Watch Now: CAPRICORN ONE
Written and directed by Peter Hyams, Capricorn One is an accomplished thriller dealing with the intriguing storyline of a faked landing on Mars. Just as they are about to take off, three confused American astronauts are taken away from the shuttle and hidden at an abandoned military base where a makeshift TV studio was constructed with the intention of faking the whole expedition and deceiving millions of viewers. When one of the technicians, unaware of the whole conspiracy, notices some weird mistakes in the crew’s televised transmissions and talks to his reporter friend about it, he suddenly disappears. The reporter, played by Elliott Gould, starts digging and doesn’t intend to stop until the truth is revealed.
“Whenever there was something on the news about a space shuttle, they would cut to a studio in St. Louis where there was a simulation of what was going on,” Hyams later explained his motivation to shoot the film. “I grew up in the generation where my parents basically believed if it was in the newspaper it was true. That turned out to be bullshit. My generation was brought up to believe television was true, and that was bullshit too.” He wrote the script back in 1972, but it gained interest only after the Watergate scandal. With Gould, James Brolin, Sam Waterston and O. J. Simpson, Capricorn One is definitely one of the more interesting conspiracy films of the seventies.