Space is the willing background scenery of many Hollywood blockbusters. Heroism is all around and the vastness and emptyness of space can give you the creeps. For spacegeeks like me however, there is also a different genre of friday-night entertainment. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 human moonlanding, let's look at my top 5 inspired-by-Apollo-movies:
The right stuff (1983) shows the fabric of which the first space man have been made of. Be aware though that there were woman made of the same fabric in those days, as the Netflix documentary Mercury 13 rightly shows.
Hidden figures (2016) tells the story of black female mathematicians that played critical but invisible roles in doing the calculation of flight trajectories for Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.
Apollo 13 (1995) is a dramatization of the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission, starring well known spacegeek Tom Hanks.
Apollo 18 (2011) is about an Apollo mission that actually never happened. After Apollo 17, President Nixon axed the Apollo programme and the remaining Saturn 5 rockets ended up at three musea. Warning: Movie is scary at times.
Operation Avalanche (2016) continues on the Capricorn One (1978) line of thought to suggest the Apollo moonlandings were fake. Best documentary to watch after this movie is Dark Side of the Moon (2002), on the claim that it was Stanley Kubrick who filmed all of it in Hollywood. Make sure to watch untill the end otherwise you risk becoming a Lunar Landing conspirator and you might risk getting a punch in the face by Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin.