Fred Haise: It hurts when I urinate.
Jim Lovell: Well, you're not getting enough water.
Fred Haise: No, I'm drinkin' my rations, same as you... I think old Swigert gave me the clap. Been pissin' in my relief tube.
Jim Lovell: Well, that'd be a hot one at the debriefing for the flight surgeons... Another first for America's spacemen.
Ron Howard's mother and father have cameos in the film. Ron's father, Rance Howard, plays the priest who keeps a vigil with the family, and his mother, Jean, plays Jim Lovell's mother. See more...
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Factual error: When the astronauts pose for their photo shoot, the flag behind them has only 48 stars (a bit hard to tell, since it's rolled up, but the stars are arranged in straight rows parallel to the stripes, which was the arrangement used on the 48-star flag). It's 1970, so it should be a 50-star flag.
Factual error: Moments before and during the lift-off of the Saturn V, Ken Mattingly is shown to be watching from a somewhat private grassy field. Wherever he is supposed to be, he is far too close to the launch pad. No unauthorized persons were allowed to be that close, and certainly not in an undisclosed and unsupervised area, not the least of which was for security reasons. The fact that Mattingly is an astronaut would not give him carte blanch to do this, and his training and discipline would prevent his ever attempting doing so in the first place.
Continuity: After Houston reacquires contact with the spacecraft following re-entry, Gene Kranz sits down in his chair, obviously full of emotion. The camera then cuts to a wide shot of Mission Control before panning in on Ken Mattingly. Before the camera zeroes in on Ken, watch the top left corner of the screen and you can see Gene sit down again.
Continuity: In the shot of Fred and Mary Haise at the Apollo 11 lunar landing party Mary is obviously pregnant. Apollo 11 was nine months before Apollo 13 and Mary is supposedly 8 months pregnant at the launch of Apollo 13. She does not have a baby during Apollo 13 and even if she was pregnant during Apollo 11 it would not have showed yet.
Revealing: As Jim Lovell looks down on Frau Mauro and has a dream about an EVA (walk) on the moon, we soon see a view of Jim's legs as he jumps from the Lunar Module ladder down to the lunar surface. If you look closely, just as his left leg flings backwards from the ladder, you can see that not only do his pants appear to be a cheap replica of the actual Apollo space suit, his ankle (with bare flesh) is visible just under. If your body were exposed to the vacuum of the moon, you'd be killed.
Continuity: When Lovell and Haise discuss their families and Haise's illness, Lovell grabs a picture of Mary from the air and comments on, while Haise is seen putting a green letter back into its envelope. It cuts to show a close-up of Haise's hands pulling the letter and the photo from the envelope as if he just opened it (which would have happened moments earlier).
Deliberate "mistake": During the scene where the astronauts are building the makeshift CO2 scrubbers, the camera zooms out of the lunar module through the window, and we can see that the interior of the lunar module is oriented incorrectly compared to the exterior. The tunnel leading to the command module is on the top in the interior shot, but on the left in the exterior shot.
Deliberate "mistake": Keeping the Earth in the window during the burn for trajectory correction is inaccurate because if the LEM were pointing toward the earth, the window would be underneath the craft and the earth wouldn't be visible through the window. The earth is visible to be artistically consistent. This is mentioned by Jim Lovell on DVD Commentary.
Continuity: While the flight director (Gene) is talking to a guy about bringing the spacecraft's power down, there is a side shot of Gene saying: "that's the deal?" now, his hands are in front of him (playing with a pen) the very next shot he has his hands by his side and the man next to him has his head in a different position (a very short time to move your arms and head like that).