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In the 1960s, US President John F Kennedy proposed landing a man on the moon before the decade was finished. This film has interviews with most of the surviving astronauts of the Apollo program who were making ready to make that great voyage with an army of experts determined to make the endeavor possible. Through training, tragedy and triumph, we follow the greatest moments of one of Humanity's great achievements. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Of all the astronauts who appeared in the film, only Buzz Aldrin demanded to be paid. See more »
In the opening shot of the Moon as seen from the Earth (with clouds passing in front of the Moon) the film/video is flipped, i.e., we see a mirror image of the Moon. See more »
I kind of have two moons in my head, I guess, whereas most people just have one moon. I look at the moon just like everybody else who's never been there, and you know, there it is, and I've always thought it was interesting. Whether it's full or a sliver, or what have you. But every once in a while, I do think of a second moon, you know, the one that I recall from up close. And yeah, it is kind of hard to believe that I was actually up there.
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From 1969 to 1972, America put 12 men on the moon in nine missions. Eight of the surviving crew members (notably absent is the reclusive Neil Armstrong) talk about their adventures in the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon with less of the engineering and more of the philosophy, a bit different from the dramatic renditions of The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, and HBO'S From Earth to the Moon.
The excellence of this version is the articulate, close up, talking heads of the astronauts, who are more handsome in their late 70's than they were in their late 20's, a testimony to space athletes who keep themselves fit forever. Besides their reflective narrations (for instance, Mike Collins is full of insights and glamorous details, Jim Lovell could do color commentary for any network), the photography, some of it never seen from NASA archives, is memorable. The earth as blue bubble is beautiful.
The documentary strays somewhat from the reality base by peppering the denouement with sappy, semi-religious contemplations from the narrators about "God's work" and the "fragility" motif. But all in all, this Ron Howard production is a first-rate retrospective about an era for which Americans should be proudthe contrast between the visionary Kennedy and the current blind Bush is painful. Maybe we should send him to the moon?
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