"Apollo 13" Is Released

Apollo 13 is a 1995 film that dramatized the ill-fated lunar mission of the same name 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, and Bill Paxton.

The film garnered critical acclaim and was nominated for many awards, most notably 9 Oscars and won for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing at the 1996 Academy Awards. The score was composed by James Horner who also received an Oscar nomination for best Original Music Score.

The film was released in theaters on June 30, 1995. In 2002, a shortened version of the film was re-released on IMAX. A 10th anniversary DVD of the film was released in 2005; it included both the theatrical version and the IMAX version, along with several extras. In 2006, Apollo 13 made its way into the high-definition video format with its release on HD DVD.

"Houston, we have a problem." Those words were immortalized during the tense days of the Apollo 13 lunar mission crisis, and the suspense, fear, and excitement of those days are captured in Ron Howard's epic recreation of the 1970 crisis. When the commander of the original mission Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), bows out due to possible exposure to measles, astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) leads command module pilot Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) and lunar module driver Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) on what is slated as NASA's third lunar landing mission. All goes smoothly until the craft is halfway through its mission, when an exploding oxygen tank threatens the crew's oxygen and power supplies. As the courageous astronauts face the dilemma of either suffocating or freezing to death, Mattingly and Mission Control leader Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) struggle to find a way to bring the crew back home, all the while knowing that the spacemen face probable death once the battered ship reenters the Earth's atmosphere. Even though the outcome, in which all three astronauts miraculously survived, is historical fact, the film derives suspense from the situation itself and from the actions of the heroic astronauts and the men on the ground. Howard's taut direction, a solid ensemble of players, and eye-opening special effects all add to the overall impact of the film, which has been hailed as one of Hollywood's best historical dramas. In 2002, the movie was released in IMAX theaters as Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience, with a pared-down running time of 116 minutes in order to meet the technical requirements of the large-screen format. ~ Don Kaye, All Movie Guide