’. One thing I find interesting about it is that, soon after they finished filming the parts where they actually went to NASA, the Apollo 1 disaster happened. I can just imagine Don Knotts needing a place to put his gum, and he sticks it on the hatch to the module…

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