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In April 1970, astronaut Jim Lovell contacted mission control with the words "Houston, we've had a problem." It was a classic understatement, signalling a huge, complex malfunction to be solved. Lovell and his crew - Jack Swigert and Fred Haise - were bound for the Moon when an oxygen tank exploded in their craft, leaving them potentially stranded in space. It gave Nasa's scientists the most nail-biting countdown of the space age so far and kept Americans - by then blasé about the space programme - glued to their TVs. It is the ultimate rescue story and the movie pays due tribute to the bravery of the astronauts as well as American know-how. Lovell is played by Tom Hanks, whose very ordinariness - blandness, some would say - is the essence of astronaut-man, while Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton as Swigert and Haise offer welcome contrasts, as does the superb Ed Harris as the chain-smoking mission controller. Partially filmed in genuine weightless conditions, Ron Howard's movie is a technical tour de force. It's not as good as
The Right Stuff
, but it's light years ahead of 1969's
, which, prophetically, offered up a similar story as science fiction but was so very, very dull.
Fact-based drama about the ill-fated 1970 Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Crew leader Jim Lovell is faced with a nightmare when the mission suffers an on-board explosion - leaving the team stranded in space with a dwindling oxygen supply while flight controllers and engineers in Houston try to find a way to bring the crew safely back to Earth. With Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise.
Cast & Crew
Mary Kate Schellhardt
Emily Ann Lloyd
Max Elliott Slade
Jean Speegle Howard
David Andrews (2)
May be edited for language.
video, DVD and Blu-ray
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