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  Hidden Figures (2017 20th Century Fox film) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Hidden Figures (2017 20th Century Fox film)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-19-2017 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NukeGuy:
Does anyone know anything about the specific nature or purpose of the calculations or what John Glenn's concern was?
The early calculations to support Glenn's flight had been completed by mathematicians and then run on IBM 704 computers, such that it was known that the two sets of data were in agreement. When NASA upgraded to IBM 7090 computers, the same check was never performed, so there was no way to know for sure that the 7090 data was correct.

Hence, Glenn asked for "the girl" to check the numbers, providing an extra degree of confidence that the computers that would be telling mission control if his flight was on track or not were accurate from the start.

quote:
Has anyone else read the book?
We have a separate thread dedicated to the book.

dfox
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posted 01-19-2017 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dfox   Click Here to Email dfox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Both Chris Kraft and Gene Kranz write in their memoirs that it was Max Faget who first suggested leaving the retropack in place.
Thanks Rob!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-24-2017 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Hidden Figures" has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including:
  • Best Picture
  • Actress in a Supporting Role (Octavia Spencer)
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Wehaveliftoff
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posted 01-29-2017 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The movie's ensemble won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture on Sunday night.

MCroft04
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posted 02-02-2017 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally saw this movie today. What a great feel good movie! Even though it is very much Hollywoodized, it's worth seeing. I grew up in the south, and at a very early age was able to understand that black people were treated differently, and not in a good way. Yes it even brought a few sniffles and tears.

I give it a double thumbs up!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-08-2017 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Hidden Figures" has surpassed "La La Land" to become the top-grossing best picture Oscar nominee of the year.
Thus far, Hidden Figures has made $119.5 million in North America, while La La Land‘s tally clocks in at $118.2 million.

alanh_7
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posted 02-08-2017 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched it last night. I don't think it will win best picture. I thought it was okay but not great.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2017 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA today awarded "Hidden Figures" author Margot Lee Shetterly and "Hidden Figures" director Theodore Melfi the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal.
This prestigious NASA medal is awarded to any non-government individual or to an individual who was not a government employee during the period in which the service was performed for sustained performance that embodies multiple contributions on NASA projects, programs or initiatives.

AlanC
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posted 02-16-2017 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AlanC   Click Here to Email AlanC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice to see Al Drew — I last saw him at Uddingston Grammar School in South Lanarkshire, Scotland where he was giving a talk around four years ago.

ColinBurgess
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posted 02-22-2017 02:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also saw this film today and thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as the messages it contained. Great acting, although the whole John Glenn thing was not only riddled with mistakes, but was frankly goofy in parts. And I felt Jim Parsons was horribly miscast, trying to play a straight role after all his silliness on "Big Bang."Maybe not Best Picture material (although who knows?)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-26-2017 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The stars of "Hidden Figures," Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer, took to the stage at the Academy Awards tonight (Feb. 26) to honor the real-life Katherine Johnson, who received a standing ovation. NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle escorted Johnson to the stage.
"Movies about the lives of men and women in the history books have long been a staple of storytellers. Sometimes, the names and deeds are the heroes and their names are known to all," said Monae.

"And then there are those films that shine the spotlight on those whose names are known to only a few, but whose stories are deserved to be told," added Spencer.

"We were honored to be in an inspiring film about three such women, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson, whose brilliance made our nation's achievements in space possible. And now, please welcome a true NASA and American hero, Katherine Johnson," concluded Henson.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-02-2017 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rosco, the company that created the tracking map for "Hidden Figures" recreation of Mercury Mission Control, writes about their work (while also citing collectSPACE) in a new blog posted to their website:
We were not only thrilled to be a part of the film, but to also assist the production design team in making the "Hidden Figures" Mercury Mission Control Center set as historically accurate as possible.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-02-2017 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From The Digital Bits:
20th Century Fox has just officially announced the Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Hidden Figures on April 11, with the Digital HD release set for March 28.

The 4K release will include English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include audio commentary by director Theodore Melfi and actress Taraji P. Henson, the 5-part It All Adds Up: The Making of Hidden Figures documentary (includes No Limits: The Life of Katherine Johnson, The Right People for the Job, Recreating an Era: The Look of Hidden Figures, A Spiritual Journey: The Music of Hidden Figures, and Moving the Decimal: Honoring Katherine Johnson), deleted scenes, the Hidden Figures: Filming in Georgia featurette, and a gallery.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-09-2017 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wal-Mart's video on demand service, Vudu, is holding a sweepstakes offering some of the props used in "Hidden Figures." You enter by either pre-ordering the film or mailing in a postcard (open to U.S. residents only).
A total of four prizes will be awarded, each consisting of a replica movie prop from the film Hidden Figures. Prizes include: a replica world globe; a replica NASA clearance badge; a replica Fortran statement; and a replica of the handkerchief carried by Dorothy Vaughan.

Buel
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posted 03-09-2017 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
That was artistic license...
This is exactly why I just can't stand most Hollywood movies that tell a story of a real-life event. They just cannot help themselves.
quote:
...leaving the retropack in place.
Here is audio of Don Arabian and Al Shepard discussing the issue on the voice loop.

dss65
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posted 03-14-2017 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Buel, I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels that way. The stories that are told in these movies are or should be strong and interesting enough without having to turn them into partial fiction. It seems a disservice to history.

That said, I have not seen this movie, although I plan to and have heard only good things about it. I'm glad that it brings interest to the space program from the general public.

Mike_The_First
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posted 03-14-2017 09:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike_The_First   Click Here to Email Mike_The_First     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Wal-Mart's video on demand service, Vudu, is holding a sweepstakes offering some of the props used in "Hidden Figures."
From my reading of the contest rules, the prizes seem to be replicas of movie props — not actual movie props that are (presumably) themselves replicas of NASA memorabilia.

I could be mistaken (their wording isn't the least bit clear), but that's how it reads to me.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-14-2017 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought that at first too, but on their Facebook page Vudu states:
Pre-order Hidden Figures on Vudu and be entered to win real screen-used props from the movie!

Blackarrow
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posted 07-10-2017 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched this film last night. As an entertainment it worked well: I enjoyed the story and liked the characters. However, am I really the only person to consider it important to mention a glaring and inexcusable error: that old nonsense that John Glenn was scheduled to make seven orbits but had to return after only three, because of the concern about his heatshield being loose? Just because Holywood got it wrong in "The Right Stuff" doesn't excuse Hollywood for getting it wrong again. For heaven's sake, is nobody employed to check basic facts? Did nobody think to ask NASA? Was there no space expert to advise on the basic facts? Not only was this wrong in the script, but they even repeated the error in text on the screen at the end.

The problem about such a glaring error in a drama about real events is that it leads viewers to wonder what else is wrong or misleading or exaggerated. I have checked a number of highly-regarded books, including "This New Ocean", "The History of Manned Spaceflight", "The Right Stuff" and even "John Glenn: A Memoir." Not one of them mentions Katherine Johnson. Now, that may simply make the point of the film, namely that Katherine and her colleagues were essentially invisible to and within NASA, but it also tends to suggest more than a little exaggeration of their role.

I am in no doubt that they DID play an important role in NASA's step-by-step march to the Moon, and Katherine's Presidential Medal of Freedom speaks for itself, but the term "artistic licence" should not extend to glaring, unnecessary errors.

robert_l
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posted 07-10-2017 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for robert_l   Click Here to Email robert_l     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After seeing this film and getting the book, it now my first UHD Blu-ray disc!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-10-2017 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
...tends to suggest more than a little exaggeration of their role.
The film does exaggerate, but at the same time it also understates the role that the women mathematicians ("human computers") held, not only in the early space program, but also to the U.S. war and aviation efforts in the years leading up to the advent of spaceflight.

John Glenn never met Katherine Johnson and did not know her name at the time he was a Mercury astronaut. It is quite possible he did not know who she was until years after his memoir was released, hence the lack of any mention.

The other histories are a product of their time, wherein the role of women and minorities, even if acknowledged, was minimized out of a lack of comprehension for why such would be important to document.

I would suggest reading Margot Lee Shetterly's "Hidden Figures" if this topic is of interest. The film portrays a very small part of Margot's book, for the purposes of telling a contained story.

The larger history is both engaging and important in its own right.

Blackarrow
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posted 07-11-2017 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I have no argument with you about the points you make, but it remains the case that Hollywood has once again perpetuated the complete myth that John Glenn's flight was scheduled to last seven orbits. I repeat my question: was there nobody to check the basic facts? It was an elementary, crass error. The fact that the film has an important message, eloquently and meaningfully told, does not give a licence to the film-makers to ride roughshod over the basic facts of U.S. space history.

On a technical point, does the film not portray Katherine calculating the precise splashdown point for Glenn, based on the assumption that the flight would last 7 orbits or around 11 hours? If that had been the case, splashdown after 3 orbits would have been at a different location. Again, if Hollywood takes liberties with the basic facts, that has credibility consequences. Am I being unfair here? I really don't think so.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-11-2017 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the error is unfortunate and should have been caught.

With that said — and as you point out — the film is not the first to make the error. Beyond "The Right Stuff," William Burrows made the error in "This New Ocean," as cited by Dwayne Day in an article for The Space Review.

On page 340 Burrows states "He [Glenn] had been told before his Friendship 7 thundered over the Atlantic that he would get at least seven orbits." On page 341, in the midst of describing the suspected heat shield problem, Burrows wrote: "Seven orbits were now out of the question." Burrows cites the NASA book "This New Ocean," which recounts the flight, but doesn't actually contain the error.
Dwayne includes other examples, but also traces the error back to its source.
Glenn was told by his capcom: "Roger, Seven. You have a go — at least seven orbits." This was mission control's way of informing Glenn that his altitude and velocity were sufficiently high that he would stay up for at least seven orbits if he did not initiate retrofire.
Ironically, that fits more with the type of calculation that Katherine Johnson would have made. (In reality, Johnson wasn't calculating the splashdown point, but rather validating the computations made by the new IBM computers at Goddard Space Flight Center, ensuring the data controlling the Mercury-Atlas 6 flight was correct.)

Blackarrow
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posted 07-11-2017 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I had already read the "Space Review" article. Unfortunately, two (or three or four) wrongs don't make a right. It all feeds into the current discussions about "fake news."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-11-2017 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with you. But the film has numerous historical errors, large and small — some done on purpose due to the constraints of the production (like moving Mercury Mission Control and the IBM computers controlling Glenn's flight to Langley) and others as a result of the scriptwriter being misinformed (like the seven orbits we are talking about now). There were also numerous liberties taken with the women whose stories the film is focused.

So why does the seven orbits error merit more discussion than moving Cece Bibby into a hangar at Langley? Or moving the Mercury astronaut press conference from 1959 to 1961? Or introducing John Glenn to Katherine Johnson, when the two never met?

Yes, the errors are unfortunate and I wish they weren't made, but hopefully, the entertainment value of "Hidden Figures" is enough that it will encourage some of its audience — especially young viewers — to get interested enough in the topic to discover the mistakes on their own, learn from them and gain the same passion we share for space history.

oly
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posted 07-12-2017 07:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got to watch "Hidden Figures" today. Great movie and very entertaining given the subject matter and time period.

I have looked at the details on the control room tracking board and noticed that the Western Australian tracking station was marked where Carnarvon tracking station was but identified as Muchea and that Woomera tracking station is on the wrong place also. Just a small point.

413 is in
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posted 07-13-2017 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 413 is in   Click Here to Email 413 is in     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had difficulty getting beyond all the historical inaccuracies in this film as well. However, as a badge and access pass collector, I have to commend those in the prop department for their attention to detail. Throughout the film, a myriad of badge styles are seen and it is clear that someone paid close attention to historical footage and photos when developing these replica badges. Although the film blurred the lines between the roles of the NASA facilities at Langley and Cape Canaveral, at least the badges looked authentic to the period.

For those that are interested in obscure facts and movie trivia, it is interesting to note that all of the photo ID badges in the film carried the same serial number at the bottom of the badge. The serial number is 047734. This serial number coincides with that of Deke Slayton's first issued NASA Atlantic Missile Range (AMR) ID badge, which was used for access to the facilities at the Cape. I know this because I am the current owner of Deke's badge. He wore this badge throughout the entire Mercury Program until 1965. He is pictured below as the original CAPCOM in the Mercury Control Center during Alan Shepard's MR-3 flight in 1961.

On a side note, the prop badge says NASA Research Langley (NRL). Not to be confused with the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC! Oh well.

NukeGuy
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posted 07-15-2017 07:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NukeGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't see the film (and don't intend to), but the book had errors as well (though fewer). One concerned the Scout program.

There is a reason for the disclaimer, "Based on a true story." It allows artistic license to bend truth, facts and even logic to serve the filmmaker's ends. Don't get your history or science from Hollywood!

oly
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posted 07-15-2017 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had a chance to watch this movie again, this time I just watched it for the entertainment. There are also many errors in the "Apollo 13" movie and it still goes down as a great movie. Any film that tries to show the space program as accurately as possible is a good movie. "Hidden Figures" is a very good movie.

Blackarrow
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posted 11-28-2017 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's time for me to see this film again, on Blu-ray.

On the issue of John Glenn's 3-orbit flight being wrongly portrayed as a premature curtailment, I notice from "Into That Silent Sea" (French/Burgess) that after Scott Carpenter in "Aurora 7" had separated from the Atlas booster, Capcom (Gus Grissom) radioed the message: "We have a Go, with a seven-orbit capacity." Essentially the same message which Glenn had received, perhaps slightly nuanced, but in view of what was about to happen, there was much more reason for the ill-informed to think that Carpenter's flight had been cut short at "only" three orbits.


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