In a commentary track, Marilyn Lovell comments that Tom Hanks exactly portrays Jim Lovell's mannerisms and style of movement.
In some scenes where the Earth can be seen from the windows of Apollo 13, it is one of the photos taken by Jim Lovell and Bill Anders on the Apollo 8 mission.
Bill Paxton, Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon were all very proud of the fact that they weren't sick on the so-called Vomit Comet - the plane used to simulate zero gravity. The cameramen weren't so lucky.
Jim Lovell wore his old Navy Captain's uniform in the scene where he greets the astronauts aboard the U.S.S. Iwo Jima. When Ron Howard asked Lovell if he'd like to be in the film as the ship's Admiral, Lovell agreed, but pointed out, "I retired as a Captain; a Captain I will be."
Marilyn Lovell really did lose her ring down the drain, but eventually found it again.
When the real Jim Lovell saw the film, he found the CGI work so convincing that he firmly believed that the filmmakers had uncovered some hitherto unseen NASA footage.
The famous understatement was actually made twice by two astronauts. Jack Swigert said, "OK Houston, we've had a problem here." Mission Control said, "This is Houston. Say again, please." Then Jim Lovell said, "Uh, Houston, we've had a problem." On the recording, Swigert is garbled at the beginning, while Lovell is clear, so the recording of Lovell is often heard, leading to the impression he said it, even though Swigert said it first. It's commonly misquoted as "Houston, we've got a problem" or "Houston, we have a problem." Because "we've had" implies the problem has passed, Ron Howard chose to use "we have".
The line that Jim Lovell asked his crewmates, "Gentlemen, what are your intentions? Mine are to go home." needs some context. While Lovell actually said this, it seems slightly forced and out of place. This is because when he said it on the mission, they were just coming out of from the far side of the moon and had a critical engine burn coming up. Since it was Jack Swigert and Fred Haise's first mission, they were taking pictures instead of preparing for the burn. That's why Lovell said the line, adding, "If we don't get home, you won't be able to have your pictures developed."
The cast and crew flew between 612 parabolic arcs in NASA's KC-135 airplane (nicknamed the "Vomit Comet"). Each arc produced 20 seconds of weightlessness. All of these flights were completed in 13 days. The actual KC135 used (NASA serial number N930NA) was decommissioned in 1995 after 22 years of service and placed on display (2000) at Ellington Field.
Bill Paxton asked Fred Haise how he felt about saying goodbye to the lunar module. "He said he felt kind of sad about the LEM. The little LEM that could."
Gene Kranz gives a list of instructions to his team at Mission Control, and finishes by saying, "Failure is not an option!" Gene Kranz didn't actually say that during the Apollo 13 mission, but he liked the line. It became the title of his 2000 autobiography.
The Crawler seen moving in the background of one of the scenes, as Apollo 13 is being moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building, was the real NASA Crawler. Ron Howard got to drive it.
Ron Howard anticipated difficulty in portraying weightlessness in a realistic manner. He discussed this with Steven Spielberg, who suggested using a KC-135 airplane, which can be flown in such a way as to create about 23 seconds of weightlessness, a method NASA has always used to train its astronauts for space flight. Howard obtained NASA's permission and assistance in filming in the realistic conditions aboard multiple KC-135 flights.
When Tom Hanks joined the cast, Jim Lovell sent him a telegram that read, "Welcome aboard Apollo 13."
It was a deliberate choice to jettison the LEM so that it re-entered in a sparsely populated area of the South Pacific Ocean. The LEM had 8.5 pounds of plutonium in a Radioisotope Thermal Generator (RTG) battery for powering scientific experiments for many years after the astronauts left. This would normally be left on the moon, but the entire LEM including the descent module was needed as a lifeboat. The battery was designed to survive re-entry without burning up and scattering radioactive plutonium. As far as could be determined, the battery is at the bottom of the Tonga trench and is not leaking.
Filming inside the zero-gravity plane could only happen in 25 second bursts. The plane performed 612 dives, giving filmmakers 54 minutes of footage in a weightless environment.
After Tom Hanks was cast, Gary Sinise was free to choose his part. "When I looked at it, I said, I want to play that guy. Without him, they won't get back."
The film was named the #12 most inspirational movie by the American Film Institute, in 2006.
Jim Lovell's line "I vonder vere Guenter vent" was made popular by the crew of Apollo 7. Guenter Wendt was NASA's "pad leader" during the Apollo program and was the last man seen by crews before liftoff. After Wendt closed Apollo 7's hatch and his face disappeared from the window, CSM pilot Donn Eisele said, "I wonder where Guenter went." Commander Wally Schirra claims to have stolen the line and made it famous among astronaut crews.
Ron Howard says he's most proud of the launch sequence: "I think as a filmmaker, that might be the most cinematic thing I've ever done."
In interviews, the real Jim Lovell had said that he thought Kevin Costner looked a little bit like him, but Costner was never cast. When Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment got the rights to the script, Ron Howard signed on to direct, and knowing that Tom Hanks was an Apollo/space buff, Ron sent the script to him. They set up a meeting, and Hanks agreed to play Jim Lovell during that meeting.
After Swigert admits having forgotten to file his tax return, Clint Howard, who has had tax problems in real life, improvised the line where he says "That's no joke! They'll jump on him!"
Several actors from the movie, including Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, and Gary Sinise, visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp program, and worked on their simulators before production of the movie began, to help them get a feel for what it would be like to work in zero gravity.
In 1996, asteroid 1996 GU8 was named "12818 Tomhanks" in honor of Tom Hanks' portrayal of astronaut Jim Lovell in this movie.
In an interview, Ron Howard revealed that some critics blasted what they perceived as a "hokey" Hollywood moment in the picture, when Marilyn Lovell loses her wedding ring down the shower drain. The thought was that writing in that fictional moment as an omen of bad luck was overkill. However, according to the real Marilyn Lovell, it actually happened. Fortunately, she was able to eventually recover the ring.
Set designers looked through the Lovells' old family photographs to recreate their house from 1969.
Marilyn Lovell states in a commentary track that her nightmare was a result of seeing "Marooned (1969)," about a fictional Apollo disaster. Jim had taken her to see it as a date.
Ron Howard claims that, after seeing the film, Buzz Aldrin asked him if NASA could use the footage of the launch from the movie.
According to his book "Lost Moon", Jim Lovell really did make the suggestion to his wife of going to the moon instead of Acapulco, but it was when he got the word that he would be going to the moon on Apollo 8 in December 1968.
Many of the actors in Mission Control were being fed lines directly from technical advisers on set.
According to Jim Lovell, while Tom Hanks uses profanity in character in the movie, Lovell did not, because he never swears.
The real Apollo 13 capsule was restored and is on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The film portrays Jack Swigert as a little wet behind the ears, and potentially incapable of docking the command module with the LEM. However, Jim Lovell has said in an interview that the real Swigert actually wrote the Malfunction Procedures for NASA command modules, and therefore knew the machine incredibly well and was more than capable of piloting the mission. Additionally, Lovell said that, had Swigert not been able to dock the ship, it wouldn't have meant doom for the mission, as there were two other accomplished pilots in the CM who could make another attempt at docking.
Brad Pitt turned down an offer to star in this film and chose instead to star in Se7en (1995).
Bill Paxton's line "I could eat the ass out of a dead rhinoceros" was not said by Fred Haise. It was made up the day of filming by Gary Busey, who was visiting the set at the time and they thought it would be a good country boy line. Busey had previously said the line in another film he starred in, "Point Break (1991)."
The Mission Control set was nearly a carbon copy of the original one in Houston. The production crew originally wanted to film in the original Mission Control room in Houston, which is now a historic landmark. However, the original room was found to be too small to be used for a film production. The production crew took precise measurements of every part of the room and replicated it on a Hollywood set. One of the real Apollo 13 flight controllers, Jerry Bostick , left the Mission Control set one day looking for the elevator, convinced that it was the real thing (the original Mission Control is on the third floor of the building).
Footage of the Saturn V was created specifically for this film; no Saturn V stock footage was used. The Saturn V launch was a combination of traditional miniatures, pyro, and digital effects.
The movie makes no mention of a mid-course correction made while en route to the moon which took the spacecraft off of a free return trajectory. After the explosion, a second correction was successfully made to put the spacecraft back on a free return trajectory. Without this correction, the astronauts still would have swung around the moon, but would have missed the earth on the return leg. Although a free return trajectory was agreed upon in the movie, the engine burn to accomplish this was not portrayed. The astronauts also made a four-minute engine burn after swinging around the moon to gain additional speed and to enable them to splash down in the Pacific Ocean. There is a brief reference to this in the movie, but this maneuver was not portrayed.
One of the dramatic developments in the story is the last-minute replacement of Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly by his backup, Jack Swigert . (Mattingly subsequently replaced Swigert on Apollo 16). But Jim Lovell would have never commanded Apollo 13 had he not himself, as backup, swapped places with original Apollo 8 CMP Michael Collins when Collins suffered a herniated disk long before the flight. Had Collins stayed healthy and flown on 8, it's likely that he would have commanded 13, while Lovell would have been CMP on 11 and very likely commanded 17, and thus would have been the last man to walk on the moon. Eugene Cernan who had that honor, may have instead been the Lunar Module Pilot of 16, a position he turned down in hopes of securing the 17 command.
Tom Hanks is wearing the Naval Academy ring of Jim Lovell . Hanks and Kathleen Quinlan both visited the Lovells at home in Texas to do research for the movie.
The "vomit" is mostly condensed soup. Fred Haise did experience some space sickness on the mission but denied ever throwing up.
The real white vest worn by Mission Controller Gene Kranz during the Apollo 13 Moon shot and rescue mission is displayed in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. However, according to the accompanying explanatory information card, its presence in the museum is largely due to the focus on the costume version worn by Ed Harris , as Kranz, in the movie.
Lovell tells a story of when he was flying a Banshee and the cockpit lights went out. The McDonnell Douglas F2H-3 Banshee was a single-seat night fighter used by the Navy and the Marines that was in service from 1948 to 1961. It was one of the primary fighters used during the Korean War. Lovell flew the Banshee in combat from 1954 to 1958.
Although it's true that voice communication with the ground happened much later than expected after re-entry -- creating even more drama -- NASA's radar had picked up the command module about ten seconds before the astronauts established voice communication. So NASA knew that the astronauts were probably okay ten seconds before they actually heard their voices. (It was also possible that although the module had survived re-entry, a leak could have caused the astronauts' deaths, as happened with a Soviet crew in 1971.) This was normal when a space mission flew through the atmosphere on its way to landing -- that radar contact occurred before voice contact.
Haise jokingly accuses Swigert of giving him "the clap" by sharing relief tubes. Haise's illness was in fact related to the relief tubes. It was a urinary tract infection, caused by his continual wearing of the condom-like sleeve needed to use the spacecraft's waste disposal system.
This was the only movie to ever use NASA's zero-gravity airplane, the KC-135. It simulates weightlessness by climbing to 38,000 feet, then diving about 15,000 feet.
All the screens in the fictional Houston control room were monitored by a software center that was built just below the set. According to Ron Howard, almost three days of production were lost while trying to fix the software, which wouldn't work properly.
The man sitting next to Walter Cronkite in the brown suit (at 1:30:22) is the real Wally Schirra (Mercury 8, Gemini 6 and Apollo 7), who - after his NASA career - worked for CBS from 1969 to 1975 as consultant and as co-anchor of the network's coverage of the seven Moon landing missions.
Several items in the movie, including Jim Lovell's jumpsuit and a coffee mug at Mission Control, bear the mission patch for Apollo 8, the mission that took Lovell to the moon for ten orbits a year and a half earlier.
The movie's line "Houston, we have a problem." was voted as the #50 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
Jim Lovell was the first to sleep in the frozen command module. He reported to the others that if they kept still, a layer of warm air would form around them, and stay in place because of the weightlessness. The downside of that phenomenon is that all equipment on board has to be actively cooled due to lack of convective cooling.
John Cusack and Charlie Sheen were originally offered the role of Fred Haise (played by Bill Paxton), but turned it down.
A few weeks before the accident, a similar situation was given as part of a drill to Kranz and his White Team. The controllers simulated a loss of cabin pressure in the command module just as it entered blackout behind the moon. Sy Liebergot (EECOM White) missed the indication, and had to scramble to devise a way out of the scenario. He and his team chose to have the LEM re-dock with the command module and be used as a lifeboat to get the astronauts back.
Shortly after the spacecraft launches, the crew gets ready for a "barbecue roll". This is a maneuver that is required because of the high temperature difference between the side of the craft that is facing the sun and the opposite side. Like meat roasting on a rotating spit over an open fire, the craft slowly rotates so that the sun's heat is distributed evenly.
The first 35mm film to be converted into an IMAX DMR and to be Specially Formatted in IMAX.
The Time Magazine 'Men of The Year' cover that Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) look at during the Apollo 11 party at Jim Lovell's house is a real magazine cover, famously celebrating the Apollo 8 mission's orbiting of the moon. However, it has been edited, replacing the original drawing of Lovell with one of Tom Hanks for movie consistency. Borman and Anders remain unchanged, given that they don't appear as characters in the film.
The helmets were really being locked and oxygen was pumping into those 180-pound airtight spacesuits.
According to astronaut Tom Jones, who was there for part of the shooting, when it was pointed out to Ron Howard that the argument between Haise and Swigert never happened and would never happen between astronauts, Howard replied "in trying to show a real tense moment in a film, we can only show a sweaty forehead so many times before it loses its effect". Howard's reply was laughingly accepted.
At the end of the sequence where a method is devised to fit "a square peg into a round hole" to fix the CO2 scrubbers, a technician is heard saying to the leader of the team that created the makeshift solution (credited simply as "Technician", though it might be assumed that it's Ed Smylie, who was the real guy in charge of that team), "You, sir, are one steely-eyed missile man!" This colloquial NASA title of honor was perhaps most famously bestowed upon John Aaron after he, serving as EECOM, saved the Apollo 12 mission four months earlier, when that craft was struck by lightning during launch and had its telemetry signal scrambled. John Aaron was prominently present during the events of this mission as well. He is the tech played by Loren Dean, who, along with Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), figures out how to power up the craft for re-entry.
The second of three films in which Ed Harris plays a character who works in the NASA space program. Harris previously played astronaut John Glenn in The Right Stuff (1983). He later provided the voice of Mission Control in Gravity (2013), where his character is once again trying to rescue astronauts in danger.
At one point during the return flight there is a bang and nobody is very alarmed; it's just a "burst helium disk." This was actually a significant event, though an expected consequence of the situation. The helium disk served a protective function in the LM descent engine and, after it burst, they might no longer be able to restart that engine. A final course correction, not shown in the movie, had to be done using thrusters instead.
When asked by a visitor about how astronauts go to the bathroom in space, Lovell throws the question to Deke Slayton saying, "Deke, you might be able to answer this question better than I..." Slayton was a Mercury 7 astronaut but a heart condition kept him from flying. Slayton finally got to space in 1975, five years after the events of this film.
Although Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton bear at least some resemblance to the characters they portray - Jim Lovell and Fred Haise - Gary Sinise looks nothing at all like Ken Mattingly, who - among other things - was practically bald.
The Saturn V rockets (used for launching the Apollo spacecraft) were 363 feet (110.8 Meters) tall, taller than the overall height of the Statue of Liberty.
For some of the scenes inside the spacecraft, the actors would sit on seesaw devices that created the illusion of zero gravity.
The recovery ship in the film was the U.S.S. Iwo Jima (LPH-2), played by the U.S.S. New Orleans (LPH-11). The Iwo Jima was decommissioned before the making of this film.
Jim Lovell is actually left-handed, but Tom Hanks refused to write with his left hand for the movie.
In a scene from "Forrest Gump (1994)," Gary Sinise as Lt. Dan Taylor states that the day Gump becomes a Shrimp Boat Captain would be the day he (Taylor) becomes an Astronaut. Just one year later, Sinise would go on to co-star in Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks and portray Astronaut Ken Mattingly
The scene where the engineers are challenged to create a device to use the square CO2 absorbers using only items on board was the inspiration for Cathy Rogers to create the television shows Junkyard Wars (1998) and Junkyard Wars (2001).
In the movie, Jim Lovell is shown driving a red Chevrolet Corvette. This is a nod to an actual program conceived by Jim Rathmann, a Florida Chevrolet dealer, and Ed Cole, who was President of GM at the time. The program offered astronauts a choice of two new cars every year, of which one choice was almost always a Corvette. Mr. Lovell did indeed own a 1968 Corvette, however, his Corvette was silver in color, not the red depicted in the movie. It recently sold through Mecum Auto Auctions. The Apollo 12 crew, Conrad, Gordon and Bean, had identical Corvettes.
The control consoles that made up the Mission Control Center set were nearly perfect replicas of the real control consoles in Houston. After production had ended, the consoles were acquired by a prop rental house. Some of the consoles were used in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) in the background of the propaganda recording studio, and in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015) in the District 13 control center. Those same consoles - still with badges reading "Panem" and "Property of Capitol District Defense Force" - were used in the Mercury Mission Control set of Hidden Figures (2016).
The plane used for the zero-gravity sequences was based at Ellington Field Houston, Texas.
Associate producer Michael Bostick is the son of Jerry Bostick, one of the technical advisors on this film, as well as one of the actual Apollo 13 flight controllers.
St. John's Military Academy, the school that Jim Lovell's son attends during the mission, is a real military school located in Delafield, Wisconsin. The scenes in the movie showing the school were not, however, filmed on location.
When Fred Haise confesses that his wife's pregnancy was an accident, Jim Lovell responds, "Well, that has a tendency to happen." In real life, Marilyn Lovell accidentally fell pregnant during the Gemini program, and hid it from her husband for four months for fear it would jeopardize his spot in the Gemini rotation.
The temperature inside the unheated command module and LEM went down to 45 degrees. What the film does not show is that, in order to try and sleep, the three astronauts huddled together on the floor of the LEM and the connecting tunnel.
The August 6, 1994 draft of the screenplay credits a rewrite to John Sayles. He is not credited in the final film.
The scene of the Saturn V launch shows the horizontal service arms swinging back after the rocket's ignition. The arms swung back in milliseconds after ignition, once the rocket climbed to a height of two inches. In the movie the service-arms goes in one by one, but in reality they went simultaneously.
There is a scene in which the "Vehicle Assembly Building" is shown. During the Apollo program, that building was actually called the "Vertical Assembly Building". The name was changed when the Space Shuttle program began.
The scenes inside the Apollo 13 were shot partially in a real in-motion spacecraft, for shots including actual weightlessness, and in a studio set, with the actors simulating weightlessness. In each case, the scenes were shot in reverse order, giving the actors time to grow out their facial hair and then slightly trim it for the next set of scenes. When played forward, this allowed to appear as if the characters went several days without shaving.
According to Ron Howard on the DVD commentary, John Sayles contribution to the screenplay are the scenes involving Jim Lovell's mother in the nursing home.
As portrayed in the film, Marilyn Lovell really was concerned about Jim's Apollo mission being number 13.
Gary Sinise, who plays the part of Ken Mattingly, shares the same birthday with him: March 17.
At the Lovells' Apollo 11 landing party, Pete Conrad jokingly congratulates Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Ken Mattingly for their "heroic" job as the Apollo 11 backup crew. While it's true that Lovell and Haise were indeed the backups for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, respectively, Mattingly was not an "official" member of the Apollo 11 backup crew; the backup Command Module Pilot for the mission was William A. "Bill" Anders. Mattingly did, however, train parallel with Anders for Apollo 11 as backup Command Module Pilot, because Anders was going to retire from NASA in August 1969 (Eagle landed on July 20, 1969). Had the mission been delayed for any reason, Anders would be unavailable and Mattingly would be elevated to primary backup.
Barbara Lovell is upset because of the breakup of the Beatles, which occurred on April 10, 1970 (three days before the Apollo 13 explosion), when Paul McCartney announced that he was leaving the band. However, the music heard on Barbara's hi-fi is the Jimi Hendrix song, "Purple Haze." The Beatles' music could not be used for the film because it would be years before the Beatles would allow their music to be used for films and other media.
The model used to represent the Saturn rocket on its launch pad was built around huge cardboard tubes, normally used as molds in the pouring of concrete on building sites.
While discussing Ken Mattingly 's illness in the NASA Director's office, various prints can be seen hanging on the walls. In one photograph just behind the director's desk, the crew of Apollo 1, with Gus Grissom , Edward H. White II , and Roger B. Chaffee is visible on the wall. A few pictures over, the crew of Gemini 9, featuring Elliot See and Charles Bassett, along with their back-up crew is seen in homage to these five Astronauts who were killed in the line of duty.
This is the second time that John Travolta was offered a role as the main character, turned it down, then Tom Hanks was given the role. The first was Forrest Gump (1994)
The Apollo 13 emergency situation began on April 13, 1970, six days after the 42nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony in which the Oscar for Best Visual Effects was awarded to Marooned (1969) , a movie similar to Apollo 13 (1995) though entirely fictional. 26 years later, Apollo 13 (1995) had the Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects but did not win.
At roughly 45:34 as the crew are beginning their TV broadcast, the only time the mission time is visible shortly before the accident, the time reads 56h 02m 55s. The accident actually occurred at 55h 54m 53s
Roger Corman appears as a U.S. Senator. As a producer, Corman gave Ron Howard his first feature film break, Grand Theft Auto (1977). Corman also produced Galaxy of Terror (1981), on which Bill Paxton served as a set decorator.
The only film that year to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress Oscars.
When Marilyn Lovell comments on Mary Haise's pregnancy during the liftoff, Mary replies, "I've got thirty more days till this blast-off." In fact, she didn't give birth until nearly two months later.
Val Kilmer turned down the role of Jack Swigert in order to film The Ghost and the Darkness (1996).
The recovery ship appearing as LPH-2, USS Iwo Jima is actually the LPH-11 USS New Orleans. USS New Orleans was the recovery ship for Apollo 14 in real life.
All three Apollo astronauts, Jim Lovell (James Arthur Lovell, Jr.), Fred Haise (Fred Wallace Haise, Jr.), and Jack Swigert (John Leonard Swigert, Jr.) are "juniors," as is Ken Mattingly (Thomas Kenneth Mattingly, II).
Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
When the crew members from Apollo 13 are airing their broadcast, one of the controllers mentions about going up on Apollo 19 and bringing his collection of Johnny Cash along. Apollo 19 was one of three missions canceled due to budget cuts. This was also the mission that Fred Haise was scheduled to be on.
The military jet that Jim Lovell flies from Houston to Cape Canaveral is a Northrop F-5 "Tiger II", or possibly the Northrop T-38 "Talon" (the trainer version of the F-5).
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
The Navy SH-3H Sea-King "66" helicopter from the rescue scene is not the original rescue aircraft from the Apollo missions as previously stated, as the original "66" had been lost at sea before the film was made. Another Sea King (bureau number 148999) was painted up like the original and used for filming. This helicopter can (as of Dec. 2008) be seen on display at the U.S.S. Hornet Museum in Alameda, California. The aircraft was assigned to, and flown by crews from HC-85, a Naval Reserve squadron based at NAS North Island in San Diego, California. HC-85 was one of the last units to fly the Sea King helicopter in the U.S. Navy.
Gary Sinise shot to stardom the previous year, appearing opposite Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994), and playing a leading role in The Stand (1994) (TV), which also featured Ed Harris in a small role. That was based on a Stephen King novel. Sinise and Hanks appeared together again in The Green Mile (1999), also based on a Stephen King novel.
The version of "Blue Moon" used in the movie, is performed by the Mavericks, although founding member and lead singer Raúl Malo was only four years old during the real events of Apollo 13.
The suspenseful underscoring that plays while the crew attempts to build a filter is a recycled/repurposed score, originally used in The Pelican Brief (1993) when the protagonists retrieve a safe deposit box and flee attackers in a parking garage. James Horner is the composer for both films.
Kathleen Quinlan's first credited screen appearance was in American Graffiti (1973), as Peggy. Her scene consisted of her in a bathroom, talking to Laurie (Cindy Williams) about forgetting her boyfriend, Steve (Ron Howard).
"Curiosity" Rover Mission Controller Bobak Ferdowsi joked that he felt like Ed Harris in Apollo 13 (1995) as he gave final instructions to ground the lander on Mars.
When the astronauts came on board the Iwo Jima after landing, they were immediately greeted by the ship's chaplain, who offered a prayer of thanksgiving. The film does not show this.
Richard Nixon, who was President at the time, is referenced several times, and even shown in a news broadcast. Ed Harris appeared in Nixon (1995), while Ron Howard and Kevin Bacon worked together again on Frost/Nixon (2008).
Tracy Reiner (Mary Haise) & Tom Hanks (Jim Lovell) also appeared together in Nothing in Common (1986), Big (1988), A League of Their Own (1992) & That Thing You Do (1996)
Emily Ann Lloyd and Miko Hughes play siblings in this film, and they also played classmates in Kindergarten Cop (1990)
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Tom Hanks, and Ray McKinnon; and three Oscar nominees: Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, and Kathleen Quinlan.
Chris Ellis, Andy Milder, and Christian Clemenson would later appear in Armageddon (1998).
Kathleen Quinlan and Miko Hughes play mother and son in this film, they would later star in Zeus and Roxanne (1997) where Hughes plays the son of Quinlan's love interest.
One of a number of movies where actor Kevin Bacon has played a character who has been first named "Jack". In Frost/Nixon (2008) (Jack Brennan), in My Dog Skip (2000) (Jack Morris), in Apollo 13 (1995) (Jack Swigert), in A Few Good Men (1992) (Jack Ross), in Quicksilver (1986) (Jack Casey), and in Friday the 13th (1980), Jack.
Three members of the Apollo 13 cast -- Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, and Ray McKinnon -- all starred together in The Stand (1994).
Kevin Bacon who appeared in the original Footloose (1984) while Ray McKinnon who appeared in the remake of Footloose (2011)
Included among the American Film Institute's 2005 list of 250 movies nominated for AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores.
The film was released a couple weeks before the release of Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home in which Mary Kate Schellhardt co-starred alongside Miko Hughes' Cops and Robbersons castmate Jason James Richter.