Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fly Me To the Moon

I got my blogger experience doing some items on my son's blog ( last summer. In September I wrote the following piece concerning a movie (documentary) that I saw and wanted to share the information concerning the movie with others.

On September 28, 2007, I went to see "In The Shadow Of The Moon" directed by Ron Howard (Opie). This was not done by actors nor are there any re-enactments in this movie. It's more like a documentary and had very limited showing at that time. You had to want to see this movie in order to find it.

We have many movies advertised heavily and made by "stars" which have wide spread availability. Most are not worth the price of admission. This movie has the original "cast" of the moon landings talking about what they experienced and their thoughts about the process they were subjected to during the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately Neil Armstrong elected not to be a part of this interview as he had become somewhat of a recluse since being the first one to actually walk on the moon. Of course, he is in the film as all of the film except the interviews was the original film taken during that time. A fine job of editing by Mr. Howard.

The film starts with the Apollo program including the loss of the three astronauts on Apollo One. The engineers seemed to have forgotten that pure oxygen ignites with a spark and when that happens there is no escape for the humans inside the capsule. The story continues with the actual conversation between Houston and the manned capsules as they attempt to do things for the first time. I can remember very well when Apollo 8 orbited the moon and Frank Borman read from the Bible. I think it is funny that the NASA program was sued for combining Church and State!

The actual flight of Apollo 11 in July 1969 was exciting to relive and feel the pride of being an American for the accomplishment. Do you know what story that event took off the front pages? Ted Kennedy and the accident at Martha's Vineyard where Mary Jo was killed. He has been forever grateful to the NASA program every since.

There were actually 9 flights to the moon, but only 6 landed. Apollos 8, 10 & 13 didn't land. One of the participants was asked if the moon flights were faked! He said "9 times?". Remember there are hundreds of people involved in each of these -- could they all keep their mouths shut if it were faked? Remember "Capricorn One" starring a famous football player about a fake Mars landing?

Ron Howard also directed "Apollo 13" starring Tom Hanks which was the flight that had the famous line from Jim Lovell, "Houston, we have a problem!". It didn't make it to the landing on the moon but through Yankee ingenuity was able to use the lunar lander as a lifeboat to come back home to Earth safely.

This is an exciting film and there were only 8 people in the theater when we saw it. Too bad, it needed better publicity to get the word out. You might check the DVD/Video rental stores to see if it is available. You will enjoy this film. There are not many out there that you can say that about.

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