Where Was Capricorn One Filmed: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Iconic Film
Capricorn One is a classic 1977 science fiction thriller that captivated audiences with its compelling storyline and groundbreaking special effects. The film follows a fictional NASA mission to Mars that turns out to be a hoax, raising questions about the integrity of the space program. As viewers were engrossed in the thrilling plot, they may have wondered, where was Capricorn One filmed? In this article, we will take a behind-the-scenes look at the filming locations and reveal five interesting facts about the making of this iconic film.
Capricorn One was primarily shot in various locations in the United States, adding to the authenticity and realism of the story. Here are the main filming locations:
1. Death Valley, California: The desert scenes were filmed in the stunning Death Valley National Park. The vast expanse of the desert provided the perfect backdrop for the astronauts’ supposed mission to Mars.
2. Moab, Utah: The breathtaking landscapes of Moab, including Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, were utilized for several scenes in the film. The rugged terrain and unique rock formations added a sense of isolation and danger to the story.
3. Glen Canyon, Arizona: The Glen Canyon Dam, located in northern Arizona, doubled as the fictional launch site for the Capricorn One mission. The massive concrete structure added a sense of grandeur and scale to the film.
4. Los Angeles, California: Various scenes were filmed in and around Los Angeles, including the iconic Griffith Observatory. The observatory served as the backdrop for key moments in the film, adding authenticity to the story’s connection with space exploration.
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico: The Albuquerque International Sunport airport was featured in the film during the intense chase sequence. The airport’s distinctive architecture and vast runways provided a visually striking setting for the thrilling climax.
Five Interesting Facts about Capricorn One:
1. A Forbidden NASA Collaboration: Capricorn One’s plot revolves around a government conspiracy to fake a Mars mission. Interestingly, NASA initially supported the film, providing assistance with technical advice and even allowing the use of their facilities. However, as the film’s release approached, NASA withdrew its support due to concerns about the negative portrayal of the space agency.
2. Dangerous Stunts: The film’s production involved some daring stunts, particularly during the helicopter chase sequence. Stunt coordinator Dar Robinson performed a 2,200-foot free-fall from a helicopter, setting a world record at the time. His daring performance added an extra layer of realism to the film.
3. A Star-Studded Cast: Capricorn One boasted an impressive ensemble cast, including Hollywood heavyweights such as Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Sam Waterston, Hal Holbrook, and O.J. Simpson. Their performances brought depth and intensity to the characters, elevating the film’s dramatic impact.
4. Influential Soundtrack: The film’s soundtrack, composed Jerry Goldsmith, is often cited as a standout feature. Goldsmith’s haunting and suspenseful score perfectly complemented the film’s tense atmosphere, adding to the overall impact of the story.
5. A Box Office Success: Despite mixed reviews from critics, Capricorn One performed well at the box office, grossing over $43 million worldwide. Its success can be attributed to its intriguing premise, gripping storyline, and the popularity of the science fiction genre at the time.
Common Questions about Capricorn One:
1. Is Capricorn One based on a true story?
No, Capricorn One is a work of fiction. The story is entirely fictional and not based on any real events.
2. Did any real astronauts appear in the film?
No, none of the real astronauts made appearances in the film. The cast consisted solely of actors.
3. How did the filmmakers create the illusion of zero gravity?
The zero-gravity scenes were achieved using a combination of wirework and clever camera angles. The actors were suspended with wires and filmed in a way that gave the appearance of weightlessness.
4. Were any of the Mars scenes filmed on location?
No, all of the Mars scenes were created using special effects and sound stages. The barren landscapes were meticulously crafted to resemble the surface of Mars.
5. Did the film have any sequels or spin-offs?
No, Capricorn One did not have any official sequels or spin-offs. The story was self-contained within the original film.
6. Did the filmmakers face any legal issues with NASA?
While NASA initially supported the film’s production, they later withdrew their cooperation due to concerns about the negative portrayal of the space agency. However, no legal issues were reported.
7. How long did it take to film Capricorn One?
The principal photography for Capricorn One took approximately three months, from October to December 1976.
8. Did the film receive any awards or nominations?
Capricorn One did not receive any major awards or nominations. However, it remains a cult classic beloved many fans.
9. Are there any plans for a remake of Capricorn One?
As of now, there have been no official announcements regarding a remake of Capricorn One.
10. How did the film impact public perception of the space program?
Capricorn One raised questions about the integrity of the space program, although it was purely fictional. It sparked discussions about the potential for deception and cover-ups in government operations.
11. Are there any real-life conspiracy theories similar to Capricorn One?
While there have been various conspiracy theories surrounding the space program over the years, none directly mirror the plot of Capricorn One.
12. Did the film inspire any real-life hoaxes or controversies?
There have been no reported instances of the film directly inspiring real-life hoaxes or controversies.
13. Is Capricorn One available for streaming or purchase?
Yes, Capricorn One is available for streaming and purchase on various digital platforms and DVD/Blu-ray.