Before Top Gun, Apollo 13 or The Right Stuff, this breathtaking, jet-fueled journey of high-altitude filmmaking blasted audiences from zero-G to 4,000 miles per hour with its thrilling tale of America's victory in the space race. Starring David McLean, Charles Bronson and Mary Tyler Moore, X-15 sets the sky as the limitfor excitement! The courageous pilots of the Air Force's X-15 program are determined to take an experimental rocket 100 miles above the earth at four times the speed of sound! At stake is American air supremacy and proof that space travelis possible. But also at stake are their lives and the lives of the terrified wives they've left behind!
Frank Sinatra was among the producers for X-15, an interesting space-race film that marked the feature debut of Richard Donner (the Lethal Weapon series, Timeline) and provided an early lead role for Charles Bronson, who leads a solid cast in this occasionally tense, hardware-driven drama. Bronson, David McLean, and Ralph Taeger are test pilots for the X-15 research vehicle, which brought man to the brink of outer space for the first time. The film divides its running time between scenes of the crew testing the rocket and domestic drama involving their wives and girlfriends (played by Mary Tyler Moore, Patricia Owens, and Lizabeth Hush). James Stewart's narration offers an all-American layer to the script, written by James Ward Bellah (whose stories were adapted by John Ford for She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Sergeant Rutledge, among others) and producer Tony Lazzarino. Eagle-eyed fans might notice future California congressman Robert Dornan among the ground crew. MGM's widescreen DVD offers no extras. --Paul Gaita