Apollo 11 (1996 film)
|Written by||Phil Penningroth|
|Directed by||Norberto Barba|
|Theme music composer||Phil Marshall|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||93 minutes|
|Original network||The Family Channel|
The film was developed in response to the positive reviews of the 1995 film Apollo 13. Executive producer James Manos Jr. thinks the reason no movie was made previously was that, "at first glance it didn't seem as if anything dramatic happened".
They received NASA's permission to record portions of the film in the original Apollo Mission Control Center. Engineers at the complex volunteered to make some of the equipment work like it did in 1969, to add authenticity.
Buzz Aldrin, one of the three Apollo 11 astronauts, contributed to this movie as technical consultant. He was not always on the film set, but he made an effort to keep up with the film's production. He was filmed for a cameo, but the scene was cut. During the scene, he played a clergyman that interacted with Xander Berkeley, who portrayed Aldrin in the film. Neil Armstrong was asked by Aldrin if he was interested in participating in the film's creation, but Armstrong never got back to him.
Fearful that the Soviets would continue their lead in the Space Race and be the first to put a man on the Moon, NASA felt an enormous pressure to push the Apollo Program forward as quickly as possible, though they knew that pushing too hard could lead to disaster. This film recreates the tensions that were felt not only by the three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, but also by their families and by the teams of technicians training to deal with anything that could go wrong.
- Jeffrey Nordling as commander Neil Armstrong
- Xander Berkeley as Apollo Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Berkeley was also cast in Apollo 13, which was thought to have aided him in acquiring this role
- Jim Metzler as command module pilot Michael Collins
- Jane Kaczmarek as Jan Armstrong
- Wendie Malick as Pat Collins
- Maureen Mueller as Joan Aldrin
- Matt Frewer as Gene Kranz
The film was released on Sunday, November 17, 1996 on The Family Channel at 7 pm EST as a part of a FAM Sunday Night Movie Event. Following the movie on the premiere night, Aldrin and others answered questions about spaceflight live in a feature titled From the Moon to Mars.
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- Bobbin, Jay (November 17, 1996). "'Apollo 11' flies on Fam". The Palm Beach Post. West Palm Beach, Florida. p. 221 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bobbin, Jay (November 17, 1996). "Movie re-creates flight of Apollo 11". The Atlanta Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. p. 414 – via Newspapers.com.
- Nicewonger, Kirk (November 16, 1996). "'Apollo 11' explores human side of historic space launch". News Record. North Hills, Pennsylvania. p. 18 – via Newspapers.com.
- Richmond, Ray (July 25, 1995). "HBO bests Big 3 in Emmy noms". Variety. Retrieved May 1, 2018.