Apollo 13 (1995)

In 1970, NASA turned failure into victory by bringing Apollo 13 home safely after an onboard explosion threw it off course and depleted most of its oxygen supply. The story of how three astronauts in space and the ground crew came together to prove that “failure is not an option” came to the screen 25 years later in director Ron Howard’s meticulously researched, deeply humanistic film. As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, APOLLO 13 continues to impress with its simple special effects and tense human drama. Howard decided not to use documentary footage of the mission, though he studied former astronaut Al Reinert’s 1989 documentary For All Mankind and duplicated images from it. Instead, he trained his cast—Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon—at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. He also secured use of a KC-135 aircraft to film his actors in a weightless environment. The script rarely deviates from the main story of the astronauts’ courage, the determination of Flight Director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) and the private agony of astronaut Jim Lovell’s wife, Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan), building an almost unbearable level of tension. APOLLO 13 popularized the phrase “Houston, we have a problem” and led to Hanks, a longtime space program enthusiast, having an asteroid named after him.

(d. Ron Howard, 140m, Digital)

20th Anniversary – World premiere restoration presented in collaboration with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

In attendance: Captain James Lovell, Alex Trebek, Bill Paxton