IMDb > Failure Is Not an Option (2003) (TV)

Failure Is Not an Option (2003) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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8.6/10   96 votes »
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Release Date:
24 August 2003 (USA) See more »
A history of the U.S. manned space program from Mercury to Apollo 17, as seen by the men of Mission Control. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. See more »
User Reviews:
Excellent.. but for one critical mistake. See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)
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)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)

John Glenn ... 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

Jim Lovell ... Himself - Astronaut
Alexey Leonov ... Himself (archive footage) (as Alexei Leonov)
Wally Schirra ... Himself - Astronaut
Thomas P. Stafford ... Himself (archive footage)
Frank Borman ... Himself (archive footage)

Eugene Cernan ... Himself - Astronaut
Glynn Lunney ... Himself - NASA Flight Director
Gus Grissom ... Himself (archive footage)
Edward H. White II ... Himself (archive footage)
Roger B. Chaffee ... Himself (archive footage)
Gerry Griffin ... Himself - NASA Flight Director
Donn Fulton Eisele ... Himself (archive footage)
Walter Cunningham ... Himself (archive footage)

Bill Anders ... Himself
Stephen Bales ... Himself - NASA Flight Controller
Bob Carlton ... Himself - NASA Flight Controller

Neil Armstrong ... Himself (archive footage)

Buzz Aldrin ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Conrad ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Gordon ... Himself (archive footage)
Alan Bean ... Himself - Astronaut
Gerald P. Carr ... Himself (archive footage)
Jack Swigert ... Himself (archive footage)
Fred Haise ... Himself - Astronaut
Sy Liebergot ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Rushmore DeNooyer 
Kirk Wolfinger 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rushmore DeNooyer 

Produced by
Tony Bacon .... co-producer
Rushmore DeNooyer .... producer
Mika Lentz .... co-producer (as Mika Holliday Lentz)
Carl H. Lindahl .... executive producer
Kirk Wolfinger .... producer
Original Music by
Robert Neufeld 
Cinematography by
D.J. Roller (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Tony Bacon 
Production Management
Amy Campbell .... production manager
James Luscombe .... post-production manager (as Jim Luscombe)
Sound Department
Tom Eichler .... sound recordist
Greg McCleary .... sound re-recording mixer
J.R. Rodriguez .... sound recordist
Paul Trumbore .... sound recordist
Philip Weiner .... sound recordist (as Phil Weiner)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mark Carroll .... assistant camera
Phil Cormier .... additional photography
Duane Empey .... additional photography
Dave Huntley .... additional photography (as David Huntley)
Editorial Department
Ron Anderson .... colorist
James Luscombe .... assistant editor
Jed Rauscher .... editing assistant
Other crew
Lori Beane .... business manager
David Blatt .... production coordinator
Amy Campbell .... researcher
Sara Clarkin .... production assistant
Adam Costa .... production assistant
Marc Finnegan .... programming coordinator
Scott Glenn .... narrator
Michael Hofheimer .... production assistant
Bill Ingalls .... archive material
Sarah E. Katz .... researcher
Mika Lentz .... researcher (as Mika Holliday Lentz)
Dana Rae Warren .... script consultant
Aane Aamodt .... special thanks
Matthew Abbott .... special thanks
Bruce Bleakley .... special thanks
Scott Bleisath .... special thanks
Maureen Bowen .... special thanks
Ian Brooks .... special thanks
Phillip Currell .... special thanks
Scott Curtis .... special thanks
Mike Evans .... special thanks
William Foster .... special thanks
Gayle Frere .... special thanks
Christopher Gerty .... special thanks
Gerald Griffith .... special thanks
Carol Haroz .... special thanks
Scott A. Hartman .... special thanks
Eileen Hawley .... special thanks
Joyce Hayes .... special thanks
Dennis Hehir .... special thanks
William Jason Helms .... special thanks
Robert Howard .... special thanks
Norman Knight .... special thanks
Catherine Koerner .... special thanks
Bryan Lunney .... special thanks
Jeanne Lynch .... special thanks
David Mays .... special thanks
John C. Melcher .... special thanks
Kathy Messersmith .... special thanks
Wanda Norris .... special thanks
Georgia Piwonka .... special thanks
Glenn E. Pogue .... special thanks
Matt Schottel .... special thanks
Carl Shelley .... special thanks

Production Companies

Additional Details


Did You Know?

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 »
Gene Kranz:[about President Kennedy's goal to put a man on the moon by 1970] I couldn't believe it. This whole idea of doing it before this decade is out is absolutely ludicrous. And then, you think about it a little bit more, and you get away from the initial impressions, and you say, holy cow. What a challenge, what a job. This guy trusts us, when we haven't been able to put a man in orbit.See more »
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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Excellent.. but for one critical mistake., 6 November 2012
Author: LydiaOLydia from Cambridge, UK

This is an excellent movie insofar as telling the history of Mission Control goes. I have no issue with this.

However, by giving this movie a 1 star (awful) rating, I hope that the producers will take notice of what can only be called a gross oversight - an error that they made over and over and over and over and over (30+ times in 15 minutes, until I stopped counting).

The country that launched Sputnik was not "Russia." It was THE SOVIET UNION (CCCP).

While Russia was the largest constituent state of the Soviet Union, it is no more correct to say that the two are the same than it would be to say that Texas is the USA or England is the United Kingdom. They're simply not. While casually people may make the error, for a history documentary to make it is just shockingly bad.

Many of the key people involved in the Soviet space program were non-Russian and/or came from places not in Russia. This includes tens of thousands of Ukrainians, Balts, and Central Asians. Koryolov, the Soviet chief designer and pretty much the man responsible for the whole program was half Ukrainian. NONE of the rockets, patches, etc had "Russia" written on them. It was all CCCP.

By perpetuating the myth that "the soviet union=Russia", this documentary gives undue support to dictators like Putin while keeping deserved praise from non-Russians who earned it. Let's be clear--the Soviet Union was a place of many great evils. But, "credit where credit was due"--there were also some great successes.

I can't for the life of me imagine how this script passed through even the most basic fact checking. Shockingly ignorant on this point.

Though, as others have pointed out, the rest of the movie is excellent. 8.8 excellent? Probably not, but still worth a view.

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