October Sky

Synopsis: In a 1950's mining town called Coalwood, Homer Hickam is a kid with only one future in sight, to work in the local coal mine like his father. However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars.
Director(s): Joe Johnston
Production: Universal
  4 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

[Radio Static]

[Man On Radio]

While most of President

Eisenhower's advisors...

[Static Continues]

[Woman Singing]

[Man On Radio]

Today are ominous.

[Man On Radio] Washington...

[Static, Music Continues]

[Man On Radio]

If you have just tuned in

to this special bulletin,

Washington has confirmed

that, yesterday,

on the fourth

of October, 1957,

the Soviet Union

successfully launched...

history's first

man-made satellite...

into space orbit

around the Earth.

[Switch Clicks]

[Motor Humming]

The satellite which the Russians

have dubbed Sputnik...

is being hailed

as a milestone in history.

No one in our nation's capital

could deny that the satellite...

has ushered in a grim

new chapter in the Cold War.

And indeed,

a wave of national anxiety...

already seems

to be sweeping the country.


Still maintaining its speed

of 18,000 miles an hour,

completing an orbit of the Earth

every 96 minutes.

Doctor Wernher von Braun,

Chief Engineer of the Army

Ballistic Missile Agency,

expressed the hope

that the United States...

would soon be following

the Russians into space...

with our own

artificial satellite.

Doctor von Braun confirmed...

that there has still been

no actual sighting

of the Soviet satellite,

but the U.S. Expects

to be tracking it very soon.

We are told that Sputnik will be

visible to the naked eye...

about an hour after sunset

and an hour before dawn,

as it traverses the October sky

over the United States.

What the beeping signal means

we still don't know.

It may be nothing more...

[music][music] [Radio: Elvis Presley's

"Jailhouse Rock"]

[Horn Honking]

[music] Warden threw a party

in the county jail [music]

Let's go, Roy Lee.

[Engine Starts,

Singing Continues]

It's almost 9:

Sure are in a hurry

to get yourself killed.

No kiddin'. There are easier

ways to commit suicide, Homer.

Will you just step on it,

Roy Lee?

I am steppin' on it.



in the whole cell block [music]

[music] Was dancin'

to the jailhouse rock [music]

[Whistle Blowing]

Okay, Maguire,

Longstreet, Hickam.

Let's see what you got.

Hey, take it easy on my kid

brother. Make him look good,

all right?

Let's go! Hut!



Hut two.!


I thought I told you

to take it easy on him.

I did take it easy on him.

[Boy] Set.!

I'm gonna run right over you,

you son of a b*tch.

You hear me?


Hut one.! Hut two.!

[Grunting Continues]

Homer, you sure got guts,

but you gotta know

when to quit.

Okay, Miller!

You're up!

[Band Playing]


[music]Someday we'll all be blue [music]

[music] Well, that'll be the day

when you say good-bye [music]

[Panting] Why should

the damn jocks be the only ones

gettin' scholarships?

They're also the only ones

that get the girls.

This burns my ass.

[music] That'll be the day

when I die [music]

What do you boys think

about this?

Isn't that something?

Let 'em have outer space.

We got rock 'n' roll.

I'm with you. We got enough

to worry about down here.

Homer, your dad say anything

about the layoffs?


- Have they pulled

any more pillars?

- Uh, he didn't say.

Does he talk at all?

Oh, yeah. He talks.

Damn it, Jake! Didn't

I tell you to put some men

to work on those roof bolts?

Was I talkin' to the wall?

I'm sorry, John.

We was just tryin' to get...

Make sure the hoot owl shift

sets those timbers by the vent!

Two more days on that block,

we're gonna be down to the bone.

I guess that's...


Get out of the way!

Jensen, look out!

[Horn Blowing]

[Sirens Wailing]

Come on. Come on, Jensen.


Come on back.

[Jensen Grunting]

Come on.

What happened?

Whole damn mountain

'bout fell on your head.

And John here...

he saved your life.

That's my dad.

I want you out of this mine.

Don't come back, you stupid

son of a b*tch.

Didn't I tell you

to watch the roof, huh?

Now we could've all been killed

'cause you didn't have the sense

to look up!

That's my dad.



Well, how'd it go?


Well, I told you. You spend

the summer shovelin' coal,

and you'll be playin'

linebacker next fall.

What's the matter, Homer?

Not cut out for mining coal?

Me neither.

[Men Laughing]

Hey, let's get that mess

cleaned up!

Let's get some cribbin'

on that roof!

Buck up, Homer.

You're a Coalwood boy.

When you get down in the mine,

get that coal shovel

in your hand,

feel just as natural to you

as a tick on a dog.

[Homer's Dad]

And get that slate

off the loader.!

[Man On Radio] It's

the radio signal transmitted

by the Soviet Sputnik.

Listen now for the sound

which forevermore separates

the old from the new.

[Rhythmic Beeping]

[Beeping Continues]

That's it?

That's the Sputnik?

- That's Sputnik.

- Well, big deal.

Big deal?

What you fail to grasp...

is that the sound you're hearin'

is bein' transmitted...

by an object that is travelin'

at 18,000 miles per hour,

a-a-a-and orbitin'the Earth

e-e-every nine...

Shut up!

Boys, not in my class.!

Thank you, Quentin.

Now Quentin's right, y'all.

Sputnik is a milestone

in history.

Things'll never be

the same again.

What do you think

about that, Homer?

Well, yes, ma'am. Uh...

[Students Laughing]


Cat got your tongue?

We were talkin'

about bein' in orbit,

hundreds of miles

away from the Earth.

You know anything

about that?

[Girl Giggling]

No, ma'am.

I got my eye on you, boy.

Now who can tell me

why Sputnik is so important?


We ought to just shoot

the damn thing down.

It's got one of them

little spy cameras in it.

It takes pictures of every one

of our missile bases.

This country'd better get on

the ball before it's too late.

All I know is this Sputnik

had better show up soon.

I'm gettin' a crick

in my neck.

[Roy Lee]

All right. What you need to do

is take her to the movies.

Somethin'scary, like

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.

Then you take your arm

and put it up round the back

of her chair, like so.

Now when it gets real scary,

and she ain't payin' attention

to nothin' but the movie,

you sort of let your arm sort

of slide on down her shoulder,

real nice and slow

and easy...



Hey! Hey!

I see it!

Right there!

Where? Where?



You seein'things, Carl?

I see it.

Where do you see it?

I see it.

It's right there.

[Chattering Continues]



[Man] Son of b*tches

gonna be droppin'bombs

on us from up there.

Don't know why they'd drop

a bomb on this place.

Be a heck of a waste

of a bomb.

The first game against Welch...

that's the one that's

gonna draw the scouts.

Yeah. Welch knows it too.

They're gonna be coming

after us.

Well, y'all be careful, Jim.

Last year, those two boys from

Welch got their arms broken.

Well, they started it.


It don't matter much

who started it.

I don't call that football.

You don't worry about Jim.

Ain't nobody on the Welch team

that can catch him.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Lewis Colick

Lewis Colick is an American screenwriter born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Baruch College in New York and got his MFA in Theatre Arts from the UCLA Film School. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "October Sky" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/october_sky_15081>.

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