THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT
1967/Director: Edward Montagne/Writers: James Fritzell, Everett Greenbaum
Cast: Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, Arthur O'Connell, Joan Freeman, Jesse White, Jeanette Nolan, Frank McGrath, Bert Mustin
Don Knotts followed up The Ghost and Mr. Chicken with Universal's 1967 film The Reluctant Astronaut, produced and directed by Edward J. Montagne. Montagne was better known as a film and TV producer (he produced The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, the Shakiest Gun in the West and The Love God?) but sometimes dabbled in some directing though the bulk of that was for TV. Among the shows he produced was 55 episodes of the pretty funny McHale's Navy. Some familiar faces crop up from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken as well as the Andy Griffith show. The film is not as fantastic as The Ghost and Mr. Chicken but is still worth a watch if you're a fan of well made 60's style comedy movies.
At the end Roy is seen hiding in bushes, again, rather than flying on a plane to his own honeymoon. I feel the relationship between Roy and Ellie is the weak point of the film and writers Greenbaum and Fritzell did much better in this department in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. A small problem however in an otherwise funny and enjoyable film I highly recommend. The movie would start getting lots of play time a couple years later after the Apollo moon mission began. Another fine score by Vic Mizzy.