MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 18,702 this week

Failure Is Not an Option (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary | History  -  24 August 2003 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 99 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

A history of the U.S. manned space program from Mercury to Apollo 17, as seen by the men of Mission Control.

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
YT
a list of 982 titles
created 21 Aug 2012
 
a list of 54 titles
created 31 Aug 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 22 Nov 2013
 
a list of 255 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 17 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Failure Is Not an Option (TV Movie 2003)

Failure Is Not an Option (TV Movie 2003) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Failure Is Not an Option.
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Monsieur N. (2003)
Biography | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

How can Napoleon, the man of war and pioneering military strategist, meekly accept being locked up on a storm-lashed rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean? What system of defence, and ... See full summary »

Director: Antoine de Caunes
Stars: Philippe Torreton, Richard E. Grant, Jay Rodan
S. (1998)
Drama | Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An erotic road-movie about people that are going round in circles. It's about a girl, S., who is dangling between Brussels and New York, boys and girls, love and hate, life and death. She ... See full summary »

Director: Guido Henderickx
Stars: Natali Broods, Isnel Da Silveira, Katelijne Damen
G (2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

"G" is a Gatsbyesque love story set against Hip-Hop's invasion of the Hamptons.

Director: Christopher Scott Cherot
Stars: Richard T. Jones, Blair Underwood, Chenoa Maxwell
1 (2009)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A bookshop renowned for its rare works is mysteriously and completely filled with copies of a book entitled 1, which doesn't appear to have a publisher or author. The strange almanac ... See full summary »

Director: Pater Sparrow
Stars: Zoltán Mucsi, László Sinkó, Pál Mácsai
Code 46 (2003)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A futuristic 'Brief Encounter', a love story in which the romance is doomed by genetic incompatibility.

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton, Om Puri
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

During WWII, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan
Next (2007)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Las Vegas magician who can see into the future is pursued by FBI agents seeking to use his abilities to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack.

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel
V (2009–2011)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An extraterrestrial race arrives on Earth with seemingly good intentions, only to slowly reveal their true machinations the more ingrained into society they become.

Stars: Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch
Thanks (1999–2000)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A comedic view of the settling of America by the Puritans.

Stars: Tim Dutton, Kirsten Nelson, Cloris Leachman
'D' (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Deshu, a mechanic from Dubai, comes home to Mumbai, and gets embroiled in a crime by accident. The film shows his meteoric rise from common, law-abiding man to underworld kingpin.

Director: Vishram Sawant
Stars: Randeep Hooda, Chunky Pandey, Rukhsar
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Kranz ...
Himself - NASA Flight Director
James Doolittle ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Gen. Jimmy Doolittle)
Christopher Kraft ...
Himself - NASA Flight Director
Robert Seamans ...
Himself - NASA Associate Administrator
Alan Shepard ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Jerry Bostick ...
Himself - NASA Flight Controller
John Llewellyn ...
Himself - NASA Flight Controller
Jay Greene ...
Himself - NASA Flight Controller
John Aaron ...
Himself - NASA Flight Controller
Ed Fendell ...
Himself - NASA Flight Controller
...
Himself - Astronaut
Alexei Leonov ...
Himself (archive footage)
Wally Schirra ...
Himself - Astronaut
Edit

Storyline

A history of the U.S. manned space program from Mercury to Apollo 17, as seen by the men of Mission Control.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 August 2003 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The narrator says, "The silver wings that would carry Gene Kranz aloft were born not of laughter, but fire." This is a reference to the famous poem "High Flight" by RCAF pilot John Gillespie Magee; the poem's first lines are, "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings." See more »

Quotes

Gene Kranz: [referring to President Kennedy] After his assassination, it moved from being a challenge to literally a crusade. This was now our mission to win this battle, for President Kennedy. It was visceral, it was gut, we are going to do it, and we're the right people to do it, and we're going to do it in the time frame he said we'll do it.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Beyond the Moon: Failure Is Not an Option 2 (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The highlights of NASA Mission Control through Gemini and Apollo
1 September 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Based on NASA flight director Gene Kranz' autobiography "Failure is not an Option" this documentary traces the history of NASA Mission Control during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, with special emphasis on Apollo 1, 8, 11, 12 and 13.

While Kranz' book often comes out as overly jingoistic and with an excess of pathos, this documentary strikes a good balance between depicting the historical background of the space race, the technical issues of spaceflight and the emotional impact on Mission Control personnel.

To people very familiar with the events of US manned spaceflight in those years, there is not much new information to be gained from the documentary. There is Conrads difficult Gemini spacewalk, the Apollo 1 fire, Apollo 8 going around the moon, the Apollo 11 moon descent crises (Computer alarm and low fuel), Mission Controller Aarons reset of the Apollo 12 during launch and of course the whole saga of Apollo 13. All is told through the eyes of Mission Control, its directors and controllers, with the astronauts only appearing as fuzzy voices on the radio downlink.

The strength of the documentary is that it shows us the faces and voices of the Mission controllers. From the perspective of 2003 they re-tell their stories in a seamless narrative illustrated with mostly original film, but also a little re-enactment, which happily is not too intrusive (even though it does show people watching a Mercury launch in colour on their home TV set..). The contrast between the young faces filmed in the 60's and the present-day aged and haughty demeanor of the same men is a captivating reminder of the passage of time. Working in Mission control was obviously the high point of their lives, so there is a slightly nostalgic note to their account.

Some things about the documentary can be criticized. Space buffs will miss technical details, and not much is being said about the system of shifts in Mission Control, that is, how "colourcoded" teams managed the job of mission control 24/7. Also, the focus is very much on the telegenic Gene Kranz, to the detriment of the other mission directors and controllers. This is probably unavoidable when we're dealing with the TV medium, which needs easy-to-follow stories and a captivating protagonist.

If one wants a true insight into NASA mission control, one has to read books about it. This documentary will however serve as a primer, and a good one at that. It is emotional to hear the story of NASA's crises and triumphs, re-told 40 years on by the men who were actually there. They might not quite be unsung heroes, since their feats are well-documented, but they certainly deserve to be heard once more by new audiences.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Failure Is Not an Option (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page