Apollo 13 hit theaters on this day in 1995. Directed by Ron Howard, the film followed the terrifying 1970 Apollo 13 space mission. This was the third mission meant to land on the moon, but unfortunately, things went haywire after an oxygen tank failed just two days into the mission. The astronauts then had to get resourceful in order to ensure their survival.
While what occurred during the Apollo 13 mission was disastrous, everybody survived. Miraculously, the crew was able to loop around the moon and return to earth safely. The mission consisted of astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise.
The film starred Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinise. It was written by William Boyles Jr. and Al Reinhart. The film won two academy awards and was nominated for best picture. It also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Ron Howard Went to Extreme Measures to Create a Technically Accurate Film
Howard, who had previously worked as an actor on shows such as The Andy Griffith Show, and Happy Days, worked hard to make Apollo 13 as technically accurate as possible. He requested NASA’s assistance for both flight controller and astronaut training for the cast of the film. He also got permission from NASA to film on a reduced gravity aircraft.
Not only did he go to great lengths to make Apollo 13 look accurate, but the writers took care to make it sound accurate. They used many of the transcripts between the real-life astronauts and ground control for the film.
The film is also known for one of its iconic quotes, “Houston, we have a problem.” That line is slightly altered from the real words of one of the astronauts, who said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”
One of the ‘Apollo 13’ Actresses Was Howard’s Mother
Ron Howard cast his mother, Jean Speegle Howard, in the film. She played the mother of astronaut Jim Lovell. Though Ron Howard had some worries about casting her.
“I’m so happy my dad twisted my arm,” The director told ET last year. “I really didn’t think Mom was old enough to do it, and I was also just frankly nervous about it because I knew what a pivotal role it was. But she really knocked it out of the park.”
The Film was A Massive Success
Apollo 13 was an absolute hit. Many consider it a must-watch for aspiring writers and directors. The attention to detail and dedication to the true story of the mission made the movie truly unforgettable for audiences. The film was met with both critical acclaim and box office success, making $355 million in theatres. If you somehow haven’t seen the film, it’s definitely one to add to your list.