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Apollo 13


Latest Home Video

Jun 02, 2015

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Ron Howard


Tom Hanks

Bill Paxton

Kevin Bacon


1995 Universal Studios

Still shot from the movie: Apollo 13.

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Overall A-
Run Time140

Making the Grades

In April of 1970, a nation was asked to pray for three brave astronauts struggling to return to earth in a wounded spacecraft. Even though I was a child at the time, I remember, as will most others who witnessed those perilous events, calling on God in their behalf. Perhaps that accounts for my feelings of a personal connection to this conquest over catastrophe story.

At the time I didn't understand the complexities of the situation. Now, thanks to the remarkable efforts of director Ron Howard, the tale of the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission comes to life in amazingly accurate detail.

Originally intending to land on the lunar surface, Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) are forced to scrap their flight plan when an explosion destroys part of their vessel. Losing fuel and oxygen rapidly, the once lofty objectives of scientific exploration are abandoned in the all-consuming, humble occupation of just keeping the crew alive.

Back on the ground, Mission Control scrambles to find innovative solutions to an ever-increasing list of problems standing in the way of bringing the boys home. Insufficient power, carbon dioxide poisoning, and probable heat shield damage are just a few of the obstacles pushing the limits of their ingenuity, stamina and faith.

Needless to say, the life and death struggle of the astronauts, the helplessness of the watching family members, and the desperation of determined NASA employees make this drama too intense for young viewers. Other concerns for parents will be the inclusion of many mild to moderate profanities, cigar and alcohol use (one character drinks to drown his disappointment), implied sexual relationships outside of marriage, and a brief but innuendo-loaded explanation of how the lunar and command modules dock in space.

Older audiences however, will find lots to appreciate about this well-crafted film. Although it sometimes takes artistic licence with interactions between personalities, it pays strict attention to the technicalities and timelines, even using the actual transcripts to generate the script's dialogue. Proving fact is more compelling than fiction; Apollo 13 offers a great look at space history, sure to whet your family's appetite for this subject. Remember, we may have been raised in the days when man walked on the moon - but our kids missed it.


Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Apollo 13.

When Apollo 13 launched into space, many people regarded the procedure as routine and therefore, not very interesting. Why do repeated feats sometimes get taken for granted? How does that change when emergencies arise? Have we seen the same sort of attitudes over other amazing achievements like the space stations, the Mars rovers, and shuttle missions?

For more information about the Apollo 13 disaster/triumph, check out NASA’s site:

News & Views About Apollo 13:

Canadian Movie Ratings

PG some very coarse language.
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Apollo 13...

Home Video Notes: Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary
Release Date: 2 June 2015
Apollo 13 releases in a 20th Anniversary edition (Blu-ray/Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Blu-ray version of the movie newly restored and re-mastered from high resolution 35mm original film elements.
- Feature Commentaries with Director Ron Howard and Jim and Marilyn Lovell
- Apollo 13: Twenty Years Later
- Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13
- Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond
- Lucky 13: The Astronaut’s Story
- Theatrical Trailer
- U-Control: The Apollo Era
- U-Control: Tech-Splanations

Home Video Notes: Apollo 13—15th Anniversary Edition
Release Date: April 13, 2010
Apollo 13 releases on Blu-ray in a 15th Anniversary Edition. This 2-disc package offers:
- Lost Moon: The Triumph of Apollo 13
- Conquering Space: The Moon and Beyond
- Lucky 13: The Astronaut’s Story
- My Scenes
- Feature Commentary with Director Ron Howard
- Feature Commentary with Jim and Marilyn Lovell
- Pocket BLU U Control
-  BD Live
- Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), DTS 5.1 Surround (Castilian Spanish), DTS 5.1 Surround (Latin Spanish), DTS 5.1 Surround (French European), DTS 5.1 Surround (Italian), DTS 5.1 Surround (Hungarian), DTS 5.1 Surround (Czech) - Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Italian, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese and Greek
-Picture: Widescreen (2.35:1)

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