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4.7 out of 5 stars141
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 10 January 2008
It makes such a refreshing change to see a documentary that is not out to make a scandal, reveal a conspiracy, or trick people into making fools of themselves.
This is a real treat, to watch a straightforward telling of the conquest of the moon, not from the technical perspective but from a very human perspective, using a combination of NASA photography, period newsreels, and most crucially, interviews with the surviving Apollo astronauts, with the exception of the notoriously reclusive Neil Armstrong.
There are no tricks being used here in the telling of the tales - just fantastic lingering shots of the moon as seen by the astronauts, and their very personal memories, told with candour and warmth. We learn how human they felt - the `right stuff' persona is taken off for a moment, and we see just how in awe they were - and still are- of what they were part of. This is all put in perspective of not just the space race of the 60's, but the Vietnam war which some felt guilty to be exempted from.
On a lighter note, we learn who was the first astronaut to pee on the moon, and the nervous moment when the moon land speed record was broken in the lunar buggy - at a breakneck speed of 18 kmh...
It's hard not to be a little moved by the stories being told, and the iconic shots of earthrise and the surface of the moon will blow you away, as the unhurried pace draws you through the events leading up to and during the landings.
Highly recommended.
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on 28 December 2007
This is a fantastic documentary, and possibly the most intriguing angle on the Apollo missions to the moon. Most films on this matter usually focus on all the technical aspects and acheivements but the real trick here is having the astronauts themselves explaining their part and their experiences for something that will never occur to all but the most fortunate of people. Although when read here the most menial of details, such as the astronauts being driven to a desserted launchpad in a van by a lone driver, seem so uninteresting at first they quite surprisingly add richly to the personal experiences of the astronauts and pull the viewer much closer to the story. Moments like these follow points of complete bravado with the almost cocky Gene Cernan telling how he dared the automatic flight controls of the Saturn V rocket to fail so that he could fly it manually.
One of the real treats of this film is how the experiences of the astronauts are complimented by it's visual flair. The detail of the footage is incredible with glorious views of the spacecraft, earth and moon. But what I found really pleasing is how they give some shots the time that they require in order to really demonstrate the richnesss of the exercise. The narration was at times put on hold to allow you to just feast on the visuals. An example being of the camera mounted on the discarded second stage when it broke away from the remaining rocket. By being patient, the director lets the command module fly slowly off in to deep space, with the bright blue of the earth eventually coming in to view. Coupled with the excellent musical score this image was quite spectacular. Another example is a pan back from a range of mountains on the moon have come in to view an atronaut some distance away standing alone.
But the real star of the show is Michael Collins, command module pilot on Apollo 11. He adds the most human element, explaining how he felt to not be down there on the moon and to be orbiting the earth alone further than any human had ever been from anyone else. Very warm, very interesting, and at times very amusing.

Thoroughly recommended.
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on 27 June 2009
Picture and sound are at times stunning. Obviously the flight footage can look dated, but that's only due to the technology used at the time.

This is the definitive space travel documentary. It has pace, drama, action, some very moving moments and takes you on a spellbinding journey through the Apollo missions from the crew and flight director, Gene Crantz's point of view.

I own Nasa's greatest missions: When we left the Earth and feel that the Shadow of the Moon is far superior and more paletable. It has much more of a human quality to it and draws you into the action. It has huge re-watch value and every second adds drama to the story.

I wish I was alive when the Apollo 11 launched. It gives me chills to watch this oustanding Blu Ray.

I can't believe, 40 years later on, we haven't been back to the Moon!
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on 31 July 2009
This is a great documentary and I really like the way the astronauts tell the story (no narration). It is very disappointing that Neil Armstrong was not interviewed. The transfer to HD was nicely done. Even though the aspect ratio of the transferred material is not 16:9 and the artefacts were not removed the video is crisp and reminds the viewer that these events happened decades ago. Interviews however are presented in 16:9 aspect ratio.

I would have preferred that the extras on the disc be included in the main feature for a more complete story.

I recommend this blu-ray.
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on 7 April 2008
Having already purchased `From the Earth to the Moon', `Apollo 13' and been captivated by `A Man on the Moon' by Andrew Chaikin I was wondering if `In The Shadow Of The Moon' would push all the right buttons and ring all the right bells.
All I can say therefore about this very good film is that every button and bell was activated.

The interviews are great, the star of these being Michael Collins whose sharp sense of humour travels throughout the film and its special features. Al Bean and Charlie Duke were also great characters. After you have read Chaikin's chapter on Apollo Twelve it is especially pleasing to see the individuals he described in it. Charlie Duke's commentary is interspersed with much of the mission control film footage when he was CapCom (Capsule Communications) for Apollo Eleven which I found to be very good.

The other astronauts such as Aldrin, Scott, and Young all come over so well that you realise how good their portrayals were in `From the Earth to the Moon' and how accurate were the descriptions that Chaikin had written in `A Man on the Moon'

There is very little to be negative towards this DVD, The extras are very good and it is an ideal purchase for any person interested in the Apollo program one of those rare DVDs you can watch again and again
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on 13 November 2007
I thought this documentary was a wonderful introduction to the Apollo moon landings, really showing the human side of the experience and providing a great general overview of the achievements. I saw it on the movie screen and highly recommend it.

I also really liked the book of the same title, by C. Burgess and F. French, that not only covers the early Apollo flights, but also delves into the preceding flights, and what the Soviets were up to at that time. In the book, I learned about the early lives and early flights of these astronauts, and what it was like to be in the moment of flying the missions. In the movie, I learned what these guys look like today, and how they feel reflecting back on their experiences. Both film and book were perfect for their medium, and great accompaniments to each other.

Highly recommend both book and movie, and suggest experiencing both!!!!!
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A ninety five minute long documentary that brings together nearly all the surviving astronauts from the apollo missions [neil armstrong doesnt give interviews]that either flew around the moon or landed there, and lets them tell their stories. In addition, they are supported by archive and news footage from the time. of the actual missions, and some real curios such as neil armstrong's parents on a game show, a newsflash about apollo one and film from apollo 13 just as the explosion occurred.

Articulate, modest, unassuming, and with great stories to tell, these men are a pleasure to listen to. And the ninety five minutes totally flys by as a result. Accompanied by a superb score this makes for an emotionally uplifting movie and one that will make you feel very uplifted once you've watched it.

And they rubbish all the conspiracy theories about the landings being faked in a fun final section. Remember when the whole world looked up? as the trailer says. this is a great reminder of those days, and it will make you wish they'd come back.

The dvd contains an interesting ten minute long feature about the writing of the music for the film.

the original cinema trailer for it.

english language subtitles.

and fifty seven minutes of deleted footage. divided into subsections that you can watch one at a time or all at once or whoever you prefer, there's even more of what you saw in the film here.

Superb movie. Good dvd for it.
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on 17 December 2007
Several months ago, I read in the newspaper that NASA were searching for the original colour footage of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. It appears that it was found, for the images of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon for the first time are prestine - and in colour.

All of the historical footage is completely clear - visually, the film is a masterpiece. I saw this at the IFI in Dublin and was completely stunned by how gorgeous it looked.

The interviews are also superb. The astronauts come across as human - they articulate their thoughts and feelings in a way that makes you feel as though you're sitting down to chat with a friend. Certainly a far cry from the "test pilots" I was expecting. Some of the comments are very funny as well - gotta love Michael Collins!

All said and done, you absolutely can not go wrong to buy this DVD. I've pre-ordered and can't wait for it to arrive!
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on 4 March 2008
This quote ends the foreword to Michael Collins book 'Carrying the Fire'and applies perfectly to In the Shadow of the Moon. This is a wonderful film which I saw recently in the cinema and it brought back all the emotions and wonder I felt as a teenager at the time of the great Gemini space walks and Apollo moon missions.

As has been said already, by allowing the now elderly and rather beguiling astronauts to tell their story in their own words and using simply stunning film footage, the film let's us share the journey with the many who worked to make it happen and the few brave and fortunate souls who took the biggest trip.

The incredible shot of the third stage heading off into space whilst the second stage slowly slides away to reveal the huge earth against the blackness is aweinspiring. I was deeply moved by the sight of three humans inside that tiny light heading off into the void with their Magellanic belief, carrying the hopes of a planet.

Andrew Smith in his book Moondust asks if Apollo was 20th century man trying to communicate with the great unknown, equivalent to the pyramids, stonehenge and the like. Maybe it was but I think this film reinforced my feeling that it was a great endeavour and that we've lost something in spirit since then. Its greatest achievement was that we really saw the earth, fragile and beautiful and in need of help. T S Elliott got it right - "We shall not cease from all our exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time" Show this film to your kids, it will help them undestand who they are.
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on 29 July 2009
If like me you are a fan of any sort in to the Apollo Program and all the great men who flew these missions back in the day then this is the ultimate film for you!! Superb clean visuals and sound of the missions and like it says on the box in the Astronauts own words (appart from Armstrong)they tell there story!! One of the best films ive seen on the subject, and to be fair this will leave you with a lump in your throat as you share there amazing adventure what they talk about they speak from the heart in detail! Its little things they talk about too that other films missed out add to this classic!! great extras too! Do yourself a favour and treat yourself to this you wont regret it, plus at this cheap price on Blu Ray you cant go wrong, Awesome!!
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