The Reluctant Astronaut (1967) starring Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen
Don Knotts takes his ‘nervous fraidy-cat’ character to outer space (or at least to orbit) in this funny, family-friendly comedy. The Reluctant Astronaut begins with Roy Fleming (Don Knotts in the title role) appearing to be in a space capsule orbiting the Earth. Until the camera zooms out, and reveals that instead he’s operating a kiddie ride at an amusement park. Once the ride is over, he leaves the ride (with the help of the actor who played one of the ‘old men’ on the Andy Griffith Show). In order to demonstrate to the audience that Don Knotts’ character has a severe fear of heights. On his break, he asks one of his fellow employees at the amusement park for a date. And after much begging, she reluctantly agrees. His normal day at work is interrupted by an urgent call from his mother, causing him to dash home.
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