The premise of Capricorn One is so intrinsically arresting that it almost saves the film from the sheer incompetence of its script: as a breathless public stands by for the first American flight to Mars, the astronauts are bundled away to a desert location where NASA intends to secretly simulate the whole thing for the TV networks of the world. For a while the film makes the most of the surrealism of this eerie conceit with some effective juxtapositions of illusion and reality as the spacemen play kiddy-cars in their clandestine studio. But pretty soon the project gets bogged down in innumerable difficulties, not helped by the awfulness of most of the dialogue. The climactic introduction of Telly Savalas in a crop-dusting plane must rank as one of the most desperate measures to save a thriller since William Castle hung luminous skeletons from the cinema roof.
Cast and crew