• G, 1 hr. 27 min.
  • Documentary
  • Directed By:
    David Hoffman
    In Theaters:
    Jun 1, 2007 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 20, 2009
  • Balcony Releasing

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Sputnik Mania (Sputnik) (The Fever of 57) Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

So obsessed with delivering a story about "mania" through overcooked narrative and aesthetic means that one ultimately feels as manipulated as enlightened.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

March 9, 2008
David Fear
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hoffman manages to keep the tone light -- even H-bomb paranoia gets a breezy treatment -- though most of his filmmaking choices range from banal to boneheaded.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

March 20, 2008
Bill Gibron
PopMatters

...when it plays to our sense of selective memory and fills in the blanks on issues long forgotten, Sputnik Mania is masterful.

Full Review Source: PopMatters | Original Score: 3.5/5

March 7, 2008
Matthew Nestel
Boxoffice Magazine

something unlike anything out there.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

March 17, 2008
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The archival footage here is great, and the cosmos-conquering craziness will satisfy space-race nuts. But the small budget is obvious, so director David Hoffman couldn't go from the Earth to the moon on every detail.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

March 14, 2008
Raphaela Weissman
New York Press

Sputnik Mania is not riveting; but it is, first and last, informative.

Full Review Source: New York Press

March 12, 2008
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com

reminds us that there was a time in the past when world leaders had morality and values

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

March 13, 2008
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

[A] smart, wry look at the American enthusiasm for and then paranoia over the first manmade satellite to orbit Earth... [R]ings with a truth that still holds...

Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher

June 18, 2008
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For those too young to remember, Sputnik Mania documents the fear and anxiety that gripped the United States half a century ago when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite in October 1957.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 14, 2008
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sputnik Mania plays, discreetly, like a negative love story between superpowers. Sure they moved on to other enemies, but they still haven't gotten over each other.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2008
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

The reigning champion in the archival footage department features great Soviet footage of those days that (hopefully) will never be seen again---the days of the US-Soviet space race.

| Original Score: 7/10

March 28, 2008
Tenley Woodman
Boston Herald

Full Review Source: Boston Herald | Original Score: B+

October 18, 2008
Matt Zoller Seitz
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

David Hoffman's documentary Sputnik Mania is an account of that Soviet satellite's effect on the American consciousness.

| Original Score: 4/5

March 14, 2008
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Refreshingly, 'Sputnik Mania' stands back and allows its tale to be told in memorable actuality footage backed with unobtrusive period music.

Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews

March 8, 2008
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve

The sharply edited film, which includes (happily) just a few talking heads but mostly exciting archival celluloid and campy stock is a love letter to Ike Eisenhower.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: B+

October 18, 2008
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews

Filled with funny moments ... it perfectly and even-handedly captures the spirit of the time.

Full Review Source: Internet Reviews | Original Score: 3/4

March 4, 2008
Ross Anthony
Hollywood Report Card

Surprising, Insightful, Informative. We are reminded that an "atmosphere" of fear may be much more dangerous than the threat.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card | Original Score: 3/4

February 26, 2008
Richard James Havis
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Clips from old television broadcasts make this space documentary entertaining.

March 14, 2008
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Avoids reveling in Cold War kitsch in favor of a serious look one of the most important -- and frightening -- moments in human history.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3/4

March 14, 2008
Frank Lovece
Film Journal International

Clear, comprehensible, polished and articulate, but lacking the gut-punch to raise this portrait of a world-changing event from the level of a museum piece.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

March 17, 2008
Betsy Sherman
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009
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