Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in 1995, DVD, 4 Feb 2002 and 15 Nov 2013)
Brief Synopsis – In 1970, during the 3rd manned mission to the moon, an accident happens that could jeopardize the lives of the 3 astronauts on board. The men in the capsule and those in mission control do all they can to return them safely to Earth.
My Take on it – I have always been fascinated by the US Space program since I was a kid. I knew a lot about it and was also interested in learning more about it. I recall watching the first Space Shuttle launch in 1981 live on TV (as a 7 year old) and of course remember the tragedy on 28 Jan 1986 when the Challenger exploded. Not long after that my interested somewhat waned, but every so often would read up on what was happening.
Suffice it to say, I knew a lot about the program. I had heard about the Apollo 13 mission, but didn’t really know many details about it until this movie came out.
It reignited my passion for the space program and once again began to gather new knowledge about the program.
This movie was done so well. It took a small somewhat dark chapter in US history and turned it into a national and patriotic triumph.
The cast here is top notch – led by Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan, Bill Paxton, Chris Ellis, Joe Spano and Kevin Bacon (who once again is in an ensemble movie which helpes the game of 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon).
I think that as great of a movie as Braveheart (1995) is, this movie should have been able to beat it for Best Picture. Unfortunately, it didn’t have enough momentum.
One of the reasons this movie is quite dear to my heart is that without it, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard would never have made the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon (1998). This HBO miniseries is my favorite miniseries and it chronicles all of the Gemini and Apollo missions in it’s 12-hourly episodes.
I truly believe that Howard’s Best Picture and Director wins 6 years later for A Beautiful Mind (2001) were consolation prizes for him not winning for this movie. (He wasn’t even nominated for director here which was a major slap in the face to him.)
This is Howard’s best work IMHO.
Bottom Line – Excellent telling of this true story. Great cast, great script, compelling and patriotic story. Highly recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy