The man reaching the moon in reality or fiction created around extraterrestrial beings, the world of Space Exploration has always remained a favorite subject for movies in America. While NASA’s Apollo missions have always been paid homage by the film fraternity, they’ve never been shy to experiment with their own imaginations of what the outer space is like. So, without much ado, here’s a list of the top 10 movies based on Space Exploration that are must watch.
When the first manned mission to the Mars meets with a disastrous accident killing three crew members with one survivor, a rescue mission is launched to bring back the survivor. During the course of this mission, it is discovered that Mars is not a dead planet as previously thought. The crew uncovers some strange findings about the fate of their predecessors. When the meet the lone survivor he informs of them of a storm that was deliberately planned to save something, but what?
The Right Stuff is an adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s book by the same name. It covers 15 years of the aeronautical research and Project Mercury, USA’s first attempt at manned spaceflight. Alan Shepard, the first man in space is played by Scott Glenn, and Sam Shepard as Yeager, the pilot considered most capable and yet not allowed on the mission. The movie won four Academy Awards and was highly acclaimed by the critiques, but was unable to do well at the box office. In 1983 it was given only a limited release, while in 84 it was released all over the US.
Four pilots the best in the Air Force squadron could have become the first American citizens to have landed on the moon in the 1950s, but when NASA was established they were abandoned by their organization. Frank Corvin, Hawk, Hawkins, Jerry O’Neil, and Tank Sullivan went their separate ways. Corvin became an aerospace engineer; Hawkins was a freelance pilot; O’Neil an astrophysicist and Sullivan a Baptist minister. Years later a Russian satellite’s guidance system malfunctions, and is about to crash into the Earth within weeks. This is when NASA head Bob asks Corvin for help, and Corvin chooses the remaining three as part of his team.
Faraway lands and alien life is the passion of Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway. She fostered the interest while she was still a kid by her father. But, unfortunately she lost both her parents when she was nine. She lost faith in God, but developed a new kind of faith that led her to believe in the existence of a life far away. She soon finds strong evidence about the existence of the extraterrestrial life and decides to make the first contact. But, then comes the villain who wants to take all the credit. David Drumlin from the White House cuts all the research funds. Will Ellie ever make the first contact?
There’s a small Australian town in New South Wales, where Cliff Buxton, leads a team of scientists and oversees operations of the largest radio telescope dishes. Then, in 1969 NASA prepares for Apollo 11, and asks Cliff if NASA could use the dish as a backup for the televisions transmission from the moon. The village is more than happy to make a contribution to this adventurous mission of mankind. The Mayor of the town and his wife put in all efforts to welcome the team; despite the fact the villages aren’t too good with their etiquettes. Some of Cliff’s tea members is less than enthusiastic about the mission, but still go forward to help.
Based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem, Solaris is an unusual story of a psychologist Kris Kelvin, who is sent out on a mission to a planet where mysterious happenings are disturbing life on a strange space station. The death of a doctor is soon followed by a plague of mental disorders that affects all inhabitants of the space station. The entire crew is struck by strange aloofness of sorts. Kris also discovers his seven years dead wife on the station. The movie was remade in 2002 by Steven Soderbergh, but was not as successful as the original version.
For All Mankind is a documentary about the Apollo Mission, directed by Al Reinert. He has also co-written the screenplay of the original Apollo 13. The film is 80 minute footage from the original tapes that were recorded during the 1960s and 1970s. Reinert watched over 6,000,000 feet of film footage and over 80 hours of NASA interviews to selected the best portions to come up with this documentary. Although the film purports to focus on a single Apollo mission, in reality it is a collage of footage from six different Apollo landings.
Magnificent Desolation is a 40 min documentary that pays homage to 12 people, the first to land on the moon. The name of the movie comes from the description of the lunar surface that came from Edwin Aldrin, the lunar Module Pilot to Neil Armstrong’s Mission Commander on Apollo 11. Using newsreel footage and NASA photographs the documentary explores the Apollo Missions from 1969 to 1972. Tom Hanks is the narrator of the movies, and also a co-producer. The personal experiences of the astronauts, taken from their speeches are read throughout the course of the film.
Considered to be one of the best movies of 1990s, Apollo 13 is based on the true story of the mission crisis of Apollo 13. It was America’s third moon landing mission in the 1970s. Three astronauts, namely Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise successfully cover the half the way, when an exploding oxygen tank in threatens the power supply and the oxygen supply to the crew. While the crew struggles with their lives, Gene Kranz, the mission control leader is constantly trying to bring back his crew safely home. The movie won accolades from most critiques, and was also nominated as the best motion picture of the year.