Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Apollo 13 (1995)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Apollo 13 (1995)

In Ron Howard's epic film about the US space program, and the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970 - the third Moon landing effort, with three endangered crew members Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon):

  • two lines of dialogue summed up the historical suspense during the failed and traumatic 1970 manned space flight mission to the moon when their capsule was stranded 200,000 miles from Earth:
Jim Lovell:
"Houston, we have a problem"
Gene Kranz:
"Failure is not an option"

(1) head astronaut Jim Lovell's memorable call to NASA's mission control room after a liquid oxygen tank exploded on-board: "Houston, we have a problem"

(2) coordinating Mission Controller Gene Kranz' (Ed Harris) ultimatum: "We've never lost an American in space, we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option"

  • the scene of ground control finding an inventive solution when CO2 levels became dangerous - making the Command Module's square filters work in the Lunar Module's round receptacles: "We gotta find a way to make this fit into the hole for this, using nothing but that"
  • during the re-entry phase, Lovell's words of gratitude to his fellow crew-members: "Gentlemen, it's been a privilege flying with you"
  • the triumphant arrival scene in which the assembled crowd (and families) nervously awaited the re-entry of the Odyssey space capsule

Suited Up

Square Filter and Round Receptacle

"It's been a privilege..."

The Tense Re-Entry Period


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