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Challenger (1990)

Karen Allen , Barry Bostwick , Glenn Jordan  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Challenger + NOVA: Columbia - Space Shuttle Disaster + ABC News Classics Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
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Product Details

  • Actors: Karen Allen, Barry Bostwick, Angela Bassett, Peter Boyle
  • Directors: Glenn Jordan
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Fisher Klingenstein Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2012
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V23CU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,287 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

As the world excitedly awaited what should have been a routine liftoff for the space shuttle Challenger, equipment complications turned the mission into a ticking time-bomb. Adding to the drama of the mission was the presence of Christa McAuliffe (Karen Allen), a school teacher chosen from hundreds of candidates to be the first civilian in space. This compelling account, based on the true story of the tragic space shuttle disaster, offers a poignant look into the lives of the seven crew members during the months leading up to the launch.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Made for TV Movie with at least some merit. September 10, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Challenger disaster was an emotional letdown after years and years of space successes. Suddenly, what had seemed routine was demonstrated to be not so routine after all.

Roughly four years after the fact this made for TV movie came out and I remember watching it with interest at the time. Peter Boyle's portrayal of Roger Boisjoly, the Morton Thiokol engineer that had opposed the launch of Challenger, was the high point of the movie for me.

Karen Allen played an effervescent Christa Mcauliffe. Upon my first viewing I was convinced that her portrayal was hopelessly idealized portraying Mcauliffe as a self sacrificing super-teacher but I have since learned that in real life Christa Mcauliffe was in fact much like the person portrayed in the movie.

As long as one remembers that this is a docu-drama with some dramatic license employed the movie remains enjoyable in spite of being a bit sappy in places. The subject matter is something I think is very worthwhile and I appreciate that the story has been told and preserved in the form of this movie.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie about STS-51L August 18, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I'm a nasa engineer. This movie although old, is a very good insight into how nasa's shuttle program was run even after we lost Challenger. Some will disagree but there was always some degree of launch fever. Right up thru STS-135. Losing Challeneger and Columbia were preventable accidents if the managers listened to their engineers and this movie gives you a very realistic look at the bureaucracy that has and always will be part of nasa until America accepts some risk in space exploration.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting look into a part of history. February 26, 2009
I think this a great movie that gives you a chance to see the crew from a personal point of view. Also all the mistakes NASA and Morton Thiacal made are in this movie. The cast is great and makes me hungry for more information and insite on this tragic event in history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Movie About The Challenger Disaster April 15, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
On Tuesday, January 28th, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Earth. Approximately 77 seconds later, the shuttle exploded, leaving millions watching on the ground and on television shocked and saddened. This fine made-for-tv movie does a very good job of explaining the events leading up to the explosion.

Karen Allen stars as Christa McAuliffe. Christa was to be the first civilian launched into space. A teacher, Christa was to perform experiments and give lessons while in orbit. Barry Bostwick stars as Dick Scobee. Scobee was the mission commander and had overall command of the shuttle. Peter Boyle stars as Roger Boisjoly. Boisjoly was an engineer from Morton Thiokol; a firm that developed the o-rings for the shuttle's solid rocket boosters. Boisjoly was against launching the shuttle in cold temperatures due to the uncertain nature of the o-rings sealing correctly.

The movie takes the viewer through the six months leading up to the launch date. Included are Christa's selection and training, along with the rest of the crew (Ellison Onizuka, Ron McNair Judith Resnick, Michael Smith, and Greg Jarvis).

I especially enjoyed watching the controversy over the o-rings and other mechanical aspects. The shots from the launch pad on the day of the launch showing huge icicles hanging off should have been enough evidence to stop the launch.

I recommend this movie very highly. The acting is good, and the events leading up to the launch are interesting to watch. This movie does a good job of portraying one of the saddest days in our nation's history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare! December 31, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I like this story leading up to the accident. I was a little disappointed not to see incident at the end of the movie (no exploding scene like news covered, back at that time) It was a nice drama story! I feel like it was watching Deep Impact. It had some good actors that I can see today! If love dramas this movie is for you. Armageddon or action sorry its not there!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie July 14, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I remember where I was when I heard about two events in my life, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated and when I heard the news about the Challenger. I enjoyed this movie as it made a statement on the life of each hero on that flight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must see June 14, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had seen this movie on TV back in 1991 and had always wanted to watch it again. This is a must-see for everyone following the shuttle progam in its early days in the 1980's like myself. From the looks of the actors (who were picked to resemble the actual crew) to every other detail, this movie is a perfect representation of how the shuttle program worked and how it was perceived in those days when 'the sky seemed to be no limit'.
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By erdprod
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
In the tradition of The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 (but not quite up to their budget and quality level, but still a good piece) this shows the events leading up to the Challenger disaster (but we don't actually see the disaster or even get an ending card telling us, so it ends on an up beat note) centering mostly around the teacher (played by Karen Allen Indy's gal pal in Raiders of the Lost Ark), Sharon Christa McAuliffe, but also showing the rest of the crew and the solid booster and launch people. It gives you a good picture of what was going on behind their backs and what was going on with them at the same time. It's a TV dramatization so not everything you see and hear may be totally true (and the families were not in favor of this presentation) but we still get a fair idea of what things were like. Also featured is Joe Morton (The Borther from Another Planet, the boss in Speed, Henry in Eureka, Dyson in T2, among other films and TV shows). It's a made for TV movie and not for HBO so one can almost NEVER give a 5 star rating. But it's a solid production and the Amazon Instant video quality is every bit as goo as the DVD (it's square TV format in 480i resolution and has not been re-mastered or enhance, but it still good quality). If you want to really understand the Challenger Disaster PAIR this up with another offering called the THE CHALLENGER which is a five star BBC production with William Hurt and Bruce Greenwood showing the works in the committee investigating the disaster centering around Dr. Feynman the only independent investigator (it's only on Amazon Instant and at a good price). These two Challenger movies give you a good overview with the normal Hollywood cooking ingredients.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The end was very premature.
It was a very good show until the end. We felt it could have acknowledged how NASA reacted after the explosion, etc. the end was very disappointing.
Published 1 month ago by Elthea Danley
2.0 out of 5 stars 80s classic, but.....
Terrible acting some humans, boring beginning. Classic though. A lot of drawn out scenes. But come on, it has Peter Boyle
Published 4 months ago by mauimark
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly human interest story with some good techno scenes
If you can get past all the 'cheese'...there are some worthy elements to this 80's TV special. It's mostly a human drama focusing on the astronauts involved but there is also... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Shimon Mor
3.0 out of 5 stars challenger
It was just ok. Nothing to get excited over. Would I watch it again. Maybe. Not one of my top movies.
Published 7 months ago by barb
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie.
My daughter was doing a report on Christa McAuliffe. We rented this after she had done her report. She enjoyed actually seeing how the space program worked.
Published 18 months ago by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars challenger
Nicely done description of the facts leading to the challenger disaster.
Good performances from the cast.A must for the space fan.
Published 20 months ago by Jose Cabral
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible ending
For the most part I assume this movie was accurate as to the scientific details of Challenger and what went wrong. However, the ending was terrible. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sandy
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