Apollo 11: 5 Films You Need To See On Its 50th Anniversary

One small step for movie fans...

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

This phrase, considered one of the most famous phrases in history, came from the first human to step onto another planetary body. On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the Moon while hundreds of millions of viewers watched their unprecedented feat from Earth.

Some people say that everything was just a hoax, but regardless of what we think, it’s undeniable that the success achieved by NASA that day marked a turning point in our modern culture.

50 years have now passed since the first Moon landing mission and while numerous celebrations around the world are taking place in view of such anniversary, this is a great opportunity to review and enjoy some good films about the event.

But since there are dozens of movies dealing with every detail of the Apollo 11 mission, where do you start?


5. The Saturn V Story

NEON, CNN Films, Statement Pictures

First up comes a documentary that isn’t about the famous men who made the trip to the Moon, but about the monumental machine that took them there. This British documentary, titled The Saturn V Story, was released in 2014 and allows the audience to learn about the main aspects surrounding the most powerful rocket ever flown, the Saturn V.

To do so, The Saturn V Story covers a fair amount of details about the rocket's construction, its role in the conquest of space and its subsequent legacy. The film explains the origin of space rockets after World War II, the birth of NASA and the beginning of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The Saturn V Story is full of many technical details about the rocket's design, showing from early, unviable concepts of the vehicle to the repeated failures that real models presented. A lot of emphasis is put on the fact that taking humans to the Moon required the effort of multiple companies and thousands of scientists over several decades.

The documentary features a considerable amount of footage from the different space missions of the 1960s, in addition to interviews with scholars of the subject. The Saturn V Story is definitely worth seeing, as it prepares you to better understand the relevance that the mighty Saturn V will have in the movies of the following points.

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Brian Molinari has contributed 3 posts since joining in July 2019.