E.J., an 11-year-old boy, is fascinated by manned space travel. While visiting Cape Canaveral, he accidentally finds himself on board a space missile and is accidentally launched towards the moon.
Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
. Starring: Lloyd Bridges
, Jeremy Slate
, Jim McMullan
, Morgan Paull
, Michael Link
, John Carradine
, Jack Callahan
, Walter Brooke
, Keene Curtis
, Edward Faulkner
, Jon Cedar
, Barbara Faulkner
, Stephen Rogers
. Music by: Patrick Williams
It's been so many years since I last saw this. Sort of a children's version of "Marooned" or an earlier, better version of "Spacecamp."
Young EJ is an intelligent, young boy with an obsessive interest in the space program. So he hatches a plan to sneak past the launch support crew and surveillance cameras during the launch preparations for the "Camelot" moon mission, managing to get himself into the Apollo space capsule. Once they're en route to the Moon, he's discovered. His presence causes problems and strains the resources of a spacecraft meticulously designed to hold only three men, but he also helps solve other problems that arise and so gains the respect, friendship and admiration of the astronauts.
Child actor Michael Link did a fine job in the titular role. EJ was written as highly intelligent but not a precocious smart aleck like so many child characters today. A young nerd, as it were. Most of the adults were fine as well, including veterans Lloyd Bridges and John Carradine. Note that all the scenes at "Houston" were actually filmed in one of the Kennedy Space Center firing rooms (launch control center) in Florida.
It was the daydream of many a young boy and certainly some young girls (paging Dr. Sally Ride) in the years immediately following the Apollo missions to be an astronaut. "Stowaway" took that a step further with a dream of going into space without having to grow up (and grow old) first. But show this movie to most kids today and they would be likely to not only find the special effects lacking (which is not all that important) but the space program dull and uninspiring.. How times have changed. No longer does the nation cluster around TVs, holding its collective breath throughout each mission People have become jaded to space, even though the shuttle only goes up every few months at most -- no more often than the Moon missions did. If JFK could see the level of disinterest today, he would cry. Shows and movies about the space program (as opposed to space operas, alien invasions and the like) are rarities today. Only a few come to mind from the last two decades. The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, From the Earth to the Moon, Spacecamp, Space Cowboys. Alas, the last two were targeted at diametrically opposite age groups. All of us would benefit if some of the early wonder were instilled in generations now and yet to come.
Review by TVholic from New York from the Internet Movie Database.