So obsessed with delivering a story about "mania" through overcooked narrative and aesthetic means that one ultimately feels as manipulated as enlightened.
| Original Score: 2/4
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.
| Original Score: 3/6
...when it plays to our sense of selective memory and fills in the blanks on issues long forgotten, Sputnik Mania is masterful.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
something unlike anything out there.
| Original Score: 4/5
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Sputnik Mania is not riveting; but it is, first and last, informative.
reminds us that there was a time in the past when world leaders had morality and values
[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...
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
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
| Original Score: B+
David Hoffman's documentary Sputnik Mania is an account of that Soviet satellite's effect on the American consciousness.
| Original Score: 4/5
Refreshingly, 'Sputnik Mania' stands back and allows its tale to be told in memorable actuality footage backed with unobtrusive period music.
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.
Filled with funny moments ... it perfectly and even-handedly captures the spirit of the time.
Surprising, Insightful, Informative. We are reminded that an "atmosphere" of fear may be much more dangerous than the threat.
Clips from old television broadcasts make this space documentary entertaining.
Avoids reveling in Cold War kitsch in favor of a serious look one of the most important -- and frightening -- moments in human history.
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.