Capricorn One vs The Truman Show
Capricorn One is a warning: this is what can happens when the establishment, strained to breaking point, buckles under pressure to perform, and fabricates the truth (much like Volkswagen’s faked emissions figures scandal).
The story ends on an upbeat, celebratory note, because the lie is exposed due to the sacrifice of the astronauts, and the determination of the reporter. In a democratic system, with a free press, there are people able to investigate large scale cover-ups.
The Truman Show is also a warning that ends on a celebratory note. Truman escapes his prison, and, like the lead astronaut in Capricorn One, is reunited with his loved one. In Capricorn One (1977), three NASA astronauts are coerced into faking a Mars landing, to dupe a global TV audience that the mission has been a success – while in The Truman Show (1998), a man, living in what he believes is a normal seaside town, is the unknowing central character of a reality TV show, and the town is a giant TV stage.
Piccadilly (1929) deals with tricky social issues, but refrains from sentimentality, judgement, or pretension. Everything, from the acting performances, to the camera work and the London locations gives the film a natural, sometimes documentary-like quality. The result is a film that feels strangely alive, and ahead of its time.