Three astronauts, already debilitated after five months in the Saturn Orbital Laboratory space station, are stranded in their return vehicle, when the engines fail to fire up. The film consists of the efforts to rescue them, the air that is measured out by the minute, the tensions that arise between the astronauts in the small capsule, and their wives, who bravely try to cope. The plot could get predictable were it not for the taut, plausible script, the well-paced direction by John Sturges, the marvelous acting, and the sound. This is the only film I can remember seeing that has no musical soundtrack, just gripping sound effects that add so much to the tension. Even after repeated viewings, this film has an edginess, and it owes much of it to its imaginative use of sound.
Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, Gene Hackman