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Hail Columbia (IMAX) (2001)

Graeme Ferguson  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Graeme Ferguson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Turkish, Greek
  • 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: Imax
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2001
  • Run Time: 36 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MEPE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hail Columbia (IMAX)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hail Columbia! (DVD)

From the Back Cover

Board the mighty shuttle Columbia for its maiden voyage. Experience one of humankind's crowning achievements: the inaugural voyage of the world's first space shuttle. Hail Columbia! goes behind the scenes with astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen as they prepare for their historic launch. Feel the thunderous liftoff and our heroes' awe as Columbia achieves orbit for the first time. Join the celebration as the shuttle triumphantly touches down, mission accomplished.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early IMAX, but Thrilling January 6, 2003
I watched this movie about 50 times when I was a counselor at Space Camp years ago and it was always my favorite of the IMAX films. While The Dream Is Alive, Blue Planet, etc. have much more IMAX footage, none of them compare with the adrenaline rush of Hail Columbia. The other space-oriented IMAX films that I have seen are much more documentary, while Hail Columbia is telling the exciting story of the first Space Shuttle launch. That storytelling aspect alone makes the difference for me and keeps me on the edge of my seat each time I watch it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IMAX factor = 2 stars ... Goosebump factor = 5 stars! December 7, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD won't make you stare in wonder at beautiful IMAX space vista's, as the later IMAX/space shuttle films do. Only a minority of the film is in actual IMAX 70 mm. That aside, the later offerings don't get my goosebumps going quite like this DVD! Don't buy this DVD for the IMAX "wow" factor, but instead buy it for the incredible story of America's first shuttle launch and landing. The ending has some very interesting film of the shuttle being transported on the back of a modified 747 as they take off from the runway. Also at the end is a very inspiring segment of shuttle lift-off's. The screen is divided into three vertical slices, while footage of different launches cycle simultaneously. Quite moving. Audio quality of the main launch are not quite up to the standards set by the later IMAX/shuttle offerings, with noticeable distortion in the recording.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Hail Columbia!" is a 36-minute IMAX documentary program, narrated by actor James Whitmore, which chronicles the maiden launch (and landing) of America's reusable "Space Transportation System" (aka: the Space Shuttle).

Video on this DVD is Full-Frame (1.33:1); with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio provided.

I would have enjoyed a little more close-up footage of the Columbia orbiter during this IMAX program; and a few additional images of Earth as seen from Columbia would also have been a plus. But, overall, I enjoyed this IMAX presentation very much, and find myself re-visiting this disc quite often. The few pictures we do get from the Shuttle while in orbit are indeed spectacular. Freeze-frame comes in handy for these few short scenes. And they're crystal-clear as well.

A unique angle of Columbia's maiden liftoff on Sunday, April 12, 1981, is shown on the DVD, with impressive picture and sound quality. The very first Shuttle landing is also covered (sonic booms and all).

The youthful exuberance of Columbia's two-man crew (Commander John Young and Pilot Robert Crippen) is visibly demonstrated in this film after their incredible spacecraft completed its two-day, one-million-mile journey around the Earth. Following their impressive landing on Runway 23 at California's Edwards Air Force Base on April 14, 1981, the astronauts did everything but kick the tires as they walked around the orbiter with an unrestrained enthusiasm which seemed similar in nature to a young boy's realization that his first roller-coaster ride was a truly fun experience after all. (Heck, maybe John and Bob DID actually kick the Shuttle tires after the landing, too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IMAX Space Film, Version 1.0 February 21, 2002
Although "Hail Columbia" is a fine movie, it does suffer in comparison to later IMAX productions in that it has a lot less actual IMAX footage than following films, like "The Dream Is Alive".
I think they were just starting the concept when this film was made, as IMAX cameras weren't actually taken into space until later missions. As a result, much of the in-space and pre-flight training footage sourced here comes from 16mm film and T.V. The negative upshot of this is that on some TV screens, the footage will look a bit small and boxy.
But like I said: This film was the prelude before the "main event" IMAX space movies to come later. And it's worth the price alone to see Astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen confidently dismiss the nervous-nellies asking nagging questions about the Shuttle's troublesome heatshield tiles!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT UPLIFTING STORY BUT IT'S NO IMAX MOVIE March 2, 2003
This is a great DVD and is certainly worth the money just for the story alone. However, I think calling this an IMAX movie is really stretching the truth. The first IMAX movie I saw and subsequntly purchased, was 'The Dream is Alive'. Although 'Hail Columbia' is no compairison in film and sound quality, the story it tells more than makes up for this and therefore it is a must have for anybody who loves the space shuttle program. Now if only the IMAX theaters would wake up and start showing the space series movies again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crank up the audio if you dare! December 20, 2006
I first saw this one on the big screen in Huntsville when I was attending Space Camp as a camper (maybe Edward was one of my camp instructors) and it left a pretty lasting impression on me. This DVD doesn't have the flash of later IMAX titles, but that is mainly due to the fact that IMAX was still a young science back then. As such, they didn't have the IMAX camera for use on the mission itself ("The Dream Is Alive" first made use of it) and its use is a bit limited.

The story it tells is a good one and it provides a glimpse back to the time when the shuttle was a new thing and there was a lot of uncertainty about it. The questions by the press give you some idea, especially John Young's frank response to the repeated questions about the shuttle tiles. History proved him right for the most part (as it was RCC damage that doomed Columbia on STS-107, not HRSI tile damage) but back then nobody exactly knew what was going to happen. That is what test pilots fly the machines for.

Now I have often wondered just what witnessing a real launch of a shuttle might be like. Thankfully I was able to achieve that milestone this past year. As a result, I can say that Hail Columbia comes as close as it can. The camera placements are much closer then one could even get at the press site which is about four miles away from the pads (or in some cases they seem to be at least). When this movie was shown at the OMNIMAX dome in Hutchinson (OMNIMAX was a term used for the dome theaters back in the 1980s while most IMAX theaters were flat screens) the audio of the liftoff literally shook the seats! It truely did feel like you were sitting less then a mile from the pad almost.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars suuperb!
excellent presentation -- a must-see. Great production values, informative and exciting. One of the best IMAX films ever made. Most highly recommended.
Published 12 months ago by Sandy Mosteller
5.0 out of 5 stars Columbia - the first thrill
As one who was involved with the Shuttle program, this video was "as good as it can get".
Great footage, good perspective, and the right perspective. Read more
Published on April 4, 2011 by Renee R. Fishkind
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but Still Good
In many ways, the first launch of the new Space Shuttle was one of the riskiest things NASA did. Unlike earlier manned spacecraft, the Space Shuttle had no prior unmanned test... Read more
Published on February 18, 2011 by Andrew Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars "Hail Columbia" Hits the Spot
I bought this DVD because ever since the mid 80's when Challenger's flights began to take the spotlight, I realized that Columbia was something special. Read more
Published on June 5, 2008 by R. Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad IMAX but Good Film
Concur with most of the other reviewers. If you look at this as an IMAX movie you'll be disappointed. Read more
Published on November 18, 2007 by Charles P. Kalina
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
Just bought this for my kids and was very disappointed. The video and audio quality overall is poor. Very little footage of the the shuttle itself. Read more
Published on July 27, 2005 by ca2434
5.0 out of 5 stars I will buy this DVD
I have always been a fan of the Space Shuttle IMAX films. And after the events of Feb 2003, now is a great time to pick up this collector's DVD to appreciate the power that... Read more
Published on February 4, 2003 by Christopher Lord
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