In the Shadow of the Moon (2007 film)

In the Shadow of the Moon is a 2007 British documentary film about the United States' crewed missions to the Moon.[1] After premiering at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Audience Award, it was given a limited release in the United States on 7 September 2007, and in Canada on 19 October.[2][3]

In the Shadow of the Moon
In the Shadow of the Moon (2007 film) poster.jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed byDavid Sington
Produced byDuncan Copp
CinematographyClive North
Edited byDavid Fairhead
Music byPhilip Sheppard
Distributed byVertigo Films
Release dates
  • 19 January 2007 (2007-01-19) (Sundance)
  • 7 September 2007 (2007-09-07) (United States)
  • 2 November 2007 (2007-11-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time
100 minutes
Box office$2.1 million

Although the film shares its name with a book by space historians Colin Burgess and Francis French that was also released in 2007, and both include many original interviews with Apollo lunar astronauts, neither work is a source of, or a tie-in to, the other.


The film tells the story of the crewed missions to the Moon undertaken by NASA in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of the Apollo program, with particular focus given to Apollo 11. The ten Apollo astronauts interviewed by the filmmakers for the film tell their story in their own words, supplemented by footage shot by the astronauts during the missions, archival footage and news reports about the Apollo program by the likes of Walter Cronkite and Jules Bergman, and the occasional use of onscreen text.


Ten of the twenty-four men who reached the vicinity of the Moon as part of the Apollo program were interviewed for the film. Those ten represent every crewed Apollo flight, with the exception of Apollo 7 (which was an Earth-orbit mission), and include eight of the twelve men who set foot on the lunar surface. Some astronauts had already passed away by the time the film was made, and Neil Armstrong chose not to participate in the film. The other two astronauts featured in the film, Jim Lovell and Michael Collins, orbited the Moon, but did not land on it. The interviewees are:


The film features footage and media that had been released to the public at the time of the missions, and films and materials from NASA that had not been opened in over 30 years, all of which was sourced and remastered in HD by the stock footage company Footagevault.[citation needed]

Ron Howard, who is credited as presenting the film, was involved in its promotion, but not its production.


Critics gave the film very positive reviews. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 95% based on 113 reviews, with an average score of 7.90 out of 10.[4] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 84 out of 100, based on reviews from 34 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

Roger Ebert called the film "spellbinding".[6] Entertainment Weekly gave it an "A" rating.[7] The Los Angeles Times called the film a "fresh and compelling film, made with intelligence and emotion". The Hollywood Reporter concluded that "The value of this film, not just to moviegoers today but to future generations, is simply enormous."[8]

In March 2008, In the Shadow of the Moon was the first film to win the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Best Film Presentation. On 23 June 2008, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) honoured the film for promoting scientific skepticism in media; the award was accepted by producer Duncan Copp.[9]

Home videoEdit

The film was released on DVD in the United States on 22 February 2008, and in the United Kingdom on 31 March.[10][11][12] A Blu-ray edition of the film was released on 16 June 2009.


  1. ^ "In the Shadow of the Moon". World Documentary Competition. Sundance Film Festival. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2007.
  2. ^ "In the Shadow of the Moon (2006) - Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 April 2007.
  3. ^ Calgary Sun, 19 October 2007
  4. ^ In the Shadow of the Moon at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ In the Shadow of the Moon at Metacritic  
  6. ^ "In the Shadow of the Moon". 13 September 2007.
  7. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (29 August 2007). "Movie Review: In the Shadow of the Moon". Entertainment Weekly.
  8. ^ Kirk Honeycutt (7 September 2007). "In the Shadown of the Moon [review]". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007.
  9. ^ "The 2008 IIG Awards". 23 June 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  10. ^ "In The Shadow Of The Moon". 31 March 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Shadow of the Moon". Shadow of the Moon. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit