Salute the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon mission with some moon-y movies (but my favorite is Monday’s DVD pick of the week, so stay tuned).
1. Moonstruck Cher won an Oscar for her performance in one of the most romantic films ever made, where an enormous full moon inspires unexpected love. “Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die!”
2. Capricorn One A conspiracy theory favorite, this one has Elliot Gould, Hal Holbrook, and Sam Waterston (and O.J. Simpson!) in a story about a government plot to fake a moon landing after the real launch fails.
3. Apollo 13 Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinese star in this gripping drama directed by Ron Howard about the heroic rescue operation after the Apollo 13 capsule suffered an explosion on its way to the moon. This is true heroism and problem-solving — and brilliant film-making as well.
4. Space Buddies The Buddies pups end up as stowaways on a trip to the moon in his family-movie favorite.
5. A Walk on the Moon Diane Lane is exquisite in this story about a lonely housewife who has an affair the summer that men first walked on the moon.
6. RiffTrax: Missile to the Moon – from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000! Mike Nelson and the Rifftrax guys provide the hilarious commentary for this story about a rocket to the moon with escaped convicts, a stowaway fiancÃ©e, and a moon-man. Here’s the trailer for the original film without the commentary:
7. H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon An anti-gravity paste transports Victorian explorers to the moon where they discover some bee-like creatures. Great effects by creature designer Ray Harryhausen.
8. Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales Margaret Wise Brown’s night-time classic is beautifully filmed in this DVD collection of bedtime stories. “Goodnight, bears. Goodnight, chairs.”
9. Journey to the Moon: The 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Every family should watch this documentary about the real-life adventure that had Neil Armstrong and his team land on the moon and return home safely.
10. The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe’s book about the first group of astronauts is brilliantly filmed by writer-director Philip Kaufman, who recognizes the dream of a moon expedition as emblematic of the American spirit.