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The Dish
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  • "Tranquility Base .... The Eagle Has Landed."
    A very good film. Sam Neill stars as the head man at an Australian tracking station responsible for transmitting the first live television images from the lunar surface in July 1969.

    In this writer's estimation, Mr. Neill gives a very solid, understated performance here. The perfect touch given Neill by the filmmakers was the addition of his ever-present pipe. He's rarely without his trusty companion. IMO, that pipe gives his character more "character", if you will. It seems the perfect prop for this characterization.

    An assortment of adept supporting players are on hand here as well, providing genuine moments of humor, and tenderness, throughout. The neighborhood "boy soldier" (who's dying to get into some sort of military duty) is a howling treat!

    This film offers a near-perfect blend of laughs and drama. Plus a very nice 60s musical score to boot!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this 101-minute ride to the moon on "The Dish"!

    Although offering little in the way of extra features (save the trailer and some cast notes), I would also give the DVD performance a thumbs-up as well. Nice full 5.1 surround sound, and an excellent anamorphic widescreen picture are on tap here.

    If you haven't yet, check out "The Dish"! It's an amazing little gem....more info

  • Fun and great history, too
    Saw this in the theater and enjoyed it again just as much on DVD. It's 1969 and the people of Honeysuckle Creek, Australia are very excited because their satellite dish will be used to transmit television images of the first moonwalk to the world. There are lots of wonderful characters, from the lovelorn engineer too shy to ask out the pretty local girl, the redfaced mayor with the space-obsessed son, the NASA by-the-book American who's been sent to oversee the Australians, and the calm bespectacled leader of the Dish's crew. When disaster strikes in the form of a power outage, the town's chance for fame and glory appears about to fade away. Can the intrepid engineers save the day? There's actual footage from the launch and moonwalks which are still riveting almost 40 years later....more info
  • One small step for man, one giant leap for Parkes, Australia
    On July 20, 1969, one of the most impressive achievements in human history occurred when the entire world witnessed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first two human beings to ever walk upon an extraterrestrial world: Earth's moon. Television images were transmitted from Tranquility Base, the landing point for the Apollo 11 Lunar Module "Eagle", using a small, low-powered television transmitter to send live pictures of the historic event back to Earth. Because the signal was so low-powered, only the largest radio-telescopes on the Earth had the necessary gain to amplify and receive the transmissions. Since the Earth rotates, multiple radio-telescope stations were used on different continents to receive the signals when they were in a position to observe the moon. (This is commonly called "line of sight".)

    Films such as "Apollo 13" (1995) and "The Right Stuff" (1983), as well as the TV mini-series "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998), all focused primarily upon the exploits of the astronauts during the early years of NASA, whose primary mission was, as spoken by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, "before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." Of course, the astronauts were not the only people responsible for the achievements of the Apollo program; there were engineers, technicians and many other people, including a handful of people working at the radio-telescope station located in a sheep paddock in the small farming community of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia.

    Many people are unaware that Australia played a pivotal role with the Apollo 11 moon landing back in July, 1969; but in 2000, director Rob Stitch created a wonderful and entertaining film called "The Dish" capturing the critical contribution that Australia made with its radio-telescope in Parkes. Revisiting the Parkes radio-telescope decades after the historic moon landing is the retired Cliff Buxton (Sam Neill). He thinks back to those critical days in July, 1969 when he managed the radio-telescope and was assisted by technicians Ross 'Mitch' Mitchell (Kevin Harrington), who was responsible for maneuvering the large dish antenna, and the shy Glenn Lathom (Tom Lang), who worked the receiving equipment. NASA also sent a representative, Al Bartnett (Patrick Warburton), to both coordinate the radio-telescope with NASA personnel and supervise the station during the Apollo 11 mission. At NASA's request, a local man is hired to be a security guard, Rudi (Tayler Kane), to protect the station during the mission.

    Prior to the Apollo 11 mission, activities at the Parkes radio-telescope are very relaxed. Cliff often climbs onto the dish to relax and smoke his favorite pipe, while Mitch and Glenn practice playing cricket on the dish. In one humorous scene during the Apollo mission, when the U.S. Ambassador (John McMartin) is leaving the station after a visit and the dish antenna is being lowered to point towards the horizon, a cricket ball rolls off the dish antenna in front of Cliff Buxton. Other fun aspects of the film involve the townspeople of Parkes, its mayor & his wife, the U.S. Ambassador and the Australian Prime Minister.

    Things heat up considerably at the radio-telescope one night while they are tracking and receiving signals from the Apollo 11 spacecraft en route to the moon: a power outage across the Parkes area causes all of the equipment within at the radio-telescope to shut down because a backup generator fails to come on. After power is restored, all of the eqipment comes back on, but the settings and computer program being used to determine the location of the Apollo 11 spacecraft are lost. Frantic, Glenn and Cliff try for hours to recalculate where the Apollo 11 should be so that they will know where to point the antenna when Parkes has clear line of sight again. Unable to perform their calculations fast enough using slide rules, Al looks out a window and tells them to simply try pointing the dish at the moon, which they can see with their eyes. With no other options, Mitch points the huge antenna towards the moon, then slowly moves the antenna around until they reacquire the signal from Apollo 11.

    Things heat up again the next day, July 20, just prior to Parkes again coming into view of the moon in time to receive the all-important moonwalk TV signals. Can the crew of the Parkes radio-telescope keep things together to receive the most important transmission of all? Watch this fun and exciting Australian film and find out!

    I highly recommend "The Dish" to anyone that loves the history NASA, astronomy and the Apollo moon landings, but I'm sure that most people will enjoy this film regardless. Many thanks go to the director, producer, actors and crew that brought this film to life showing the often overlooked and less glamorous people involved with the manned exploration of space....more info

  • Sense of purpose
    This is a great movie about Apollo 11's landing on Moon. It is 1969, time when there was only black and white television. Yet, physicists were using telemetry and satellite dish for mapping the starts in the sky, that could now be used to pick up that radio signal from far away. We get to see a small group of staff in Parkes, Australia that is tasked to pick up the signal from Apollo when northern hemisphere cannot. They work hand in hand with NASA on recording astronauts' every move on their way to and from Moon. What is endearing about the film is humorous take on interactions between Americans and Australians; the clash of cultures as well as similarities; their determination of overcoming all obstacles and ensuring the TV picture of the Neil Armstrong's first walk on the Moon. If you like the "Right Stuff" or "Apollo 13" you will like this movie even more. This is a film about regular men with strong sense of purpose in their role of one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. Sam Neill give a very fine performance of Science Director taking all the risks necessary to keep peace amongst his staff and produce a signal that will change the history of mankind forever....more info
  • An Australian Masterpiece
    I just read some of the reviews for this movie, and it is great to see people other than Australians enjoying it. I think it is a heart warming movie about the 'little people' involved in the biggest event of the modern era: man walking on the moon.
    The soundtrack is true to the 1960's music, and the cast of Sam Neil, Tom Long, Patrick Warburton and Kevin Harrington (whom I was fortunate enough to meet recently and discuss the movie with) are perfect for their roles as casual Aussies and formal American.
    There is a great number of Australian humour littered about the movie which anyone will enjoy. It isn't just the space program, but the town of Parkes (NSW)and the Dish - in a sheep paddock still to this day....more info
  • A sweet-natured movie, well acted and amusing
    Terms such as "charming," "sweet-natured," "gentle" and "good-spirited" may mean the kiss of death for some movies. It's also possible that the movie in question just might be worth watching because it is well-made, deals with a genuinely inspiring topic and features some classy actors. For me, The Dish falls in that category. The dish is a 1,000-ton radio telescope plunked down in a sheep pasture close to the New South Wales town of Parkes. It's purpose, as part of a NASA network, is to help track Apollo 11's voyage to the moon and to relay television pictures of Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to set foot there. Sam Neill as Cliff Buxton heads the team running the radio telescope. There's also Al Burnett (Patrick Warburton) as a NASA representative, Glenn Latham (Tom Lang) as a young and excruciatingly shy mathematician and computer whiz, and Mitch Mitchell (Kevin Harrington), who's job it is to see that all the mechanical functions work without a hitch.

    We know Armstrong made it and we know television showed us his first steps. For those of us who were around, we also remember how amazing it all was. What we learn in this gentle comedy are the crises that happened. One morning, for instance, Cliff says, "Glenn, come here." "What?" Al Burnett looks at Glenn. "Every coordinate in this book has been changed," he says. "Yeah... I changed them," Glenn says. "Why?" "Because they were wrong." "Why were they wrong," Al asks. "Dunno," Glenn says. Latham steps in. "What about them were wrong," he asks Glenn. "Oh! Well," Glenn says, "the figures NASA gave us were for the northern hemisphere... and we're in the southern hemisphere? I can change them back but then you'd be pointing in the wrong dir..." "Glenn, it might be a good idea for you to tell us these things," Cliff says. "Oh, sure, I just didn't want to worry you... Cuppa tea, Al?"

    There's the pride and enthusiasm that overtakes everyone living in Parkes, the visit from the U.S. ambassador and the Australian prime Minister that sends everyone into a tizzy, the near disaster that occurs when contact is lost with Apollo 11 and how an amusing appearance of imperturbability is maintained in public when everything from failed back-up generators, wiped-out computers and a gale promises one of the biggest let-downs -- no television broadcast -- for the entire world. For me, one of the reasons this movie works so well is because Parkes is an idealized small town where everyone knows each other, there are absolutely no secrets, and where the people have personalities which are calculated to be amusing but which aren't manipulated into becoming caricatures. Bob McIntyre (Roy Billing), the mayor of Parkes, is a fireplug of a guy who resembles Bob Hoskins. The technical aspects of what's happening may go over his head, but he's willing to give the benefit of the doubt to almost anyone. His relationship with his wife, May (Genevieve Mooy), is friendly, loving and pleasant to observe. We learn a little, and occasionally a lot, about the people of Parkes and we wind up liking them. This is comedy, but it's gentle stuff. When we smile at a person's puzzlement, dialogue or reaction it's because we appreciate the situation, not that we're enjoying our own superiority.

    Sam Neil, smoking a pipe and wearing a sweater, provides the steady center of the movie. He does a fine job. The Dish is more or less based on a true story and we're told at the end that the radio telescope is still part of the NASA tracking network. The DVD transfer is first-rate. There are no significant extras....more info
  • Great Film
    This is a great film and it really captures some true Australian country lifestyles and humor....more info
  • One Of My Favorite ......
    A simply charming movie based on a true story. The acting was good and the subtle dry English humor all the way through simply made this one of the more enjoyable movies I have seen from start to finish. Wish there were more out there like this.
    Any space history buffs would not want to miss this one....more info
  • Return to a simpler time
    The plot has been well-described by others, but what I found most charming was the simpleness of the time. We've lost that with our needs for high-security. The gentle wrap-up at the end says it all. Imagine _playing_ on a satellite dish of that magnitude (and not doing any damage I might add)! Those days are gone and it's nice to go back for a few hours and be nostalgic for the nicer things about that era. Coming from a "NASA family," it's great to be able to see the earlier (greater?) days of that organization too....more info
  • A gem.
    This movie includes two of my favorites, Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton. Neill is endearing as the fatherly head of the team. Warburton is cast as a straight laced NASA engineer which he plays very well. I'm not used to him in a non-comedic role. It's a very likeable story with a large collection of local color characters. You are brought into each characters story in a gentle and endearing way. I thought Kevin Harrington was a real find. I enjoyed the historical aspect of the moonwalk as well. More movie fans should investigate Australian movies, there is so much to offer. If you like this, pick up the Australian release on DVD of "The Castle" as well. Don't bother with the US version. ( You will need an all-region DVD player)...more info
  • A simple little movie; an enjoyable pleasure
    'The Dish' refers not to Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson, but rather to a satellite superdish remotely located in the Australian Outback.

    And while 'The Dish' doesn't deliver Oscar-level angst and pathos, it is a sweet little slice-of-life /back-to-simpler-times piece that is the perfect Saturday night rental.

    In terms of the movie itself, Sam Neill carries it on his quite capable back. It depicts the far-flung and often unexpected way in which the 1969 Moon landing brought the world together, united in fellowship and good spirit, for a brief moment in time.

    That might sound corny, but it's the type of feeling that the movie invokes. 'The Dish' is really worth checking out....more info

  • Dishing on "Dish"
    The movie, "Dish" is a marvelous waltz down memory lane for the generation that gathered around balck & white TVs to watch the first moonwalk ( on the actual moon). For eveyone else who was born too late, it's a hilarious history lesson told through in a funny narrative. Absolutely worth watching....more info
  • Funny and fascinating
    This movie was great on a couple levels. First of all, it really conveyed the emotions and the world-wide importance of our first foray onto the Moon. By the end I was both smiling and a little teary with pride for everyone who participated in the lunar landing, and for humankind.

    Second, I loved the portrait of small town Australia. The characters were very realistic. I love the Aussie sense of humor and this film had me giggling quite often. I also loved the various quirky townspeople.

    Third, it resonated with me as a scientist. The rush to get something done properly and on time, the frantic scribbling on a blackboard...these are all parts of life for me, and it's comforting in a way to know that even the people in charge of the big stuff go through the same frustrations and triumphs.

    Obviously the end is predictable, but there's no way to avoid that. It's done very well in such a way that you can practically forget history and wonder if it's all going to work out....more info

  • Hawai'i Five-0 fans will like it! Very funny (and somewhat vulgar) story RE: tracking Dish in Aus used during NASA's trip 2 Moon
    True story of Australian Satillitte Dish
    ('The Dish') used during our NASA flight
    to the Moon because of it's location 'Down
    Under'. Hawai'i Five-0 fans will love the
    part where Aus High School Band plays Hawai'i
    Five-0 theme instead of American National
    Anthem; Hawai'i Five-0 was already huge on
    US T.V when this event actually happened!
    Not well released here in the US, but I
    found out about through the Hawai'i Five-0
    Newsletter, 'Central Dispatch' several yrs.,
    ago! Well made, but sort of a long non-stop
    cuss-a-thon!...more info
  • A Great Movie about a Piece of Oz's Role in US Space History
    This is a delightful film about the famous Parkes Satellite dish, located in a sheep meadow in Australia, and the role it's small, but intrepid crew played in Armstrong's walk on the moon. This site is still very much a part of the US space programme and something most Americans don't realize. It is a really delightful film. You'll laugh yourself silly, but learn alot too......more info
  • 1 Dish for 600 Million People
    When I was a kid, I inherited my uncle's collection of newspaper clippings about space exploration. I found it both interesting and inspiring to carry on a tradition of tracking the Space Race from the 50s and 60s through modern times. Unfortunately, it rapidly became time consuming as more and more articles were written about the space shuttle and space exploration in general.

    Then the rest of real life distracted me. It was too hard to keep investing in something that just wasn't as exciting. Where were the manned space stations the size of cities? The helpful flying robots? The visitation to strange alien planets?

    Eventually, I gave up. And that pretty much sums up the state of space exploration today.

    It's easy to forget the magic and wonder of the moon landing. 600 million people watched the event around the globe. SIX HUNDRED MILLION. There isn't any televised event in my experience to date that I can compare to that.

    Of course, the moon landing was about much more than just flying to the moon. It represented democracy as a viable product of superior technology over communism. It represented the triumph of the human spirit over the daunting physical barriers of the void. And it represented the arrival of science as a force to be reckoned with, achieving something thought impossible. In essence, it was the biggest PR moment in the history of science, and the whole world was watching.

    The reason the whole world saw anything besides static is because of a little town known as Parkes, Australia. Located opposite the U.S. on the globe, Parkes is ideally positioned to pick up signals from the moon landing. Surrounded by a sheep paddock, three scientists find themselves tasked with the awesome job of acting as backup to the U.S. broadcasting system.

    Thus we have an ideal character study, with four personalities in very cramped conditions under extreme pressure. There's Cliff Buxton (Sam Neil), the sad professor and patriarch of his little group. Cliff lost his wife a year before and is finally learning to let go. We have the fiery-tempered Ross "Mitch" Mitchell (Kevin Harrington), who bristles at American arrogance. Then there's the shy but brilliant Glenn Latham (Tom Long), who has a crush on Janine Kellerman (Eliza Szonert) but doesn't have the courage to ask her out. Finally, there's Al Burnett (Patrick Warburton), the NASA representative and American icon--always in a black suit, with the trademark black-rimmed glasses and disapproving glare.

    You wouldn't expect much excitement or action from a huge piece of equipment that moves at a few feet a minute, but The Dish manages to convey just that. It starts out slow, but there's a master plan: the contrast between the titanic machinery of the dish with the rolling countryside, the flat colors with the bright palette of the small town, the sophisticated scientists with the lovable country folk. Throughout, we're reminded that this is science at its best and worst. It's a miracle that anybody really does make it to the moon...and yet we can barely keep one broadcasting station running.

    And that's the message of The Dish: When you think about it, the world is a very tiny place in this great big cosmos. If everyone kept that perspective, they might try getting along better.

    In these turbulent times, we could all learn something from The Dish.
    ...more info
  • "The Dish" leaves us feeling good
    I orginally discovered "The Dish" when a neighbor brought this unknown movie over to watch with us one evening. I was interested in the subject matter having taught Astronomy at the college level and also spent considerable time in Australia. So, we put it in the DVD player, and an amazing thing happened: We really were taken back to 1969, and our surroundings, and the people we were with, were as real as life.

    This movie title provides no evidence just how much you will take away from it. As an American, it gave me a taste of the pride and sense of accomplishment we all felt as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon. (Before "America Bashing" became popular, mostly among the members of our own media.) As a human being, it brought back that amazing day in July 1969 when we all broke the bonds of gravity and watched one of us walk on another planet (well, moon, actually...) for the first time in history.

    The movie brings out all the small events, triumphs, and errors, that combine to make any great achievement possible. It tells the stories of the 'regular' people of Parkes, a small town in New South Wales, who, by doing their jobs, helped bring the images of the first steps on the moon to eyes all over the world.

    It examined the most intriguing questions that needed be answered before we took the steps away from our Earthly home; like: "How do they go wizzz up there?" (Evidently remains unknown to this day!) Or, " Without the co-ordinates, how do we find the Moon?" (Answer; Look out the window!) And, "Is this mission really funded by the CIA?" (Answer: Not completely.)

    From the NASA project manager who is terrified that he'll screw up his big opportunity, and the engineer who forgot to prime the fuel pump on the back-up generator, to the love struck mathematician who tries to ask the love of his life for a date and the mayor's 'radical' daughter who is convined that everything is a CIA/imperialist plot, the cast brings the characters to life and leaves the viewer with a real feeling of having been there sharing it all with them.

    The sound track makes us feel like it really is 1969. The choice of music is perfect. You will really laugh, and there may be a few tears of pride and happiness as you watch the very believable cast bring 1969 small town Australia to life. One of the best movies I have ever seen. You'll watch it over and over....more info
  • The Dish
    Great movie. Was aware they were having problems with the transmission from Australia but never heard the story about losing Apallo 13...more info
  • A Nice Surprise
    I had never heard anything about this movie before finding it at a garage sale, but I bought it because I like Sam Neill. What a pleasant surprise it turned out to be! The Dish is a gentle, quiet movie without being sappy that manages to be intelligent and hold your interest. And, being a huge Seinfeld fan I always loved Patrick Warburton's David Puddy. It was great to see him pull off a straight role so well. Add to all this the fact that this movie is based on true events definitely makes it worth watching....more info
  • American grandeur tamed by small-town Aussie charm
    The title refers to a satellite dish located in the small rural Australian town of Parkes which suddenly finds itself thrust into a piece of monumental space history. NASA has tasked the small Aussie team responsible for the dish with transmitting some of the early signals from Apollo 11 as it places the first two men to set foot on the lunar surface. Despite near fatal glitches and other mishaps, the small Aussie team does not fail to deliver the hometown its moment of glory. Nor does the movie fail to charm despite its lack of either heavy drama or boisterous comedy. It is only a subtle movie of this kind that manages to bring to the fore the cultural differences between the Yankies and Aussies who otherwise seem to share so much in common. Strongly reminescent of The Coca Cola Kid....more info
  • Tears - Laughter - Memories
    This is Apollo 11, our first step on the moon. This is also, quite simply, the best movie ever made about the space program. I say this from the vantage point of one who was there. I was lucky enough to work for NASA in those wonderful years of Apollo, and for many years after that. This movie, like the better known and grand "Apollo 13", captures those years and those moments with grace, humor, joy and a loving tenderness that still bring tears to my eyes every time I watch it. And I watch it several times a year, particularly on 20 July. Great casting, acting, music, cinematography and the original dish and computer equipment! Watch it and live those amazing times again. This is not just what happened; it's how it felt. ...more info
  • Feel good cinema at its finest
    As a history buff (specifically the history of the Apollo Age of NASA), I thought i knew all there was to know about the moon landing. This movie proved me wrong. It is not the life-and-death drama of Apollo 13, which was released just a few years before The Dish, but the filmmakers and the actors do a fine job in making the audience realize that the moonwalk was not just an American venture--it was a venture of all humankind.

    There is just enough humor in the movie to make it a pure pleasure to watch, and Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton are excellent, as are the rest of the actors. A definite must for anyone who wants to know more about Apollo 11 or just enjoys a good drama-comedy....more info

  • Feel silly adding to this uniformly favorable pile of reviews
    A charming and surprising movie. The cast and script are superb. Sam Neill, as always, is a joy.

    Two things:

    - The film is an education on the often subtle but important differences between Australian and US cultures (I instantly noticed there are strong similarities to Anglo-Canadian life). This is a nostalgia-drenched trip down Aussie memory lane. Particularly interesting is how Australia of 1969 seems more like the US of around 1950 or even earlier. It's a bit disorienting and if you watch this with younger people you might want to give them a little background. This hardly seems like the same world also inhabited by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and Jimmy Hendrix.

    - The film is a good kick in the hinder about what that moon landing meant to all of us and how tragic it is that a generation plus has not seen its equivalent. The Apollo landings marked the end of an age of exploration that had begun 500 years earlier; none of us back then could have anticipated how disinterested and unambitious humanity would have become in only 40 years....more info
  • heart warmingly funny from down under..
    How come those Aussies always seem to come up with these kinds of delightfully fun, heart-warming films with such delightful characters while Hollywood comes up with the same carbon copy plots and characters?
    The Dish directed by Rob Sitch is actually based on the fact that a radio observatory dish was recruited by NASA to relay signals from the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969 in Parkes, New South Wales, Australia because of the rotation of the Earth, US dishes would not be in direct contact with Apollo 11. While untold millions watched the tube from around the world with unprecedent anticipation of Neil Armstrongs walk on the moom. The quirky crew led by Sam Neill (delightful) face crisis after crisis in order to keep the dish running and relay the signals so no one missed 'One giant leap for mankind". Bravo!

    ...more info
  • Great Feel Good Movie
    Apart from the fact that everyone working on "The Dish" should have be fired for their mistakes, they did at least get it right in the end. What am I talking about? Well if you have not seen The Dish then it is about time that you did. Basically the plot goes like this - A Dish in the outback of Oz is supposed to help NASA keep an eye on the Apollo mission when Apollo rounds their side of the Earth. Cue lots of little things like wrong equations because Oz is upside down, or is it Houston that is upside down?, and you got yourself a thriller.

    Its a simple story but a good story and a really feel good one when all is said and done. I loved this little film and so will you. Well worth renting and certainly DVD ownership is not a bad thing at all. Very nostalgic and certainly the sentimentality is well earned.

    Great movie....more info

  • A Pleasant Trip Down Memory Lane
    Only having been four years old when the first lunar landing took place, I have no recollection about the excitement that surrounded this monumental achievement. So many men and women had dedicated their very lives to this one moment in time that it stopped the world (not just one nation) and allowed all of us the chance to see just how far human beings could go in their quest to reach that next horizon. And although THE DISH is about one backward country radio telescope in Parkes, Australia that beamed those first Armstrong-on-the-moon images to billions of people ...it is much more than that.

    Cliff Buxton (Sam Neill, JURASSIC PARK) is the director of the Parkes telescope, a sensitive piece of hardware surrounded by sheep paddocks. Seeing such a large array (this telescope could actually deliver telemetry, track the lunar module, AND send back television images) in an austere landscape made me pause several times during the film and marvel at the sheer beauty of this monstrosity against the setting of Australia's back country.

    Initially the film takes on the feel of something homey; a gentle side-trip down a path we all know too well (the first manned mission to the moon.) These hick-like folk are in charge of something as important as the lunar landing?! But the viewer gets pulled into the film in a very intimate way. We see that these ARE simple people, but ones who take their jobs very seriously ...but not overly so. The comedy, like the movie itself, is light and sprinkled throughout the relationships (even when they lose Apollo 11 as they approach the moon and lie to NASA about it!)

    I found myself getting choked-up as the world - and this little microcosm of people in Parkes - held their breath as those first pictures of man's footprint on the moon took place (during hurricane force winds that threatened to blow over the telescope and kill the men inside operating it; they realized the importance of that moment and were willing to risk everything.)

    If you'd like to take a trip down memory lane (ala 1969) but want a different road, THE DISH is a nice film to try out. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • A beautiful and touching movie - and based on a true story!
    Anyone of a certain age can remember what they were doing when they saw Neil Armstrong land on the moon. What many of us don't realise however, is how close the world came to not actually seeing that historic event, and this delightful movie is the story of how it was that we did and can remember it to this day.

    The dish in question is a very large satellite dish, in the middle of a sheep field, in country Australia (and where incidentally, it still stands today). It is the story of the people who operated it - a collection of intelligent and dare we say, nerdy men who tracked Apollo 11 with less computing power than most of us have in our personal organisers.

    This has the potential to be a phenomenally boring film; however it is completely the opposite. It is charming, witty, and even manages to generate a little suspense as the big event looms. It is an absolute gem.

    If you have members of your family who remember that special time, and were captivated by the magic of it all, encourage them to watch this beautiful film and be enchanted all over again. There is really nothing negative that can be said about it - it is purely delightful....more info
  • A great little movie
    If you are tired of hoopla and explosions and are looking for nice quite movie pick up The Dish. You will be glad you did.

    At the center of the film is the radio telescope in Banks Australia that recevied the TV signal when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The story is that week in the lives of the citizens of Banks and the men who worked at the telescope. It's wonderful, tasty, slice of the times film. It's supposed to be a true story, and I hope it is, because it's a celebration of the little people with all their quirks and warts, who work behind the sceens of every big acheivment.

    If you are too young to remember the moon landing, you might miss some of the film's charm, but it's still worth seeing....more info

  • An Inspiring True-ish Story
    When man stepped onto the surface of the moon for the first time on July 20, 1969, the entire world was watching the historic event live on television. What most of them didn't know, however, was that the images on their TV screens were being transmitted through a giant satellite dish that was sitting in the middle of an Australian sheep farm. The 2000 comedy "The Dish" tells the story of the less-than-brilliant men who operated the crucial piece of equipment and the NASA official who nervously supervised them. Sam Neill ("Jurassic Park") plays the Australian in charge of the dish, while Patrick Warburton (the voice of wheelchair-bound Joe on "Family Guy") is the uptight NASA official. "The Dish" mixes fiction with fact, giving the story both light, funny moments involving the characters, and exhilarating, inspirational scenes of the moon landing that many of us, having been born well after 1969, are too young to have experienced firsthand....more info
  • Superb!
    Easily my favourite Aussie movie.

    The original score, soundtrack and cast performances are all outstanding, and the final scenes, where the Dish finally picks up the TV signal from the moon and starts transmitting, brings a tear my eye every time.

    The humour is very Australian. Having read a few other reviews on this site, I see that our American cousins have a bit of trouble with it, but that is understandable - Aussie humour is very subtle and understated.

    "Halt, who goes there..." shouts the security guard... a few seconds pause and "Bhaaaaaa..." replies the sheep - it cracks me up every time I see that.

    And another...

    "How do you think they go to the toilet up there?" asks one bloke. "Don't know, maybe they hold on to it..." says a second bloke. A third bloke looks at the rock-cake he is eating and says "Maybe they should try eatin' one of these... it'll block 'em up for a week..." - classic!

    One minor disappointment is that, having bought a copy of The Dish from Amazon, I see that the US DVD release is slightly different from the Australian release. The US release doesn't have many special features - the Aussie version is packed with extra actual footage and documentaries - but most upsetting was that the US version has two scenes removed, both involving the mayor's daughter.

    In the "party" scene, the radical daughter is talking to another guest (an old man with a grey beard) and she is criticising the US for waisting money on the space program. Both scenes are actually very funny, but I suppose the US distributors didn't like the idea of having any scenes where Americans are criticised... a pity realy, as removing those scenes does detract from the whole experience.

    Anyway, believe me, you will love this film....more info
  • Greatest movie about the moon landing!
    This movie is a little informative about the dish in Austraila that captured the moon landing pictures, but it is very funny. You do probably need a sense of humor that enjoys British and Austrailian humor. You also need to listen because there is a lot of fast moving dialogue that is very humorous that you might miss....more info
  • The Dish
    Often times during most peoples lifes there is a moment of historic significance that indelibly burns exactly where they were during that moment for the rest of their life. In my lifetime so far it is the Kennedy Assasination and the Landing on the Moon. I remember exactly where and when those moments touched me. The significance of this movie is it shows the part that the Australians at the Parkes radio dish played in the Apollo 11 flight and landing on the moon.

    Many people including myself didn't realize how significant that role was before this movie because NASA didn't really advertise the fact that Parkes was so instrumental in sending the TV signal received from the moon. Sam Neill and the rest the cast really make you feel you were there. I highly recommend this movie for the whole family. Great story, cast, sets, and music make it well worth seeing. Good quality DVD and replayability with a few extras. If you enjoyed this catch "The World's Fastest Indian".

    CA Luster...more info
  • "The pictures....they came from US!"
    I love this film because it showed "our" part in the first moon landing and because I visited The Dish, in Parkes, some years ago. The dish is 10,000 times more powerful than it was in 1969 and physically unchanged except for that big receiving box you see Mitch (Kevin Harrington)climbing down, that added by the Americans for the Voyager Neptune transmissions.

    "The Dish" is an amiable and "folksy" account of the part a small town in N.S.W. played in the first moon landing. It has touches of romance as the awkward Glenn Latham (Tom Long) asks the local beauty, Janine (Eliza Szonert) on a first date; comedy when the Dish looses track of Apollo 11 and they fake a transmission for U.S. Ambassador Howard (John McMartin); drama in the way "we stuck to it" and caught Armstrong stepping onto the Moon, despite the winds that could have blown the 1000 tons of antenna down and killed the crew.
    The use of actual locations helped to make the film more credible and it was fun to see the Australian idiom translated for the bemused American, Al (Patrick Warburton).
    "You treat us like a pack of galahs!" ~ "That's a kind of parrot" Slang: pack of galahs... fool, idiot.

    The Dish a nice feel good family film, by no means great cinema, but a joyous postcard of history. And for some people, The Dish may put you back in touch with that sense of childhood wonder, you though you may have lost and the time when any adventure was possible.

    Let's hope that the dish or its successor is there in 2018 for the first words from the return to the moon.

    "Well, Neil...it's still here!"

    (

    ...more info
  • The Dish, true story is wonderful Family entertainment
    The Dish is the sleeper of the last couple years. Based on a true story of Apollo 11, it has great music, funny situation jokes, big suspense, and all the elements of a regular family and dating, mixed up in this dish. Wonderful for all ages....more info
  • enjoyable small town movie
    Basically a wholesome movie about a satellite dish used to transmit pictures of Armstrongs moonwalk. Quirky small town residents give the film humor and character, as we watch the crew that operates the dish deal with technical problems and inclement weather.
    Very enjoyable....more info
  • The Dish Delivers!
    With typical subtle Australian humor, The Dish is the true story of one of the elements of Apollo 11 moon landing. The year is 1969, and the music reflects this time period perfectly. The Dish refers to an enormous radio telescope in Australia, in the middle of a sheep paddock. This particular radio telescope was the only facility that was able to receive transmission from the Apollo mission on the moon. Through a series of mishaps, the crew of this particular instillation managed to overcome enormous odds to transmit live feed from the moon. This film never gained the popularity it enjoyed in it's native Australia, which is a real pity since it is just delightful. If you would like to experience a slice of history that changed the world in a positive direction, please get your hands on this film! I guarantee you will be pleased!...more info
  • Lovely film
    The Amazon.com Editorial Review above accurately describes this film and its characters. I won't repeat all of that. Some of my impressions . . . .

    Fit for family viewing. It contains some rather mild "colorful" language, but nothing sexually explicit or particularly offensive.

    Great little nostalgia trip for those of us 50ish or older. For those younger -- it's a nice taste of that magical feeling surrounding those first steps on the moon. Late 60's music to match.

    A slice of Australia, dotted with pertinent language and cultural quirks. Plenty of beautiful rural scenery.

    Much light comedy, but an undertone of the gravity and urgency of that great undertaking. Some sub-plots in play -- a little romance, politics, etc. Nice combination.

    Suspense! Historical, fact-based "things gone wrong" that keep the watcher plenty involved.

    Wonderful and entertaining. Recommended.

    ...more info