11 thoughts on “TBT: Apollo 13 (1995)

  1. What’s wrong with Hooray America? On this occasion it was definitely deserved. I was nine years old in 1970 but all I can remember directly about the Apollo 13 mission is a vague sense of anxiety. I apparently knew what was going on and was worried about it but I retain no details. I remember the movie much better.

    1. I mean, it was hooray america after nasa fucked it up by letting the wiring in the CSM get damaged enough to short out inside an oxygen tank. You could say that any retelling of apollo 7 is a hooray america story because nasa figured out that maybe it was a bad idea to over-pressurize the cabin with pure oxygen an have an inward opening door.
      Hell, you could call soyuz 3 an “ura sovetskiy” (thank you google translate) story because they figured out how to get their parachutes to deploy properly and not send a cosmonaut crashing into the ground. But you can’t forget the fact that that success came out of massive failure.
      I would actually argue with Sarah that a lot of space race media (Apollo 13, From the Earth to the Moon, The Right Stuff) is less about nostalgia for the US and more about nostalgia for this era where you had the heroic scientist/engineer trope in popular imagination, and it felt like you were making quantum leaps rather than incremental steps.

      note: I was born in the late 90s, and I grew up as a gigantic space race nerd (I can recite most of ‘from the earth to the moon’ from memory, but it was of course from books and documentaries rather than any sort of first hand exposure

  2. My mother in law worked in women’s retail fashion in Houston, and during the 70’s through 90’s helped quite a few astronaut families with their wardrobes. One notable sad occasion was the dresses worn by several spouses at the funerals of the Challenger astronauts.

    1. My mom and her sisters lived in La Porte, Texas (a Houston suburb) during the late 60s and my grandfather was an accountant for Rockwell and the Apollo project. According to my aunt, my grandmother taught Buzz Aldrin’s kids when she was a first-grade teacher.

  3. I love this movie! The soundtrack is also amazing. And the while the men’s clothes are pretty boring, I like the way they create the atmosphere of the command center – especially over time with the crisis, the way the men get gradually more rumpled and you can tell they haven’t gone home to change or freshen up.

  4. The outfit (real) Marilyn Lovell is wearing in their living room looks very maternity top to me (they had a very young son, so it’s possible on the timeline, if the pic was taken a few years earlier). I absolutely love this movie. I saw it multiple times in the theater when I was expecting my DD. Side note: my DH’s uncle worked on the lunar rover for GE/NASA at this time, and they attended the same church as the Lovells, and remembered the youngest son very fondly (I think he was friends with my DH’s cousin).

    1. Mary Haise was allegedly very pregnant (if you went by the movie), but looking at photos at the time, she didn’t look it.

  5. “Apollo 13” is what I call a “house favorite:” one of those films you can hit at any point in the narrative and end up sitting through the whole thing because it’s that good.

    Having grown up during that period (I was eleven when this mission took place), the costuming and production design is dead on – there’s even a toy we had: a Fisher Price wind up toy clock.

  6. Apollo 13 is certainly a summer fav, but one closer to my heart is The Dish starring Sam Neill about the Apollo 11 story & the Satellite Dish in Australia that broadcasted the event.

    It is humorous, quirky, with a touch of drama, and the women’s outfits are amazing as well as their hairstyles. You can view the extended trailer at IMDB and I think you can rent it from Amazon.

    1. The Dish!!! That and Apollo 13 are the favorite double feature in my family as my great-grandfather was an astronomer and his son, my grandfather, took it up recreationally around this time.

  7. Being the daughter of space-race-era parents (about 8 at the moon landing), I grew up with The Right Stuff, and then of course Apollo 13 (and even Space Camp, as ridiculous as it was), and now we’ve enjoyed Hidden Figures and the new NatGeo (via Disney+) Right Stuff series. Apollo 13 is a really well-done film that captures that era really well. You’ve made me want to revisit it, too. :-)

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