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The Dish

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The Dish
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Neill, Billy Mitchell, Roz Hammond, Christopher-Robin Street, Luke Keltie
  • Directors: Rob Sitch
  • Writers: Rob Sitch, Jane Kennedy, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner
  • Producers: Debra Herman, Jane Kennedy, Michael Hirsh
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 31, 2001
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MKKS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,557 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dish" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

NASA has set up a satellite dish in a tiny Australian town to televise the first moon landing in 1969. At the site, something has gone wrong and there is little time to find and correct the problem.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 7-SEP-2004
Media Type: DVD

The Dish, a good-natured and effortlessly funny Australian drama-comedy directed by Rob Sitch (The Castle), is filled with warm-hearted characters and has a factual hook that's irresistibly inspiring. This cumulative goodwill springs forth from the rural town of Parkes in New South Wales, where a 1,000-ton radio observatory dish is recruited to relay telemetry, voice, and television signals from the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. To make sure the dish delivers Neil Armstrong's "giant leap for mankind" to 600 million eager viewers, site director Cliff Buxton (Sam Neill, at his gentle best) relies on a three-man crew consisting of an American NASA watchdog (Patrick Warburton, resembling a bearish Clark Kent), a sarcastic engineer (Kevin Harrington), and a lovestruck math whiz (Tom Long) who's pining for the sister of the dish's rather dimly overzealous security guard (Taylor Kane).

Numerous other supporting characters add color to the proceedings, and crises arise (albeit briefly) when power outage, signal loss, and windstorms threaten to spoil Parkes's proudest hour. It all rates a bit high on the cuteness meter, but The Dish is so smoothly amusing that you won't object to its eagerness to please. By focusing on the Aussie locals, the film reminds us that the moon landing was an occasion of global unity, and pride in all humanity is reflected in the wondrous smiles of Cliff, his crew, and the citizens of Parkes. That they played such a small but pivotal role in this historical milestone is just one of many joys to be discovered in this delightful little movie. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Great film, and a cool story. based on true events.
Wonderful movie - very funny, and a great depiction of a wonderful historical moment.
If you like the "Right Stuff" or "Apollo 13" you will like this movie even more.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Vale-Allen VINE VOICE on August 28, 2002
Format: DVD
I managed to fall asleep on a friend's sofa and missed the moon landing, so I found this film not only gently entertaining but also oddly rewarding. The build-up to the Apollo 11's successful mission, as delivered by this script, is warmly personalized and made remarkably new. This is accomplished by some fine ensemble acting intercut with stock footage from around the world that is almost seamlessly blended into the narrative. Instead of looking very out of place, as most stock footage does, in this case the era is so nicely established by the costumes, the characters, the settings and especially the soundtrack, scenes shot back in July of 1969 seem very timely and appropriate. It's a credit to director Sitch that there's nothing maudlin about the film; it's low-key and sweetly amusing and yet surprisingly gripping. And it's particularly gratifying to see Sam Neill turn in an effectively low-key performance, after appearances in some pretty ghastly American films.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on October 13, 2001
Format: DVD
***1/2 ... I finally broke down and rented "The Dish," a true story about the small group of men working at a satellite dish in a remote section of Australia who, in July 1969, played a major part in helping to transmit the first live images of a man walking on the moon.
I'm happy to report that "The Dish" turns out to be a world-class charmer, a delightful film that captures the high-spirited innocence and optimism of the space race era and vividly recreates a time when people from all over the world could do little but stare in spellbound amazement at the achievements of which mankind proved itself capable - and feel the mutual pride and camaraderie that such events occasioned. The makers of "The Dish" dramatize this feeling of universal connectedness by showing how even the most remote, seemingly "insignificant" people could be made to feel a part of an event happening half a world away and commanding the attention of most of the planet's inhabitants. Here near the small town of Parkes, Australia, nestled in what is little more than a sheep pasture, looms the 1,000-ton satellite dish that will serve as the eye of the world for this event of monumental historic importance. The makers of the film have chosen to take a charming, low-key approach to the material, focusing on the likable, decidedly offbeat people who make up both the team at the dish as well as the citizenry of the nearby town. With the subtle quirkiness common to most Australian comedies, "The Dish" displays a real affection for its characters, showing them as flawed human beings who, nevertheless, learn to accept and cope with the differences that might otherwise separate them.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By profesordave on April 26, 2001
I had a chance to see this movie when I was in Australia over Christmas and would highly recommend it to anybody who likes well-crafted movies. The Dish is fact-based account of the events surrounding Neil Armstrong's historic moonwalk from the perspective of the scientists at the Parkes Radio Telescope (used to relay much of the first moonwalk to the rest of the Earth) and the town of Parkes itself. While some dramatic license was taken with the truth, the movie tells a lovely story that is at once touching, funny, quirky (in a good way) and suspenseful. Although US audiences will likely only recognize Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton, first-rate performances appear throughout the movie. It is apparently being marketed in the US as a comedy, but I don't know if that's an accurate portrayal; the characters were kind of quirky but they also had multiple dimensions, unlike a lot of US comedies - the movie could be seen as a drama as well (the movie poster at the theater in Sydney was much more understated than the US version - I personally think that the promotion in the US doesn't do the film justice). The soundtrack is first rate as well. I was told by a couple of Aussies that those who like "The Castle" (another movie by Rob Sitch) will definitely like "The Dish". In short, I paid to see the movie in a theater twice in Oz, and recommend it highly. At any rate, I'll definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2001
I just returned from a vacation in Australia, and the hardest thing about leaving was knowing this movie wasn't available on DVD for the US market yet. I saw this twice while I was there.
"The Dish" is a heartwarming story about a small Aussie town's moment of glory. Their radio telescope, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere yet curiously placed in this rural location in the middle of a sheep ranch, becomes the prime communications receiver for Apollo 11 while the moon is on their side of the world.
Americans will certainly recognize Sam Neill, playing someone with an accent closer to his own, and Patrick Warburton. But I'm not trying to downplay the great performances of the actors currently only known down under.
The movie has some great laughs and great characters. Anyone with half a mind for technical things and a little sense of humor should love this movie. If you have ever consoled yourself in an at-work disaster by telling yourself "hey, this isn't rocket science", you'll appreciate the scope staff's reaction to some "technical difficulties" encountered while trying to keep Apollo 11's radio transmissions going. In order to save the plot details for the viewing, I'll have to suffice it to say that the Aussies were a little too proud to say "Houston, we have a problem." But no worries, it all worked out in the end.
Americans may have some trouble understanding the Aussie accents and slang, but that's what the captions are for, right?
The sound track is full of great sixties tunes. The movie also brings back great memories to those old enough to remember where they were when the Apollo astronauts first walked on the moon.
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