What I’m most interested in about this story of an ex-astronaut who had to quit NASA to save the farm, but then decides to build his own rocket, is how the movie makes it plausible that one man can build a rocket on his own. The farm must be doing really well to be able to afford that kind of DIY equipment.
It’s meant as a feel-good story about Following Your Dreams™, but it’s just about the most extreme way to depict it. Solo rocketry projects are most likely to end up with the hobbyist spread across the landscape, no matter how much of an expert in engineering the rocketeer is.
I think I remember seeing this in a collection of tapes held at a sports memorabilia store. I don’t remember why they were there, but since they were in the open, they were probably for sale or rent rather than for the workers’ entertainment during slow hours. I think it was right next to (or very near to) a Bride of Frankenstein remake, so that influenced my understanding of the plot. Anyway, it looked like an interesting movie I was too young for at the time, and that and other reasons meant that I left it.
I feel I really ought to have seen Peter O’Toole before, but I can’t recall anything, so I don’t really have a feel for him besides his reputation as a Great, which doesn’t tell me much specifically.