Apollo 13

Apollo 13 (1995)

75 corrected entries

(8 votes)

Corrected entry: At one point on the return to Earth when they're about to make another burn, Lovell (Tom Hanks) looks out the window to his left at a stream of smoke or gas flowing by. At the left bottom corner a hand of the crew or someone outside of the ship is quickly noticeable, but even more so when you watch the scene in slow motion. The hand moves slightly, then quickly moves from the window as if the crew member realised what he was doing. (01:41:35)

Correction: Watched this several times. What you see is Lovell's face reflected in the window not a crew member's hand.

William Bergquist

Corrected entry: After they open the capsule, look at Tom Hanks' face, it's a clean cut shave. In the next scene, they get off the helicopter they just got on and Tom Hawks is growing some whiskers. That isn't enough time for him to start growing a beard.


Correction: Tom Hank's face definitely has stubble on it after the splash down. The sun is shining on his face so it doesn't show up as well. Also, one can assume that when Hanks is shown getting off the helicopter, it wasn't right after splash down. These guys were very weak and Frank Haise was sick. It is reasonable to assume they would have been given fluids and had a little time before meeting with those crew members and the press, thus having more time for stubble to grow.

Corrected entry: When Jim Lovell rips off his biomedical sensors, he says "I am sick and tired of the entire Western world knowing how my kidneys are functioning." The biomedical sensors don't measure kidney function, only breathing and heartbeat.

Correction: Lovell is just expressing his anger, this is a character mistake, not a movie mistake.


It's not even a character mistake. Lovell is simply using hyperbole to express his frustration over feeling micromanaged.


Corrected entry: In the scene where the media is asking about the CO2 problem, Deke Slayton is sitting to the right of the NASA director, but at the same time mission control is telling the astronauts how to make the filter and when they finish you can see him patting one of the guys on the back. Somehow he is in both places at once.

Correction: While the two scenes may occur back-to-back there is no implication they are occuring at the same time.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film Walter Cronkite is narrating "a mere 18 months after the tragedy of Apollo 1..." The Apollo 1 tragedy occurred 27 Jan 67, while the moon landing of Apollo 11 occurred 20 July 69. The two events are actually separated by a little less than 30 months.

Correction: That's a character mistake, and a rather famous one at that. Crokite really DID make that mistake during that broadcast.

Corrected entry: As the spacecraft nears Earth the men in Mission Control remark that its angle of approach continues to wander away from plan. They figure out that it's due to the absence of the originally planned mass of moon rocks. This is wrong in several ways. First, it could not wander off course while coasting due only to the vehicle mass. From the time of Galileo it's been known that objects fall with equal acceleration (at a given distance) regardless of mass. Indeed, if that were the reason then the mass difference would not just be a lack of moon rocks, but also the extra unplanned mass of the entire lunar module. The actual reason was simply the slow leaking of gases from the damaged vehicle, acting as a low thrust rocket motor pushing it sideways. (01:53:20)

Correction: As the men at mission control assumed it was due to moon rocks at the time, the film was just repeating what they said on the transcripts. So it is not a factual error.

Corrected entry: In the very beginning when we see Apollo 1 on the pad, astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee get in and there is a fire. In the film, the fire is started by a button they press, but in reality the investigation concluded that the most likely cause was a spark from a short circuit in a bundle of wires that ran to the left and just in front of Grissom's seat. (00:01:05)

Correction: They never implied the fire was started by the button push. If you listen to the voice-over, which is occuring at the time the button is pushed and the fire starts, you will hear them say "We have a short.". You have to listen carefully because there are multiple, historical voice-overs playing at the same time.

Corrected entry: While Lovell is shown in the film using the Earth as a point of reference, Lovell actually used the sun.

Correction: During the actual burn, the earth WAS indeed used as a frame of reference in leiu of their guidance computer. At an earlier point in the mission, when their computer was still online, the sun was used as a reference point to see if the computer had correct information about their orientation in space.

Corrected entry: Okay, it's an accepted science fiction convention, but "Apollo 13" is supposed to be an authoritive, documentary-style film about a failed NASA mission, not a Buck Rogers space opera. So did there really have to be sound in space in this film?

Correction: It's supposed to be a reasonably intelligent portrayal of the Apollo 13 situation - it's not and never was intended to be a documentary, nor is it particularly done in the style of one. Some things have been fictionalised, characters have been combined, eliminated and so forth - ultimately, it's still an entertainment piece. As such, there's no reason why it can't use some of the standard movie conventions.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Gary Sinese is trying to figure up a power-up checklist for the command module, there is talk there is not enough power. Two men yell that it is four amps. This is discussed in the book, and it was not four amps, it was more like thirty. The power loss was caused by an automatic system that tapped the reentry batteries in case of main power failure in the service module. I assume this was changed to four amps to heighten the emotional strain (four amps is more critical than thirty.).

Correction: Their use of power had to be reduced by 4 amps, not down to 4 amps - this is consistent with the book. Changing the sequence gained them some of this number, but they were still short, until the solution was discovered.

Corrected entry: Just after the explosion, there is a shot of Odyssey's instrument panel with the mission timer reading 91 hours and 34 minutes. The accident occurred around 56 hours into the flight. The next time the mission timer is seen, it reflects the proper time.

Correction: I have looked through the scene and shot numerous times, and there doesn't seem to be anything to show that its reading was 91 hours at any point in the scene. A few of the shots we can see the timer in the background but its not very clear and it looks to be about 56 hours on the timer. The shot before Bill Paxton reports a Bus B undervolt there is a clear shot of the timer is at 56 hours, 55 mins and 13 secs.

Lummie Premium member

Corrected entry: When Ed Harris is drawing on the chalkboard to his staff after the overhead projector didn't work, you can see the microphones over his head.

Correction: That's not a microphone, that's the pullstring attached to the screen he just raised.

Corrected entry: When they're approaching re-entry, the people at mission control are blaming the shallowing of the trajectory on the lack of moon rocks. In real life, the shallowing of the trajectory was caused not by lack of rocks but by steam venting from the LEM's cooling system, as the book correctly points out.

Correction: Not an error, since at the time they did believe that their trajectory was shallowing due to the rock issue, as the book points out.

Corrected entry: The explosion was not actually felt by the crew but in the film we see them thrown about in the cabin.

Correction: From a quote by Jim Lovell: "The message came in the form of a sharp bang and vibration. Jack Swigert saw a warning light that accompanied the bang, and said, "Houston, we've had a problem here." I came on and told the ground that it was a main B bus undervolt. The time was 2108 hours on April 13."

Corrected entry: In several shots where the Apollo capsule is shown traveling through space, the shadow of it is clearly visible on the starry background.

Correction: Point out one shot that shows the shadow. I've watched this film a billion times, this past time I purposely watched for these shadows. I see none.

Corrected entry: The movie is set in 1970 when all telephones in the USA were analogue and had a fixed connection. However, in the movie, the phones used are connected to modular jacks (the kind used everywhere for digital connections and that can be pulled out of the socket).

Correction: The RJ-11 connector was introduced and adopted by the USOC and eventually AT&T in the 70's It wouldn't be unreasonable to believe that RJ modular connectors may have been used. At the time, phone connectors in the US were a mish-mash of hardwired, those four-pronge dodads, and modular connections.

Corrected entry: As the spacecraft disappears behind the moon you can hear Swigert (Kevin Bacon) saying "see you on the flip side" and a shadow begins to fall across his face. Assuming the spacecraft's attitude wasn't changing at the time, the only way a shadow (presumably of the moon) would have fallen like this would have been if the moon's phase was full or close to full, as seen from earth. The lunar landings were planned for times when the sun was low in the lunar sky, to avoid intense surface heat, thus the moon was usually a crescent as seen from earth.

Correction: In fact, the moon was 55% waxing at the time of the explosion.

Corrected entry: When the astronauts are saying goodbye to their families on the pad at night and Fred Haise's wife and children appear, he tells his wife, "Frances, you look beautiful." Fred Haise's wife's name is Mary.

Correction: He says "Princess, you look beautiful", most likely addressing his daughter.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Mattingly is getting ready in the simulator to try re-entry power-up procedures, he asks someone for a flashlight. The person who tries to hand him one starts grabbing for his flashlight before Mattingly asks for it. (01:18:35)

Correction: The guy who hands him the flashlight does it very fast but doesn't go for the flashlight before he asks. You can see as soon as he says flashlight he reaches for it.

Corrected entry: when Marilyn is watching Jim talk about flying with no light in the cockpit, the carpet changes from green shag, to orange shag, and back again.

Correction: Actually, the TV is sitting on its own green shag carpet and the couches are sitting on the big orange shag carpet.

Factual error: When Lovell's daughter is complaining that the Beatles have broken up, she slams the album Let It Be into her rack. The scene takes place on the day of the initial explosion aboard Apollo 13, April 13 1970 - immediately prior to the Lovell family attending the screening of a television broadcast from the spacecraft. Let It Be was not released as an album until May 9th, 1970.

More mistakes in Apollo 13

Gene Kranz: I don't care about what anything was *designed* to do. I care about what it *can* do.

More quotes from Apollo 13
Apollo 13 mistake picture

Trivia: The Captain of the Iwo-Jima who Tom Hanks talks to at the end of the movie is the real Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell.

More trivia for Apollo 13

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