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ORIGINAL IDEA: "Untitled Moon Landing" - Comedy

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A friend of mine had the idea of a movie that takes place in the 1960's where the astronauts decide not to go to the moon and fake the moon landing, tricking even NASA in the process. She comes up with great ideas like this all the time, but I came up with an idea of my own, which I might actually write just for fun.

The year is 1968. Richard Nixon is just about to end his second term as President of the United States after defeating John F Kennedy in the 1960 election. Unfortunately, America never joined the space race and the USSR is rumored to be ready to send cosmonauts to the Moon. Nixon wants to leave a legacy behind, so he decides to get America to the Moon first. Of course, this is impossible, so he finds a quiet film student who has big dreams to fake it for him.

Fresh off his popular student film “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB”, George Lucas only wants to make his small films. However, when the President of the United States asks him to live his science fiction dreams, he can’t help but agree to try to push special effects to the next level and help America save face.


That's the general idea. We could make Nixon jokes, Lucas jokes, and just mishaps as they try to fake out the whole world. The idea does remind me a little of Wag The Dog, but I don't recall much of that movie at all really.

This wouldn't be a crotch-kicking farce, but more of a straight comedy. I'd love to get some help, if even only to get these ideas out in the open.

Additional Thoughts:

WHY NOT KUBRICK? 2001 came out in April 1968. Either the movie starts before it comes out, or Nixon thinks that a college kid would keep a tighter lid on the project and be more likely to come under budget (2001 was $4.5 million over its $6 million budget)

ENDING: After the Americans finally get everything together and do the live broadcast, we cut to the Russian cosmonauts, sitting on a sound stage, cursing in Russian.

LIVE OR PRERECORDED: While it might be more fun to do all of it live, it doesn't make much sense, so it would probably be a prerecorded production they throw together and air over a few weeks.

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

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That sounds awesome!

You could also have a scene of Lucas getting annoyed at the fact that the sand that they use for the fake moon landing keeps getting in his equipment and shoes etc.

"I don't like sand! It's coarse and Rough, and gets Everywhere!!"

The idea sounds very much like Capricorn One.

<span style=“font-weight: bold;”>The Most Handsomest Guy on OT.com</span>

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Is there a link between Nixon winning in 1960 and not entering the space race?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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xhonzi said:


Is there a link between Nixon winning in 1960 and not entering the space race?
Yes, I'm imagining without JFK's Moon Speech to inspire America, it just kind of falls by the wayside. I'm thinking maybe NASA is still functional and has most of the technology to at least get an empty rocket into orbit, but never got the funding for actual astronauts. The public doesn't know this, and can assume we've been secretly studying all this for years, and just now releasing the information to the public. Claim some of the nuke tests were actually secret space tests, etc.

Capricorn One, I'll have to rent that. Sounds good in general.

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

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doubleofive said:

 

xhonzi said:


Is there a link between Nixon winning in 1960 and not entering the space race?
Yes, I'm imagining without JFK's Moon Speech to inspire America, it just kind of falls by the wayside. I'm thinking maybe NASA is still functional and has most of the technology to at least get an empty rocket into orbit, but never got the funding for actual astronauts. The public doesn't know this, and can assume we've been secretly studying all this for years, and just now releasing the information to the public. Claim some of the nuke tests were actually secret space tests, etc.

Capricorn One, I'll have to rent that. Sounds good in general.

 

This sounds like a fun idea. And to have Nixon being the one to pursue a more dishonest course of 'getting to the moon' makes sense.

More context from NASA:

While Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5, he only flew on a short suborbital flight instead of orbiting the Earth, as Gagarin had done. In addition, the Bay of Pigs fiasco in mid-April put unquantifiable pressure on Kennedy. He wanted to announce a program that the U.S. had a strong chance at achieving before the Soviet Union. After consulting with Vice President Johnson, NASA Administrator James Webb, and other officials, he concluded that landing an American on the Moon would be a very challenging technological feat, but an area of space exploration in which the U.S. actually had a potential lead. Thus the cold war is the primary contextual lens through which many historians now view Kennedy's speech.

So even the absence of the Bay of Pigs could mean less political pressure and strategic importance for actually going to the moon.

The blue elephant in the room.

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Lucas could say."I got it! I Got it!  We will CGI the whole thing.  Wouldn't that be cool?"

Everyone yells "Nooooooo"

looking for HDTV of the  Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.  Also HDTV of The Lord of the Rings trilogy

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Alright, here's what I came up with yesterday:

THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT:

Bay of Pigs succeeded, Cuba independent, no more threats of Communism in West.

No Vietnam war, either N Vietnam not aggressive or S Vietnam gives up.

Russia focuses on Space Race, not Nukes as much.

Without the wars, neither Cold nor Hot, America is bored.

“Nixon 60s” defined by laziness.

Nixon wants something better to define his presidency, and maybe a bit of him wants something to spark excitement in the lazy generation he’s created.

I'm imagining most Americans are sitting around watching TV, so they'll believe anything the TV tells them. NASA launches a rocket, it orbits for a bit, and they bring it back. However, is the rest of the world that lazy? The Russians would be trying to prove that the Americans were faking it, unless they were too busy with their own fake. Maybe that's part of the ending too.

"Why couldn't the Russians tell we were faking it?"

Then cut to the Russians still painting their miniatures for their version or something.


Anyway, I'm thinking this won't be a mean-spirited comedy, but maybe a feel-good one about people uniting for a common goal, even if that goal is to lie to the whole world.

“005 is super hep” - dahmage

Star Wars Revisited Wordpress / Facebook / Twitter

005’s List of List & Comparisons

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doubleofive said:

Alright, here's what I came up with yesterday:

THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT:

Bay of Pigs succeeded, Cuba independent, no more threats of Communism in West.

No Vietnam war, either N Vietnam not aggressive or S Vietnam gives up.

Russia focuses on Space Race, not Nukes as much.

Without the wars, neither Cold nor Hot, America is bored.

“Nixon 60s” defined by laziness.

Nixon wants something better to define his presidency, and maybe a bit of him wants something to spark excitement in the lazy generation he’s created.

I'm imagining most Americans are sitting around watching TV, so they'll believe anything the TV tells them. NASA launches a rocket, it orbits for a bit, and they bring it back. However, is the rest of the world that lazy? The Russians would be trying to prove that the Americans were faking it, unless they were too busy with their own fake. Maybe that's part of the ending too.

"Why couldn't the Russians tell we were faking it?"

Then cut to the Russians still painting their miniatures for their version or something.

I really like that idea. It'd be a fun little twist.

You could have one of the russians drop one of their miniatures as well, explaining why they didn't go to the moon. Or something like that.

This really sound like a fun movie.

<span style=“font-weight: bold;”>The Most Handsomest Guy on OT.com</span>

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doubleofive said:

Crap, would Nixon have signed the Civil Rights bills?

Research would need to be done but it is quite possible. The Republican Party was far more supportive of the Civil Rights bills than Democrats. President Eisenhower signed into law the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960.

For the 1964 bill, votes on the final version were

Senate: 

  • Democratic Party: 46-21   (69%–31%)
  • Republican Party: 27-6   (82%–18%)

 

House:  

  • Democratic Party: 153-91   (63%–37%)
  • Republican Party: 136-35   (80%–20%)

 

Nixon supported civil rights legislation while in the Senate and he helped with passage of the 1957 law. As president, he led efforts to desegregate schools - a big part of the 1964 Act. My guess is that he would have signed it. The one area where an issue might have arisen was Section II, but that's pure speculation on my part.

Edit:

Found an article that says:

"...former presidential candidate Richard Nixon also lobbied hard for the bill."

Need more information of course, but so far all information points to yes.

The blue elephant in the room.