“So long, Earth. Catch you on the flip side.” – Jack Swigert
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).
The musical score by James Horner is truly amazing and one of my favorite movie scores. Hear it here and here.
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
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Braveheart beat this? I definitely preferred this one. Not seen it in years, though! Would be interesting to watch again now after seeing Gravity. (And Rush, which I think is Howard’s best now)
Yep, I also am still shocked that Braveheart (1995) beat this, but it was because of the lack of love for RH. Wonder how many voters have regretted that descision once MG’s true colors were blurted out a few years back. Still haven’t seen either of those, but I am eagerly anticipating both.
I highly recommend both. 🙂
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Being the film music lover that I am, I absolutely adore the score to this film. And the film itself has always been a favorite (I was obsessed with space growing up). Hard to believe sometimes that this movie is as old as it is.
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Yep twenty years. Love the score too! I can listen to the 11 minute theme over and over
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