“Failure is not an option, gentlemen.”
Those words mark the spirit of one of NASA’s darkest moments and its most shining triumph. Ed Harris, playing legendary flight director Gene Kranz, told his team of engineers those words. The fact that Kranz never said them makes the scene no less dramatic.
The next movie in our Space on Screen series, Apollo 13, has a few moments like this. They’re not necessarily historically accurate, but do such a good job of evoking the peril and cooperation that saved three astronauts from certain doom. Watch this blockbuster Friday. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for members.
Directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell, Kevin Bacon as Jack Swigert and Bill Paxton as Fred Haise, the 1995 movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards. It won for Best Sound and Best Film Editing and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Harris as Kranz), Best Supporting Actress (Kathleen Quinlan as Marilyn Lovell), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects and Best Original Score.
Apollo 13 was the third-highest grossing movie of 1995, bested only by Toy Story and Batman Forever. It beat out Pocahontas, GoldenEye, Jumanji, Braveheart, Congo, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Se7en. It made $355 million worldwide, which when adjusted for inflation, equals $589 million.
The movie has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95 percent and a Metacritic score of 77 out of 100, putting it 16th out of 1995 movies.
Before the showing Friday, hear from Jeff Lovell, son of Jim and Marilyn, as he recounts his memories of the mission.