Released in 1991, The Rocketeer is a Walt Disney Pictures film based on the comic books by Dave Stevens. The movie is set in 1938 Los Angeles and tells the story of a stunt pilot named Cliff Secord (played by Bill Campbell) after he comes across a unique rocket-powered jet pack. After putting on the jet pack, he’s able to fly around and is soon considered the local superhero. However, his new popularity gains the attention of FBI agent Howard Hughes (played by Terry O’Quinn) as well as a group of Nazi operatives who are all trying to get their hands on this one-of-a-kind jet pack.
Story creator Dave Stevens sold the rights to Disney in the early ’80s, however, due to creative differences between screenwriters Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo and the production team, filming didn’t begin until 1990. Produced by Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon, and Lloyd Levin, and directed by Joe Johnston, you can now watch The Rocketeer online. The Rocketeer streaming allows you to quickly and easily view this Disney classic in just a few clicks.
Here’s how to stream The Rocketeer right now:
How to Stream ‘The Rocketeer’ – Exclusively on Disney+
The Rocketeer is one of the classic 90s Disney movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream The Rocketeer and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “The Parent Trap”
- 5. Start streaming
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘The Rocketeer’: Overview
Release Date: June 21, 1991
Creators: Dave Stevens, Danny Bilson, and Paul De Meo
Director: Joe Johnston
Starring: Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, and Tiny Ron Taylor
Synopsis: A pilot comes across a jet pack that turns him into a local superhero until those it belonged to come looking for him.
How Long Is ‘The Rocketeer’?
The Rocketeer is just under two hours at 108 minutes long.
‘The Rocketeer’ Plot
The Rocketeer opens with two gangsters from Eddie Valentine’s (played by Paul Sorvino) gang stealing the rocket-powered jet pack from FBI agent Howard Hughes (O’Quinn). Their crime is interrupted, and they end up having to hide the jet pack in an airplane cockpit. Stunt pilot, Cliff Secord (Campbell), and his airplane mechanic Peevy (played by Alan Arkin) find the jet pack after it causes the plane to malfunction.
We soon learn that Valentine’s gang was hired by movie star Neville Sinclair (played by Timothy Dalton), who sends his henchmen to find out what happened to the jet pack. Cliff’s girlfriend Jenny (played by Jennifer Connelly) is an actress who works with Sinclair. When he overhears Cliff telling Jenny about the jet pack, he begins to get suspicious and invites Jenny out to dinner in hopes of learning more.
Sinclair doesn’t have to wait long though to learn what happened to the jet pack as Cliff uses it in an air show after his friend drunkenly attempts to fly his malfunctioning plane. This event makes headlines, labeling Cliff The Rocketeer and turning him into a media sensation. However, this also informs Valentine’s gang as well as the FBI, who has possession of the jet pack.
After several failed attempts to steal the jet pack from Cliff, one where a bullet puts a hole in the jet pack that Peevy conveniently repairs with chewing gum, Valentine’s gang ends up kidnapping Jenny. She then learns of Sinclair’s involvement with the gang and discovers that he’s a Nazi secret agent. He forces Jenny to leave a message for Cliff to meet at the Griffith Observatory with the jet pack in exchange for her life. Just before he heads out to do the swap, both Cliff and Peevy are arrested by the FBI. Agent Hughes (O’Quinn) explains that the jet pack they found was a Nazi prototype designed to help them create a flying army. Instead of returning the jet pack to the FBI, Cliff escapes to make the exchange with Sinclair.
Upon arriving at the observatory, Cliff informs Valentine’s gang that Sinclair is a Nazi who plans to use the jet pack technology for evil. The gang turns on Sinclair. However, he is prepared with several armed Nazi S.A. stormtroopers hidden out of sight. Before Sinclair can escape, the FBI appears and joins forces with the mobsters to take down the Nazis. Sinclair manages to take Jenny aboard a nearby Nazi ship and during a showdown with Cliff, demands he give him the jet pack if he doesn’t want Jenny to be harmed.
Cliff hands over the jet pack, but not before removing the chewing gum that was blocking the bullet hole. Sinclair attempts to fly off with the jet pack, leaving Jenny behind, but the leaking fuel causes the jet pack to catch fire. He ultimately falls to his death, while Jenny and Cliff narrowly escape death. Hughs presents Cliff with a brand new airplane so he can get back to work as a stunt pilot, while Peevy gets to work on a new and improved jet pack model.
‘The Rocketeer’ Cast
When you stream The Rocketeer online, you’ll likely recognize a few members of the cast as many of them have gone on to appear in popular shows and films such as Lost and Goodfellas.
BILLY CAMPBELL as CLIFF SECORD/THE ROCKETEER
Actor Billy Campbell plays the main character Cliff Secord who later becomes known as The Rocketeer. He is best known for his role in the ABC drama Once and Again, which he was awarded a People’s Choice Award as well as a Golden Globe nomination. Campbell is currently filming an animated version of The Rocketeer for Disney, where he voices a character named Dave Secord.
JENNIFER CONNELLY as JENNY BLAKE
Jennifer Connelly plays Cliff’s girlfriend and actress, Jenny Blake. Connelly got her start in the business modeling and appearing in commercials. Since her role in The Rocketeer, she has appeared in several popular films, including Blood Diamond, He’s Just Not That Into You, A Beautiful Mind, and The Dilemma.
ALAN ARKIN as A. “PEEVY” PEABODY
Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin played A. Peabody, better known as “Peevy.” He has a long successful career in Hollywood with credits as a producer, director, writer, singer, and composer. Arkin is best known for appearing in films like Argo, Little Miss Sunshine, Edward Scissorhands, and, most recently, Dumbo.
TIMOTHY DALTON as NEVILLE SINCLAIR
Long-time actor Timothy Dalton appeared as Neville Sinclair, the Nazi hiding away in Hollywood. Best known for playing James Bond in the ’80s, Dalton has had a successful career in theater, television, and film. He has appeared in Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful, Chuck, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4.
TERRY O’QUINN as HOWARD HUGHES
American actor Terry O’Quinn appeared in The Rocketeer as FBI agent Howard Hughes. He’s best known for his role as John Locke on Lost. O’Quinn has a long and successful career in both film and television, appearing in The X-Files, JAG, Alias, Castle Rock, and Hawaii Five-0.
PAUL SORVINO as EDDIE VALENTINE
American actor Paul Sorvino played mob boss Eddie Valentine. If he seems suitable in that role, it’s because it’s not the only time he has played a mobster on screen. Sorvino is best known for his character Paul Cicero in Goodfellas. He has also had roles in Bad Blood, Undercover Grandpa, and Repo! The Genetic Opera.
‘The Rocketeer’ Songs and Soundtrack
The Rocketeer soundtrack was released by Hollywood Records and features 10 tracks in total. Two vocal tracks are performed by Melora Hardin, while the eight scores were composed and conducted by James Horner. Upon its release, the soundtrack received many positive reviews and is considered one of the movie’s stronger features. An expanded edition of the soundtrack was released by Intrada Records in 2016. It includes two new songs by Billy May.
‘The Rocketeer’ at the Box Office
Upon its release in 1991, The Rocketeer earned $9.6 million its first weekend and $46.6 million altogether. This was considered a failure for the studio as the film’s budget was $35 million. It’s for this reason that the studio never made a sequel.
‘The Rocketeer’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Critic reviews for The Rocketeer were generally positive, including those from Rolling Stone Magazine and Roger Ebert. The film’s interpretation of the comic books was considered well done. Those who gave mixed reviews felt that too much attention was given to the production design, and the storyline fell flat. One critic was concerned about the movie not being family-friendly while another felt it ripped off Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. That being said, The Rocketeer has a 63 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Where ‘The Rocketeer’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
When The Rocketeer was released, it wasn’t common for a movie to be based on a comic book. While that’s not the case today, it was one of Disney’s first attempts to do so. This movie was Disney’s first live-action superhero film, paving the way for so many others
‘The Rocketeer’ Trailer
‘The Rocketeer’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
Before you stream The Rocketeer online, get to know what went on behind the scenes with they fun facts:
1. Cliff’s Girlfriend’s Name In The Comic Book Is Betty Page
Creator of the comic book The Rocketeer Dave Stevens based Cliff’s girlfriend on a close friend of his, 1950’s pin-up model Bettie Page. The character’s name in the comic book is actually Betty Page, but they changed it to Jenny after the real-life Bettie Page refused to let them use her name in the movie.
2. Sinclair Greets Clark Gable For A Strange Reason
During the scene in the South Seas Club, Neville Sinclair greets Clark Gable, which may have been a hint that Sinclair was a Nazi. During the period in which the movie takes place, it was a known fact that Gable was Adolf Hitler’s favorite actor. In fact, during World War II, Hitler offered a reward to anyone who could kidnap and bring Gable to him in Germany unharmed.
3. This Scene Is A Reference To Timothy Dalton’s Ability To Perform His Own Stunts
At the end of the movie, when Cliff and Sinclair are fighting on the ship, Cliff asks, “Where’s your stuntman now, Sinclair?” Sinclair replies, “I do my own stunts,” which is said to be a reference to how the actor Timothy Dalton was known for doing most of his own stunts as James Bond.
4. Beemans Chewing Gum Became A Must-Have For Pilots
Beemans chewing gum has been known to be a lucky charm for many pilots. This is the same gum brand that Cliff was chewing and used to repair the bullet hole in his jet pack. It’s also the gum he removed at the end, leading to Sinclair’s demise.
5. Screenwriters Danny Bilson And Paul De Meo Were Fired Numerous Times
Screenwriters Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo had a different vision for this movie than Disney did. This caused them to be fired and rehired three times over the course of five years while they were writing the script. DeMeo explained the situation saying, “Disney felt that they needed a different approach to the script, which meant bringing in someone else. But those scripts were thrown out, and we were always brought back on”.