11 Apollo movies and documentaries to watch on the moon landing's 50th anniversary
- Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon.
- The moon landing was a historic moment for space exploration.
- The last time a person visited the moon was in December 1972, during NASA's Apollo 17 mission.
- Here are the best movies and documentaries to watch in order to learn more about the moon landing.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
TOP VIDEOS FOR YOUThat moon landing has made for great cinema ever since. Nobody has been back to the moon since the Apollo program ended in 1972, but directors, producers, actors, and documentary-makers have been inspired by the video footage and audio recordings from the missions for decades.
AdvertisementTheir work captures the drama, humor, suspense, and tragedy of these early days of space exploration. Here are 11 Apollo movies and documentaries to watch this week.
In "First Man," Ryan Gosling plays a young, ambitious Neil Armstrong as he works as a test pilot, grieves the loss of his 2-year-old daughter, and barely escapes death — twice.
"Hidden Figures" can be seen as a sort of Apollo prequel, since the three protagonists it depicts — Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Katherine Johnson — all worked on NASA's next ventures after helping to send astronaut John Glenn into space.
Several documentaries about the moon-landing are also worth your time. "Apollo 11," which came out this year, uses previously unseen 70mm film footage and audio recordings from the time.
Throughout this month, PBS is airing two in-depth documentary programs about the space race. "Chasing the Moon" documents 13 years of the space race in three episodes.
The documentary "8 Days: To the Moon and Back" goes inside the Apollo 11 spacecraft by matching recently declassified audio with studio reenactments and CGI.
The documentary "For All Mankind," which came out in 1989, covers the nine crewed Apollo missions, with narration from 13 astronauts.
The 2017 documentary "Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo" goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of some of the 400,000 people whose efforts made the moon landing possible.
Other films focus on other iconic missions in the Apollo program. In "Apollo's Daring Mission," all three astronauts from Apollo 8, which sent people to orbit the moon for the first time, describe their experience.
"Apollo 13" dramatizes the explosion that cut NASA's third moon landing attempt short.
Hanks and Howard went on to co-produce the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon." The docudrama maps each stage in the Apollo missions from different perspectives.
"The Last Man on the Moon" follows astronaut Gene Cernan from his suburban Chicago origins to the dusty lunar surface. Nobody has followed in his footsteps since.