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|Directed by||Rob Sitch|
|Produced by||Santo Cilauro
|Written by||Santo Cilauro
|Music by||Edmund Choi|
|Edited by||Jill Bilcock|
|Distributed by||Roadshow Entertainment (AUS)
Warner Bros. (United States & Canada)
Icon Entertainment International (UK)
|Toronto Film Festival
15 September 2000
19 October 2000
The Dish is a 2000 Australian film that tells a somewhat fictionalised story of the Parkes Observatory's role in relaying live television of man's first steps on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. It was the top grossing film in Australia in 2000.
The radio telescope at Parkes (Parkes Observatory), New South Wales, Australia, was used by NASA throughout the Apollo program to receive signals in the Southern Hemisphere, along with the NASA Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station near Canberra.
In the days before the July 1969 space mission that marked mankind's first steps on the Moon, NASA was working with a group of Australian technicians who had agreed to rig up a satellite interface. That the Aussies placed the satellite dish smack bang in the middle of an Australian sheep farm in the regional town of Parkes was just one of the reasons that NASA was concerned. Based on a true story, The Dish takes a comical look at the differing cultural attitudes between Australia and the U.S. while revisiting one of the greatest events in history.
- Sam Neill as Cliff Buxton
- Patrick Warburton as Al Burnett
- Tom Long as Glenn Latham
- Kevin Harrington as Ross "Mitch" Mitchell
- Roy Billing as Bob McIntyre
- Eliza Szonert as Janine Kellerman
- Tayler Kane as Rudi Kellerman
- Billy Mitchell as Cameron
- Roz Hammond as Miss Nolan
- Christopher-Robin Street as Damien
- Luke Keltie as Graeme
- Naomi Wright as Melanie
- Ben Wright-Smith as Nicholas
- Beverley Dunn as Secretary v/o
- Grant Thompson as Mr. Callen
- Bille Brown as Prime Minister John Gorton
- Lenka Kripac as Marie McIntyre
- Neil Pigot as the newspaper reporter
- Frank Bennett as Barry Steele
Although based on true events, the film uses fictional characters and alters historical details for dramatic effect. NASA's Honeysuckle Creek and Goldstone stations both had the signal first, but Parkes' signal was used soon after the beginning of the moonwalk. No power failure occurred, there was no friction with the NASA representatives (of whom there were several, not just one), and Prime Minister John Gorton visited Honeysuckle Creek, not Parkes. They did, however, operate in very high winds gusting to 110 km/h (68 mph) at 60 degrees inclination, risking damage to the dish and even injury to themselves to keep the antenna pointed at the Moon during the moonwalk.
Much of the film was shot on location; the "cricket match" and "hayride" scenes were shot on the real dish and researchers often postponed experiments to position the dish for photography. The set reconstructing the 1969 control room was extremely accurate, down to some details as small as ashtrays. Some of the "props" were in fact original NASA equipment used during the Apollo 11 landing, left behind in Australia as they were too heavy (i.e. too expensive) to ship back to the U.S. Staff from that era expressed amazement at seeing the set; they said it was like stepping through a time warp.
Apart from the radio telescope scenes, the majority of the movie was actually filmed in the small town of Forbes 33 km (21 mi) south of Parkes because of its old historic buildings, and also in Old Parliament House in Canberra, and Crawford Studios in Melbourne.
The Dish grossed $17,999,473 at the box office in Australia.
- "Apollo 11 Moon landing". Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "The Dish Official Site - Production notes (Flash)". Warner Bros. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012.
- "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Film Victoria. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2011.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Dish|
- Official website
- The Dish at the Internet Movie Database
- The Apollo 11 Story on the Parkes Observatory website
- "The Dish": Fact versus Fiction — a quick comparison
- Top five Australian feature films each year, and gross Australian box office earned that year, 1988–2005
- The Truth about The Dish
- The dish and the great beyond (vodcast)
- Visiting the Parkes radio telescope (CSIRO website)
- Josh Olson on The Dish at Trailers from Hell