Apollo 13 (film)

Infobox Film
name = Apollo 13

image_size = 215px
caption = theatrical poster
director = Ron Howard
producer = Brian Grazer
writer = Book:
Jim Lovell
Jeffrey Kluger
William Broyles Jr.
Al Reinert
starring = Tom Hanks
Kevin Bacon
Bill Paxton
Gary Sinise
Ed Harris
music = James Horner
cinematography = Dean Cundey
editing = Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
distributor = Universal Pictures
Imagine Entertainment
released = 30 June fy|1995
runtime = 140 minutes
IMAX: 116 minutes
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = US$62 million
gross = $355,237,933 "(world)"
imdb_id = 0112384

"Apollo 13" is a 1995 Academy Award-nominated film that dramatized the event of the ill-fated Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970. The movie was adapted by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert from the book "Lost Moon" by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger and was directed by Ron Howard. It stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris, and features Kathleen Quinlan.

"Apollo 13" was widely praised by critics as a compelling dramatization of a true engineering event during the "Space Race". It was nominated for several film awards, notably nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film was modified and re-released as an IMAX film in fy|2002, which cut approximately 24 minutes from the original version.

In fy|2005 a 10th anniversary DVD of the film was released which included both the theatrical version and the IMAX version, along with several extras. [http://www.apollo13dvd.com/ Apollo 13 the Movie - Buy the Special Anniversary DVD Release of Apollo 13 Starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon on DVD ] ] Then in early 2006, "Apollo 13" made its way into the high-definition video format with its release on HD DVD.


Apollo 13 opens with a flashback of the Apollo 1 fire incident, accompanied by a narration by Walter Cronkite. As Cronkite's monologue ends, the film moves on to July 20, 1969 where veteran astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is on his way home to a party for the Apollo 11 moon landing. After witnessing Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on the moon, an inebriated Lovell stares up at the moon and tells his wife, Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan), of his wish for a moon landing of his own.

A few months later, Jim, who's expecting to fly Apollo 14, is giving a VIP tour of NASA's towering Vehicle Assembly Building while Apollo 13's massive Saturn V rocket is being assembled. As the U.S. representatives among the VIPs question the possibility of any further moon landings after beating the Soviet Union to the moon, he is informed by Deke Slayton (Chris Ellis) that he and his crew have been bumped up to be prime crew of Apollo 13. After informing his family of his new flight assignment, Lovell and his crew, Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) begin training for Apollo 13 instead of Apollo 14. As the launch date approaches, Marilyn's fears for her husband's fourth space mission manifest in her unwillingness to go to the Launch.

At Cape Kennedy, two days before Launch, Lovell is informed that Mattingly may be at risk for measles. Despite his efforts to overrule the flight surgeon's recommendations, Lovell makes the decision to bump Mattingly off the flight and replace him with the backup Command Module Pilot, Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon), to the chagrin of Haise and Mattingly. The night before launch, Haise says his goodbye to his family; bachelor Swigert is seen off by at least one person who calls out "Jack" off screen. Also in attendance, to Lovell's surprise, is Marilyn, coming to see “a hell of a show.”

The next morning Lovell, Haise and Swigert are suited up for the launch. Meanwhile, in Houston's Mission Control Center, Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) prepares the members of Mission Control for the flight. After the crew has been secured into the spacecraft, the mission is given a go for launch. The film then moves into a dramatic launch sequence as the astronauts are launched into orbit. The middle engine on the Saturn V's S-II stage cuts off prematurely during its intended burn, which causes brief concern, but the astronauts eventually make it to orbit without any more problems. After performing translunar injection (TLI), the burn that sends the Apollo 13 CSM/LM to the moon, Swigert maneuvers the Apollo Command Module "Odyssey" to dock with the Lunar Module "Aquarius."

On the third day of the mission, the crew broadcasts a television program to Earth from their spacecraft. Unbeknown to them, the major networks have refused to air the program. The networks believe the public has come to view spaceflight as "routine" and this perceived lack of interest does not warrant valuable airtime. After the broadcast, the crew runs through an in-flight “housekeeping” checklist. Swigert is asked to stir the cryogenic oxygen tanks, leading to an explosion in the Service Module, which rocks the spacecraft. The crew and Mission Control are shocked to find that the oxygen tanks aboard "Odyssey" are leaking, which prompts Mission Control to abort the moon landing, and the crew gets to work shutting down "Odyssey" and powering up "Aquarius" to act as a lifeboat so the crew can get home.

On Earth, backup commander John Young recruits a depressed Mattingly to help prepare procedures to restart "Odyssey" once the crew is near Earth. Meanwhile, the Apollo 13 crew shuts down "Odyssey", powers up "Aquarius" and orients the spacecraft so they pass around the dark side of the moon, while a melancholy Lovell daydreams of his first steps on the Lunar surface.

After regaining contact with the space craft, the team at Mission Control has to deal with more problems. To conserve power, the crew must shut down "Aquarius" and remain in the freezing cold in order to make it home. Swigert suspects that Mission Control hasn't given the crew a re-entry plan because they have made some kind of mistake that can't be fixed and they don't want the crew to find out that they're doomed. In a fit of rage, Haise chastises Swigert's relative inexperience as the cause for the accident, after which a full blown argument ensues, but is quickly quelled by Lovell. Then Houston radios in with another problem: they must deal with the heavy carbon dioxide being created by the three men in the two-man "Aquarius." A quickly assembled engineering team in Houston puts together a crude but effective method to remove the poisonous gas, creating a "mailbox" device that cleans the atmosphere in "Aquarius." Following their directions, the crew once again averts danger.

As the spacecraft approaches Earth, the crew is forced to make a risky course correction by burning the Lunar Module's descent engine in order to prevent from skipping off earth's atmosphere. Despite Haise's fever and freezing conditions inside the cabin, the crew succeeds in righting their wayward spacecraft. With Earth approaching, Mattingly's team struggles to find a way to power up the Command Module with what little power is left on the crippled spacecraft. After Mattingly gets an ingenious idea, power-up procedures are finalized and Mattingly instructs Swigert on reviving "Odyssey."

After witnessing the damage suffered by the scarred Service Module, the crew strap in for their descent into atmosphere. With one final goodbye to "Aquarius," the lunar module that saved their lives is jettisoned. Then, "Odyssey" re-enters the Earth's atmosphere, and after over four minutes of radio ionization blackout – three minutes is normal for re-entry – the crew reports that they have made it alive and well. Celebration rushes through Mission Control and in the homes of the astronauts' families. In an emotional scene, Kranz simply sits down as everyone applauds around him, looking overwhelmed and fighting back tears. After splashing down, the crew is plucked out of the water and taken to the USS "Iwo Jima" for a heroes welcome. The film then concludes with a slow-motion sequence with monologue by Hanks (as Lovell) about the events that would follow their return from space. Actor Hanks shakes hands with Jim Lovell, acting as the captain of "Iwo Jima." The sequence ends with "I look up at the moon and wonder: 'When will we be going back, and who will that be?'"

Technical accuracy

The film is notable for its technical accuracy; principals reported that the film is reasonably faithful to the facts of the mission but adds some tension between the astronauts for dramatic effect.

The dialogue between ground control and the astronauts was taken verbatim from actual transcripts and recordings, with the notable exception of one of the taglines of the film, "Houston, we have a problem." [IMDb entry.] (This quote was voted #50 on the list "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes".) The words uttered by Jack Swigert were "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here." Jim Lovell then repeated "Houston, we've had a problem." The script changed the quote deliberately, as Lovell's actual words suggested something happening in the past rather than the present. [DVD commentary track.]

Scenes involving weightlessness were filmed aboard NASA's "Vomit Comet", a KC-135 aircraft which is used to mimic microgravity for short periods by performing a series of parabolic arcs. The spacecraft interiors were constructed by the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center's Space Works, who also restored the actual Apollo 13 Command Module.

The real Mission Control room is on the third floor of a building. The Mission Control room built for the movie was on a ground floor. One NASA employee who was a consultant for the film claimed that the set was so realistic that he would leave at the end of the day and look for the elevator before remembering he was not actually in Mission Control.

By the time the film was made, the USS "Iwo Jima" had been scrapped, so her sister ship, the USS "New Orleans", was used instead.

Many critics decried the scene in which Marilyn Lovell dropped her ring into the shower drain as an unrealistic, fictional addition.Fact|date=September 2007 However, according to Lovell, this actually did occur. [ [http://www.cinemablend.com/review.php?id=929 Movie DVD for Apollo 13: Tenth Anniversary Edition ] ] The Lovells refer to the incident in an interview on the DVD version of the film, and Jim Lovell mentioned it in his book, "Lost Moon".

Ken Mattingly did not watch the launch at Cape Canaveral as depicted in the film; he actually watched the launch from the command center in Houston.

A DVD commentary track, recorded by Mr. and Mrs. Lovell and included with both the original and 10th anniversary editions, mentions several inaccuracies included in the film, all done for reasons of artistic license:

*In the film, Ken Mattingly plays a key role in solving a power consumption problem that Apollo 13 was faced with as it approached re-entry. Lovell points out repeatedly in his commentary that in this case Mattingly was a composite of several astronauts and engineers – including Charles Duke (whose rubella led to Mattingly's grounding) – all of whom played a role in solving that problem.Commentary track by Jim and Marilyn Lovell, from the 2005 Anniversary Edition DVD]
*The Saturn V markings on the movie rocket were different than the actual Saturn vehicle for the mission, particularly on the S-IVB (third) stage, which appears as vertically striped, rather than a single solid band.
*When Jack Swigert is getting ready to dock with the LM, a concerned NASA technician says, "If Swigert can't dock this thing, we don't have a mission." Lovell and Haise also seem worried. On the Anniversary Edition DVD, the real Jim Lovell says that if Swigert had been unable to dock with the LM, he or Haise could have done it. He also says that Swigert was a well-trained Command Module pilot and that no one was really worried about whether he was up to the job, but he admitted that it made a nice sub-plot for the film.
*A scene set the night before the launch, showing the astronauts' family members saying their goodbyes while separated by a road, a distance introduced to reduce the possibility of any last-minute transmission of disease, depicted a tradition not begun until the Space Shuttle program.
*The final manual burn of the LM's engine, done to put Apollo 13 back on course, lasted 14 seconds, not 39, and was done with the engine pointed perpendicular to the Earth instead of towards the Earth as depicted in the film. The length of the burn given in the film may have been based on a conversation earlier in the flight, before plans were finalized. [http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a13/AS13_TEC.PDF] Apollo 13 Technical Air-To-Ground Voice Transcription, tapes 58/4-5 (PDF pages 407-408).]

Some other technical inaccuracies exist in the markings on some vehicles and equipment, the exact sequence of events during liftoff, and the details of sequences of switches and indicators used.

The film contains a few anachronisms: [IMDb.com entry]
* The use of NASA's "worm" logo (first used in 1975)
* The appearance of The Beatles' "Let It Be" album a month before it was actually released.
* In one scene, John Aaron (Loren Dean) was talking to a fellow NASA technician, points to a Mr. Coffee machine, and says, " [The spacecraft needs to operate on] barely enough [power] to run this coffee pot for nine hours." However, electric drip coffeemakers, such as Mr. Coffee, did not yet exist in 1970. (Mr. Coffee was not introduced until 1972.) [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112384/goofs Apollo 13 (1995) - Goofs ] ]

Featured cast

Awards and nominations

1996 Academy Awards (Oscars)
* Won - Best Film Editing — Mike Hill, Daniel Hanley
* Won - Best Sound Mixing — Rick Dior, Steve Pederson, Scott Millan, David MacMilan
* Nominated - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleEd Harris
* Nominated - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RoleKathleen Quinlan
* Nominated - Best Achievement in Art Direction — Michael Corenblith, Merideth Boswell
* Nominated - Best Original ScoreJames Horner
* Nominated - Best PictureBrian Grazer
* Nominated - Best Visual Effects — Robert Legato, Michael Kanfer, Leslie Ekker, Matt Sweeney
* Nominated - Best Adapted ScreenplayWilliam Broyles Jr., Al Reinert1996 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (Saturn Awards)
* Nominated - Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film1996 Canadian Cinema Editors (Eddies)
* Nominated - Best Edited Feature Film — Mike Hill, Daniel Hanley1996 American Society of Cinematographers
* Nominated - Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases — Dean Cundey1996 BAFTA Film Awards
* Won - Best Production Design — Michael Corenblith
* Won - Outstanding Achievement in Special Visual Effects — Robert Legato, Michael Kanfer, Matt Sweeney, Leslie Ekker
* Nominated - Best Cinematography — Dean Cundey
* Nominated - Best Editing — Mike Hill, Daniel Hanley
* Nominated - Best Sound — David MacMillan, Rick Dior, Scott Millan, Steve Pederson1996 Casting Society of America (Artios)
* Nominated - Best Casting for Feature Film, Drama — Jane Jenkins, Janet Hirshenson1996 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
* Won - Best Picture1996 Directors Guild of America
* Won - Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures — Ron Howard, Carl Clifford, Aldric La'Auli Porter, Jane Paul1996 Golden Globe Awards
* Nominated - Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture — Ed Harris
* Nominated - Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture — Kathleen Quinlan
* Nominated - Best Director - Motion Picture — Ron Howard
* Nominated - Best Motion Picture - Drama1996 Heartland Film Festival
* Won - Studio Crystal Heart Award — Jeffrey Kluger1996 Hugo Awards
* Nominated - Best Dramatic Presentation1996 MTV Movie Awards
* Nominated - Best Male Performance — Tom Hanks
* Nominated - Best Movie1996 PGA Golden Laurel Awards
* Won - Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award — Brian Grazer, Todd Hallowell1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards
* Won - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role — Ed Harris
* Won - Outstanding Performance by a Cast1996 Writers Guild of America Awards
* Nominated - Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Medium — William Broyles Jr., Al Reinert1996 Young Artist Awards
* Nominated - Best Family Feature - Drama2006 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers
*12th place


External links

* [http://www.exploration-space.com/apollo13.html Apollo 13 - the Mission and the Movie]
* [http://www.zerogravityfilms.net Apollo 13 - The Zero G Filming Technology]

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