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Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back (1994)

John Aaron , Fred Haise , Noel Buckner , Rob Whittlesey  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Aaron, Fred Haise, Mary Haise, Gene Kranz, Alexei Leonov
  • Directors: Noel Buckner, Rob Whittlesey
  • Writers: Rob Whittlesey
  • Producers: Rob Whittlesey, Beth Harrington, Michael Milker, Zvi Dor-Ner
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TSZQ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,383 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Produced a year before Ron Howard's film of the doomed space mission hit Hollywood, To the Edge and Back brings the real faces of the Apollo 13 saga to the forefront. Astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise talk about the flight (Jack Swigert died in 1982) while the technicians, including mission operations director Chris Kraft and flight director Gene Kranz, recall the moon shot and the near-fatal explosion. It's still hard to make the story fill an hour, so there's time to examine the space race in general and show previous missions. The "showing" part is the program's weakness. Ron Howard used no real footage in his film, which was smart since there really isn't a lot of interesting footage, just the usual launch and TV transmissions. Simple computer animations fill in the gaps, yet even the money shot--a still picture of the damaged spacecraft--is not shown. Still, this is a key document for those digging to see the "real" behind the story. It works as a wonderful "extra" to the Oscar-winning Hollywood film. --Doug Thomas

Product Description

"I could see a gaseous substance escaping... That's when it definitely occurred to me that we were in deep trouble... Very shortly, we'd be completely out of oxygen. These were the thoughts of James Lovell and the rest of the crew of Apollo 13 as they heard the ominous explosion that robbed them of most of their oxygen, food and water - 200,000 miles from Earth.

Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back tells the gripping, true story of the catastrophic flight of the Apollo 13 and the heroic struggle to bring the astronauts back alive. With first-hand accounts from the pilots, their families, and the people of mission control, it documents a thrilling struggle against time and all odds and serves as a reminder that, in the words of James Lovell, "We do not realize what we have on Earth until we leave it."

Special DVD features include: scene selections and closed captions.

On one DVD5 disc. Region coding: All regions. Audio: Dolby stereo. Screen format: 4 x 3 Full Screen.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As gripping as the mission itself... August 9, 2005
By M. Loyd
One of the best documentaries I've ever seen. If you're a space buff, and haven't seen this, get it. Told by the people who actually lived the experience, "Apollo 13: To The Edge And Back" is very well written and presented. Originally produced during the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, this documentary was an influence on Ron Howard during the production of his movie "Apollo 13". "To The Edge And Back" also covers a little of the history of the U.S. space program and the causes and motivations for going to the moon. The technical aspects are clearly explained in terms the layman can easily understand. If you could only have one Apollo 13 documentary, let it be this one.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible September 2, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
If your have never experienced the space program growing up, then this is a must-see. Heck, it should be mandatory viewing in high school History classes. Emotional, awe-inspiring, and fantastic! Gives me goose-bumps everytime I watch it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Hollywood Movie - The Truth is Better February 8, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I grew up during the space program. When I first saw this documentary on PBS I was on the edge of my chair for the duration - it was really that exciting. The next day everyone at my office was talking about it (much like we used to as grade school children back when the actual events transpired). I later saw the Hollywood movie and wondered why they had bothered - not a bad movie, but cannot compare to the real deal.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the movie March 29, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Nothing in the tamer "Apollo 13" movie lives up to the extraordinary tension and power of this documentary. Many things not covered in the thatrical film are here, so much so that my wife and I kept looking at each other with open mouths, wondering, "How much ELSE could go wrong?!?" It was while watching this presentation that we realized how truly heroic and ingenious the NASA folk were. We were limp from excitement after watching, "To the Edge and Back".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb documentary June 30, 2005
Though I love the movie Apollo 13 to death, I have to express an appreciation for this documentary, which covers the mission gone awry without the overdramatization that occurs in spots in the movie and manages to be almost as thrilling. This is in fact a great companion piece to the film, to get a notion of both what they got right (a surprising amount) and what they got wrong. Any space geek should have both in their library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Apollo 13 January 9, 2007
A 90-minute documentary telling the story of Apollo 13 from the point of view of those who experienced it; with testimony from Jim & Marilyn Lovell, Gene Kranz and others with a first-hand role.

Concentrating on events as they happened, the film does as much justice as possible to the story within the time allotted: more detail in the causes of the explosion would have been welcome, but difficult to squeeze in.

Overall, well worth seeing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary February 15, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yep, this is a 5-star. I'm usually very critical of documentaries, but this is a 5 star. Great to have all 3 NOVA episodes in one DVD! Very informative and enjoyable to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD December 8, 2012
By Donna
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Although my husband and I were not working this part of the Apollo Program, we were still proud Americans that we did so much - so many people working for the same goal, and proud of their country.!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars it is an excellent series!
Bought this to replace the one I lent to someone and never saw it is an excellent series!
Published 12 days ago by A Ferrin
5.0 out of 5 stars apollo 13
Published 2 months ago by mike m
5.0 out of 5 stars Apollo 13: To the edge and back.
A reminder of how great our country "was", a leader in every sense of the word. Now all is lost thanks to the current incompetent president in the White House.
Published 6 months ago by Lou Castro
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
As good as the movie "Apollo 13" was, this documentary is even better, and the story is even more harrowing than presented in the movie. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Timothy Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary history of Apollo 13
An enjoyable DVD containing interviews I have not seen before. More original footage/stills would be good, but a quality production nevertheless.
Published 23 months ago by Annette
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Space Race Documentary Ever!
This brilliant movie not only covers the Apollo 13 mission but also describes the historical context. Read more
Published on September 5, 2012 by Jakob G
5.0 out of 5 stars great
A must have for every home library tells the true story of Apollo 13 and also covers the entire space flight program.
Published on June 5, 2012 by Deborah Renaud
5.0 out of 5 stars Apollo 13; To the edge and back
Even after all these years, and knowing the outcome, it is still an hair-raising adventure which keeps you on the edge of your seat and holds your breath.
Published on January 1, 2011 by Gerda Lemmens
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome excitement
These guys were truly heroes. The story is quite compelling and unrivalled by any fantasy novel. This was real life real time, no BS, life threatening stuff. Read more
Published on April 2, 2010 by Marc J. Gollub
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Stuff
As other people have stated, watching this documentary is riviting, even more so because the drama is real and actually happened. Read more
Published on September 28, 2009 by Berserker
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