Apollo 13 is a 1995 American drama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Kathleen Quinlan and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, Jr. and Al Reinert, that dramatizes the 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission, is an adaptation of the book Lost Moon by astronaut Jim Lovell (the story's protagonist) and Jeffrey Kluger. Released in the United States on June 30, 1995, Apollo 13 garnered critical acclaim and was nominated for many awards, most notably nine Academy Awards including Best Picture; it won for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. In total, the film grossed over $355 million worldwide during its theatrical releases.
The voice of Walter Cronkite describes President John F. Kennedy's call for the United States space program to land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s, as scenes of the Apollo 1 fire that killed three U.S. astronauts are shown. On July 20, 1969, veteran astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) hosts a party for other astronauts and their families, who watch on television as their colleague Neil Armstrong takes his first steps on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Lovell, who orbited the Moon on Apollo 8, tells his wife Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan) that he intends to go back. While giving a VIP tour of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building, Lovell is informed by Deke Slayton (Chris Ellis) that he and his crew will fly the Apollo 13 mission instead of Apollo 14. After informing his family of his impending trip, Lovell and his crew, Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) begin training for their new mission. Days before launch, Mattingly, who was exposed to German measles, is replaced by backup Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon). As the launch date approaches, Marilyn's fears for her husband manifest in nightmares, but she comes to Cape Kennedy to see him off despite her misgivings, and later loses her wedding ring when it falls into her motel shower drain. On April 11, 1970, Lovell, Haise and Swigert are suited up, secured inside the spacecraft, and Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) in Houston's Mission Control Center gives the go-ahead for launch. As the Saturn V rocket climbs into the sky, an engine on the second stage cuts off prematurely, but the craft successfully reaches Earth orbit. After the third stage fires, sending Apollo 13 on a trajectory to the Moon, Swigert docks the Command/Service Module Odyssey with the Lunar Module Aquarius, and pulls it away from the spent stage. Three days into the mission, the crew send a live television transmission from Odyssey, but the networks, believing the public now regards lunar missions as routine, refuse to broadcast it live. As part of routine procedures, Swigert flips a switch to stir up the two liquid oxygen tanks in the Service Module, which unexpectedly causes one of them to explode. The other tank is soon found to be leaking, prompting Mission Control to abort the Moon landing, and forcing the crew to hurriedly shut down Odyssey and power up Aquarius, so it can keep them alive for the return home. As the Aquarius crew watches the Moon passing underneath them, Lovell imagines walking on its surface. On Earth, after flight director Kranz declares that "failure is not an option", Mattingly is recruited by flight controller John Aaron to help prepare procedures to restart Odyssey once the crew nears Earth. The crew shuts down Aquarius to conserve power, subjecting them to freezing conditions. Swigert suspects Mission Control has made a mistake and is withholding it from them, and in a fit of rage, Haise blames Swigert's inexperience for the accident; an argument ensues but is quickly quelled by Lovell. As another problem arisesthe dangerous buildup of carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronautsan engineering team quickly formulates a solution which allows the Command Module's square air cleaners to be used in the Lunar Module's round receptacles. With guidance systems on Aquarius shut down, and despite Haise's fever and freezing conditions inside the cabin, the crew succeeds in making a difficult manual course correction by briefly igniting the Lunar Module's engine. Meanwhile, as Mattingly and Aaron struggle to find a way to power up the Command Module with its limited power, procedures are finalized and sent to Swigert, who successfully revives Odyssey. After witnessing the damage to the jettisoned Service Module, the crew prepare for re-entry, unsure of the condition of Odyssey's heatshield. The crew releases Aquarius and re-enters the Earth's atmosphere in Odyssey, and after an unusually long period of radio silence, the crew reports they are alive and well; to the great relief of Mission Control and the astronauts' families. After splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, the three men are plucked out of the water and taken to the aircraft carrier USS Iwo Jima. As the astronauts are greeted on deck, Lovell's narration describes the events that follow their return from spaceincluding the investigation into the explosion on board the Service Module, and the subsequent careers and lives of Haise, Swigert, Mattingly and Kranzand ends with Lovell saying "I look up at the Moon and wonder: When will we be going back, and who will that be?"