Sputnik Fever (Sputnik Mania) (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sputnik Fever (Sputnik Mania) (2007)



Critic Consensus: Featuring riveting footage, Sputnik Mania is an informative, well-made piece that effectively captures the mood during the height of the Cold War.

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Movie Info

Historians say that there have been three great shocks that brought America to its knees: The events of Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and the launch of Sputnik. Narrated by actor Liev Schreiber, "Sputnik Mania" reveals the dramatic and fast-moving story of what happened to America after the Soviet Union's launch of the world's first artificial satellite. Sputnik placed the U.S. and the USSR on a collision-course missile and space race. "Sputnik Mania" is a journey that chronicles how quickly the swing from Americans' initial thrill and awe turned to panic, fear and anxiety as leading politicians and the media whipped the public into an escalating mass frenzy. Perceived as evidence of an imminent attack by the Soviet Union, Sputnik not only created a deep fear among the American public, but also ushered in an era of remarkable educational, social and scientific developments with profound political and national-security implications for the United States and fascinating parallels to the present.
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News & Interviews for Sputnik Fever (Sputnik Mania)

Critic Reviews for Sputnik Fever (Sputnik Mania)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

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… | June 13, 2008
Boston Globe
Top 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… | March 14, 2008
New York Post
Top 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… | March 14, 2008
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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

March 14, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Clips from old television broadcasts make this space documentary entertaining.

March 14, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

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… | October 18, 2008

Audience Reviews for Sputnik Fever (Sputnik Mania)


Eisenhower is the hero of this documentary, which shows the post Sputnik craze in America and how the Cold War spiraled out of control for a few months. One wonders how we did not destroy ourselves in those days. Kudos goes to Eisenhower for keeping space a non-military sphere and for staying cool. I doubt any Republican, circa 2015, could do the same.

Sean Chick
Sean Chick

Doc did a really good job on setting the stage and mood for the paranoia of the Cold War. Highlights were the filmmakers presented the case of how the USA and USSR got into a "pissing" contest over technology, the hubris of assumed tech superiority by the USA, how fear will make people irrational and the pressures 2 very oppossite leaders felt from thier military to build more weapons into an ever escalating arms race towrds oblivion.

Bobby Diablo
Bobby Diablo

This is a great documentary made better by the DVD having some fun extras of period films, propaganda laced and oddly banal in scientific portrayal. It really is a great dissection of the time period and how the world got caught up with the idea of space travel. It really brought insight into cultural reactions and good personal insight into world leaders. It doesn?t just float along with the news regurgitation, it picks its points and edits them together well. The interviews enhance the story and the visuals add flavor. This is how a documentary can be made well in a non-Michael Moore or Ken Burns way. A by-the-book doc done well.

Lee B
Lee B

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