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Fallen Idol: The Yuri Gagarin Conspiracy

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What if every history book was wrong? In 1961 during the height of the cold war between the United States and Russia something extraordinary happened…On April 12th, 1961, the Soviet Union reports the successful launch, orbit and reentry of the first man in space, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin pushing the cold war into a space duel. With the collapse of communism and the rise of freedom in the Russian Federation, recent access to documents in the Kremlin archives reveal a story intended to remain buried forever. Yuri Gagarin, the icon of triumphant communism known world over, was not the first man in space. He was preceded by Vladimir Ilyushin, an unsung hero and the man at the center of this decades old conspiracy….


Fallen Idol: The Yuri Gagarin Conspiracy… presents a persuasive enough case that Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin was not -- as history has written -- the first man in outer space… True or not, it's one of the movie's many intriguing what ifs that make this doc interesting. --Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

I cannot recommend seeing this film enough with the great Elliot Gould (a perfect fit) hosting this Documentary. The film grabs your attention in the first minute and you are glued to screen till the final shocking moments and believe me there is many of those. I was shocked, baffled and even a bit angry watching this film but in a way I was also amazed at what a country would do to reach its goal even if it meant death. This is a must-see and one of the best films I have seen in some time --Patrick Ricketts, Video Views

Fallen Idol: The Yuri Gagarin Conspiracy (2008) is a fascinating documentary contending that the Cold War cosmonaut hailed as the first man in space actually wasn't … the evidence presented appears level-headed, reasonable, and in part supported by primary evidence and first-hand accounts. Now, as a movie, this is Recommended. --Stuart Galbraith,

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Elliott Gould, Yuri Gagarin, Sergei Khrushchev, Col. Yuri Lyzlov, Dennis Ogen
  • Directors: Sam Oldham, Denny Hooten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Indican Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QZDW20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 16, 2010
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FALLEN IDOL is well done, fun to look at for its many vintage film clips and enlivened by Elliott Gould's interested narration, but in the end this is a total work of fiction. (Gould was chosen for this program because in 1979 he played a character in CAPRICORN ONE who proved that an historic NASA flight was faked.)

Claims that test pilot Vladimir Ilyushin and not Yuri Garagin was the first man in space, that he went up five days before Gagarin or less than a month before are proven untrue by NORAD tracking system records which show no launches from the USSR before Garagrin's historic 4/12/61 flight. For those who remember the Mercury program in its infant first year, do you think a second mission could've been readied in 5 days or even 3 weeks?

As their proof, presenters of this 90 minute "exposé" offer tidbits like: the zealously guarded Soviet files documenting Ilyushin's flight were examined by us but making photocopies of them wasn't permitted. HOW convenient. Also, the Tern Island "smoking gun" tracking segment is equally amusing. Paraphrase of Gould: "I have in my hand the testimony of an anonymous engineer, who in April '61..." blah-blah-blah. And just like in a hackneyed conspiracy movie, the NSA refused to release Tern Island transcripts or tapes and supposedly threatened this nameless engineer with years of prison if he went on the record. Oh yah.

I've enjoyed watching FALLEN IDOL but have done so knowing its main premise has not a scintilla of hard evidence to back it up. Assertions that the American government and NORAD are in on some sort of cover-up are laughable-- what do they have to gain by not discrediting Gagarin, and why does it matter at all WHICH Russian beat America into space? That one did so in early 1961 remains a fact of history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Biker Bruce on May 16, 2010
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The premise is that due to certain inconsistencies in the surviving records, the producers, spoken for by Elliot Gould, accuse the Soviet Union of fraud in their Vostok program of putting a man in space, and they seriously question whether Yuri Gagarin ever went into orbital flight.

They argue strongly, and bring various "witnesses" to support their version of events, but I feel they have not done a sufficiently convincing job to upset the official account, nor to dethrone Gagarin from being the USSR's biggest hero of their entire history. However, the movie is crammed full of really cool historical trivia, and many images pulled from Gagarin's 7 years of glory prior to his tragic death in the test-flight crash of a Mig-15 in 1968.

This is a very educational, and engaging look at the Russian side of the Space Race of the 1960's, and I've already watched it 3 times, and expect to watch it several more times as my time permits.
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Wow, great fiction! This documentary claims that Soviet pilot Vladimir Ilyshin was the first cosmonaut to fly in space, (1961) and accidently landed in China but fails to seek an interview or confirm with the now late Russian pilot or any relatives and official historians. The documentary also paints a negative picture of the late cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin while never including family, friends or credible sources including US or NASA officials. There are a few instances addressing declassified documents like the Nedelin Catastrophe, a ground accident that claimed hundreds of lives in October 1960. The fatal crash of Soyuz 1's cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov on april 24, 1967 however, was not covered up at all and yet the documentary Fallen Idol: The Yuri Gagarin Conspiracy accuses the Soviet Union of this. There are fortunately many newspaper articles online from 1967 reporting the death of the Russian cosmonaut soon after his crash. Racheal Seymoour a "former CIA political analyst" interviewed for the documentary turns out to be a university student who worked for a low level CIA office during her summer breaks at University of Washington. What is more baffling is the fact that Ms.Seymore is also a full time actress working on The Young and the Restless soap opera and the very conspicuous B-movie, The Interplanetary Surplus male and Amazon Women of Outer Space. It is sad that fellow and veteran actor Elliot Gould would agree to participate in a film that irresponsibly fabricates unfounded myths and painfully dishonors many men and women who sacrificed their lives during the early years of the space race.
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There are many footage from the 60s that were nice to look at. Some I had never seem before and that was interesting but the whole conspiracy thing is crap. No interviews done with the people who were there and are still alive, no Soviet/Russian documents were shown, no hard evidence at all, Just pure crap made up and backed by foreign reporters. Since when do reporters report the truth? Some of the claims are even laughable like the report from one of the operators who tracked a manned space flight days before Gagarin's flight. The report wasn't shown, it was read and the operator's name wasn't revealed because he was threatened with jail if he showed his face on this documentary. The Soviet Union/Russia was and still is to an extent a very secretive nation but the truth would've been out already had somebody else been the first in space. A much more entertaining option is The Red Stuff dvd, which contains interviews with those that are still alive and were there.
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