Norman Grant (James Garner) was a Republican senator in the book upon which this was based, but the character's political affiliation, along with other factors, were changed to suit Garner's personal (Democratic) politics. See more »
During the launch of Apollo 18, several reaction shots in Mission Control show Stanley Mott and Deiter Kolpf in the MCC room, yet at the same time, through several scenes intertwined with the launch, both men are shown as being on a TV stage narrating the launch and explaining things as they happen. See more »
Very close to history, with a good tangential ending.
My thoughts are essentially in agreement with the previous commentators. If you've read the book you'll know what to expect: an "epic" in the true sense of the word. The Mercury, Gemini and early Apollo astronauts are depicted pretty well as history shows them; in fact it seems difficult to separate the fictional from the might-be-real-but-not-well-known.
The version I saw in Australia has a final section covering the destruction of the "Challenger". This is done is a somewhat different style to the rest of the movie (a bit too "soft focus" and "tearjerker" for my liking), and is not in the book, either.
In style and approach, I would rate this as a little closer to "Right Stuff" than to "Apollo 13".
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