While discussing "Apollo 13" recently, I remembered of another film I've seen but have mostly forgotten. I think it is also set in the era of the space race, and three astronauts are sent to... orbit? Moon? At some point during the trip they have a conflict between themselves (possibly due to questionable commands from Earth; not sure if they represented one country or several cooperating on the trip), and one of the crew wields a handgun that he has along as an officer while others are more bewildered about why he'd risk poking a big hole in a tin-foil spaceship and so why he has it on the flight at all(*), than about him shooting and hitting one of his crew mates.

Either way, I remembered that one of them (possibly the one with the gun) is portrayed by an actor with, for lack of better words, a prominent nose that reminded me of William Fichtner https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001209 but I've looked through his filmography and did not find anything that seemed like a match to me.

Does this ring a bell, anyone? Are there look-alike actors that I might confuse him with? Thanks in advance :)

(*) IRL, in both USA and USSR, early astro-/cosmo-nauts were career officers and entitled to weapons normally. They often had some shots stowed as part of flight equipment, primarily due to anticipated landing in wild parts of the planet and having to survive and fend off predators until recovery teams pick them up.

2 Answers 2


William Fichtner pulls a gun in the 1998 movie Armageddon playing Colonel Willie Sharp.

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  • 1
    Huh, skimmed over that entry but remembered the movie so differently that it did not click in my head... Gotta re-check I guess, thanks for the tip.
    – Jim Klimov
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 11:27

Just having watched this, Capricorn One (1977) fits your description.

When the first manned flight to Mars is deemed unsafe and scrubbed on the launch pad, anxious authorities must scramble to save face and retain their funding - and so an unthinkable plot to fake the mission is hatched.

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    Is there a scene where one of the astronauts pulls out a gun while in the spacecraft? I don't recall that. Commented May 29, 2023 at 9:30
  • The only time the astronauts were seen in the spacecraft was before launch - they were secretly taken out before the rocket took off, so there was definitely no scene with a gun aboard the capsule.
    – GordonD
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 11:15
  • Zero overlap with the question. Commented May 29, 2023 at 11:54
  • right, the gun scene doesn't fit well. ChatGPT suggested the episode "the dark side of the sun", part of the mini-series "from the earth to the moon", based on the original posters description. Haven't seen it myself, yet
    – Joe H
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 11:55
  • Although not a match for the original question, still, thanks for the suggestion - seems like an interesting film, and part of a constellation of 70-80's conspiracy theories on big screen. (Not my downvote)
    – Jim Klimov
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 12:48

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