Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Capricorn One: Little Red Lies (1978)

Capricorn One, by Ron Goulart (1978)

At left: Paperback original (New York: Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1978), 189 p., $1.75. Based on a screenplay by Peter Hyams. From the book's back cover:

To all appearances the launching of Capricorn One, the first spaceship to Mars, seemed perfectly normal. Everybody in the country was watching the countdown on television. But behind the scenes, two and a half hours before lift-off, a strange and terrifying drama was being played out. A NASA director was warning the three astronauts that their spacecraft was faulty. He told them they must fake the trip via computer magic. This way they could convince the President the mission had succeeded. Failure would mean the end of the space program. Nothing would stop these madmen. Not the truth. Not reality. Especially not the astronauts, who became unwilling conspirators. For them, a special fate had been arranged ...”

As Deborah Allison points out in her article “Novelisations and Capricorn One," Goulart’s book is one of two novelizations based upon Hyams’ 1972 screenplay, which Hyam brought to fruition in the wake of Watergate and released in the summer of 1978 as the film Capricorn One, starring Elliot Gould, James Brolin, O. J. Simpson, and Hal Holbrook. The second novelization, also titled Capricorn One, was written by Bernard L. Ross (a pseudonym of Ken Follett) and was published in Great Britain in late 1978 with a slightly different story line.

According to “Little Red Lies,” a 2007 news article by Dwayne A. Day at SpaceReview.com, Hollywood is remaking Hyams' 1978 film. Meanwhile, checkout a recent review of the Blu-ray DVD.

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