What's the Difference between Hidden Figures the Book and Hidden Figures the Movie?


Hidden Figures

Released: 2016
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures

Released: 2017
Director: Theodore Melfi
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In the Book In the Movie
Dorothy Vaughan
Dorothy Vaughan
Portrayed by: Octavia Spencer
Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson
Portrayed by: Taraji P. Henson
Mary Jackson
Mary Jackson
Portrayed by: Janelle Monae
This Character does not appear.
Al Harrison
Portrayed by: Kevin Costner
This Character does not appear.
Vivian Mitchell
Portrayed by: Kirsten Dunst
Paul Stafford
Paul Stafford
Portrayed by: Jim Parsons
John Glenn
John Glenn
Portrayed by: Glen Powell
Hidden Figures Book vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Book In the Movie
   There were several problems with Glenn's flight, but this was not one of them. When Glenn was launched into orbit he was scheduled for 4 orbits, but extended to 7 due to the favorable launch. Problem with the attitude control system and a faulty heat shield indication led to the decision to fire the retro rockets after the third orbit; the retro rocket package would be left in place to hold the heat shield on in case it was actually loose. There is a problem with Glenn's orbit as the computer numbers don't match Katherine's anymore. She does some calculations to verify which set of numbers is correct.
   Dorothy Vaughan was not involved in the programming for Mercury, but did assist with programming on Mercury-Scout in 1961. Mercury-Scout is not shown in the movie.
   Glenn's landing was off by 40 miles due to an incorrect capsule re-entry weight data entry. Katherine claimed Glenn would land within 20 miles of the desired spot in the ocean and he did do so.
   Of the black employees working in research at Langley, only 5 were engineers and 16 titled as mathematicians. Floyd Thompson wrote to James Webb lamenting that “very few Negroes” were applying for science and engineering positions at Langley due to the segregated nature of the surrounding community. Not addressed in the movie.
   Joh Glen is around 40 at take-off John Glen is around 25 at take-off
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