Top 10... - July 20, 2015

#hmvDecades: 10 Things You Didn't Know About... Apollo 13
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

#hmvDecades: 10 Things You Didn't Know About... Apollo 13

Released back in 1995, Ron Howard's Apollo 13 redefined Hollywood's relationship with space and remains one of the most heart-pounding and thrilling adventures every released. 

The movie stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris and chronicles the life-threatening mission astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise all undertook aboard Apollo 13 for America's third Moon landing mission.

On their way, the trio's mission is thrown into chaos when an on-board explosion deprives their spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power, they are forced to abort their plans to land on the moon and instead simply focus on trying to get themselves home. 

Nomimated for nine Oscars, a smash hit at the box office with receipts of over $350 million and boasting the iconic line "Houston, we have a problem", Apollo 13 remains one of modern cinema's most iconic movies. Now on offer as part of hmv’s Decades, we thought we’d revisit this classic and present 10 things you didn’t know about Apollo 13

 

Ron Howard took the idea of filming in zero gravity very seriously...

For 13 days during the making of Apollo 13 the cast and crew flew between 500 and 600 short loops in NASA's KC-135 airplane (a craft with the wonderful nickname of the Vomit Comet) to achieve real weightlessness. Each of the arcs got them 23 seconds of zero gravity. We bet there were more than a few upset tummies...

 

Jim Lovell wanted Kevin Costner to play him...

It seems hard to imagine anyone other than Tom Hanks was considered for the role of Lovell, but in actual fact, he wasn't first choice from either Lovell himself or the studio. The role was first offered to John Travolta, who declined, and Lovell himself said that he'd also believed Kevin Costner would be a good fit for the role. When it actually came down to it, Costner was never in the running especially after Hanks declared an interest in taking the role. 

 

And John Cusack and Brad Pitt also declined to take part...

Getting the cast together wasn't easy. Brad Pitt was targeted for a role, but decided to do Se7en instead (can't blame him for that) and John Cusack also passed on the role of Fred Haise, which ended up going to Bill Paxton. 

 

Both Ron Howard's parents have cameos...

Both Rance and Jean Howard have blink and you'll miss it cameos in this, Rance plays the Lovell family Minister, while Jean has a tiny role as Lovell's mother Blanch. His wife Cheyl and daughter Bryce Dallas Howard are also uncredited extras. 

 

And so do both Jim and Marilyn Lovell...

In a touching gesture both Lovells have brief appearances in the movie. Jim plays the captain of the recovery ship USS Iwo Jima, while his wife Marilyn is among the spectators during the launch sequence. 

 

Those spacesuits were very pricey...

Each one set the filmmakers back a cool $30,000. That's a lot of money for a costume. 

 

And there's no footage of actual space...

Ron Howard made it clear at the start of the production that he wanted every shot to be an original one, nothing borrowed from stock footage. That meant footage of the Saturn V was created specifically for the film, using miniatures, pyrotechnics, and digital effects.

 

To get ready for the role Hanks, Paxton, and Bacon all went to space camp...

While gearing up for these most challenging of roles, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon all attended the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. During their spell at the camp, Jim Lovell and David Scott, who was commander of Apollo 15, trained with the actors inside a simulated Command Module and Lunar Module. They also attempted to teach the actors about each of the 500 buttons, switches and toggles they used to operate the spacecraft. 

 

The film earned Tom Hanks his own asteroid...

Discovered by scientists at the University Of Arizona, the 12818 Tomhanks (1996 GU8) is floating somewhere above us right now. 

 

Apollo 13 got nine Oscar nominations, but only went home with two...

Despite being nominated most of the big awards, including Best Picture, Best Visual Effects and supporting actor nods for both Ed Harris and and Kathleen Quinlan, Howard and co only managed to pick up two awards, for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Although this was 1996 and they were up against Braveheart, The Usual Suspects, Casino, Leaving Las Vegas and more, it was a brutal year. 

 

Apollo 13 is available in-store and online as part of hmv’s decades promotion. Click here to see the full range of titles available.

Apollo 13
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