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Sputnik Mania

 Unrated   DVD

Price: CDN$ 28.40
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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • ASIN: B0018GRE8G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,684 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

On October 4, 1957, The Ussr Announced To An Unsuspecting World That It Had Launched The First Man-Made Object Ever To Successfully Orbit The Earth. Americans Were Stunned, Then Terrified. What Had Happened To Our Vaunted Academic And Technological Superiority? Were The Soviets Going To Overtake Us? Worst Of All, Could Their Satellites Be Used As Weapons Of Mass Destruction?The 1950S Had Been A Heady Time For Americans. Ours Was The Most Powerful Nation On Earth, The Leader Of The Free World. We Were The Best, The Richest, The Smartest And We Knew It Down To Our Very Core. Then Came Sputnik. Sputnik Mania, From History, Vividly Recalls The Impact The Satellite Had On The American Psyche, And How The Shock Catapulted The Nation From Complacency Into Action. Within The Year, Nasa Was Born, States Instituted Massive Educational Reforms, And A New Breed Of Researchers Rocket Scientists Focused On A Single Critical Goal: Winning The Space Race.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Space-Time Capsule Oct. 23 2009
By Patrick Gleeson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It's difficult today to understand how frightening a prospect an ever growing threat from the USSR provided. Everything over the iron curtain was done in the utmost secrecy, whilst to their credit the USA in the guise of NASA was a very public story. This DVD shows how paranoia filled the void left by the absence of hard facts. From the assumption that the USSR was basically a backward society, to the realisation that they has indeed launched a man in orbit - something not even attempted at the time by the US - the shock was palpable, and is illustrated excellently in this film. Liberal usage of TV and film archive from the time, along with an evocative soundtrack (including sections of El Greco by Vangelis - uncredited), and an appropriate understated narration by Liev Schreiber. A second disc of extra archive material round off the package.

Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doo wop, circa 1957: 'There's two moons out tonight' April 9 2009
By Annie Van Auken - Published on Amazon.com
The Russian word "sputnik" translates roughly as "traveling companion."

The USSR's successful October 1957 launch of Sputnik 1 caused some panic in the US. Potential spying capabilities and more importantly, concern that Soviet missile technology had far outpaced our own led to two hurried launchings of Vanguard rockets. Both of these attempts ended in flaming disaster.

When a month later Sputnik 2 safely carried a dog into orbit, anxieties here increased. President Eisenhower appeared on national TV to assure Americans these two satellites hurtling around the globe every hour and a half were harmless and that much had been learned about space because of them. He didn't however mention the implications of superior rocket technology on the ability to deliver nuclear weapons from Europe to North America. That was being said elsewhere, and loudly.

Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Soviets' initial satellite missions, SPUTNIK MANIA accurately documents in 90 minutes the events, reaction and response to the first man-made objects placed in Earth orbit. Narrated by Liev Schreiber (portrayer of Orson Welles in RKO 281 - The Battle Over Citizen Kane, from 1999), additional commentary is provided by TV reporters Daniel Schorr and Jay Barbree, plus Nikita Khrushchev's son Sergei and Ike Eisenhower's granddaughter, Susan. Archive footage of many principal players is also included.

Related item:
The one-hour PBS "NOVA" documentary SPUTNIK DECLASSIFIED (2007) also explores this subject in depth.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(7.8) Sputnik Mania (2007) - Liev Schreiber/Sergei Khrushchev/Susan Eisenhower/Daniel Schorr/Jay Barbree/Paul Dickson (archive footage of: Nikita Khrushchev/Dwight D. Eisenhower/Richard Nixon/Werner Von Braun/Estelle Taylor)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it April 24 2010
By Shawn P. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
This Documentary is VERY well done and perfectly captures the hysteria that followed after the Sputnik launch. This is a must have for any history buff or cold war enthusiast.
5.0 out of 5 stars History Jan. 12 2014
By Gerald Koukal - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
As a young man I was at Palma, Majorca island in Spain when this event hit the world. We were all kind of shocked as to the ability of the Soviets to enter space. This is exceedingly well done production catching the times. Highly recommend the purchase. Thanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the Drama of the Cold War and the Beginning of the Space Age Feb. 18 2013
By Jan Peczkis - Published on Amazon.com
This DVD takes the viewer into the ethos of the 1950's: The shock at the success of "backwards" USSR, the beginnings of suburbia, the H-bomb and its relegation of the Hiroshima A-bomb to a firecracker, the Cold War and Civil Defense efforts, and the celebration of the new space age in popular culture. It features Nikita Khrushchev's thunderous ovations, as well as interviews with son Sergei Khrushchev.

This DVD features President Eisenhower, whose political opponents accused him of being insufficiently concerned about the Soviet successes. It also includes his famous "military-industrial complex" speech. The commentator credits the fact that both Eisenhower and Khrushchev were of military backgrounds for their avoidance of WWIII. Another politician featured is Hubert Humphrey.

Footage is included of newspapers reporting Sputnik, of the young David Brinckley and Walter Cronkite, of telescopes set up to see the new "Russian moon", the outrage over the dog Laika sent to space to die in Sputnik II, the growing panic of the USA having lost her leadership and prestige, the awareness of danger to the free world, the humiliating failure of Vanguard 1 ("flopnik", "kaputnik"), the heady success Explorer 1, of Werner von Braun and his efforts, and of the success in heading off the impending militarization of space in favor of civilian space exploration.

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