Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Reluctant Astronaut (1967)

In The Reluctant Astronaut comedian Don Knotts plays Roy Fleming, the fairground operator of a children’s spaceship ride, who gets a job working for NASA but only as a janitor.
To impress his visiting father he dons a space suit and pretends to be an astronaut.  It all goes horribly wrong and he’s found out and fired.  But following the Russians plans to send a dentist into space, NASA need an everyman of their own and so.....well you can work the rest of it out on your own or go rent the movie.
It’s a good natured comedy suitable for the whole family that became a firm favourite with the kids a couple of years later when the obsession with the very real moon landing meant that it became a regular fixture on the Saturday morning TV.



  1. This was a favorite when I was a kid. Don Knotts was brilliant.

    1. cheers anartfan, all reviews, memories and comments always welcome.

  2. Note that in a cost-cutting measure, Don Knotts wears the same costume in orbit that he does when running the amusement park ride.

    Maybe the idea is that the amusement park ride was meticulously researched? Given the plot point at the end when Knotts finally does the right thing, that actually might work.