I hadn’t known about this film until just this afternoon, looking for something to do. Bea wasn’t feeling great, so I rang up my dad. I knew that unless he was involved in something he absolutely couldn’t pull away from, there was a 100% chance he’d go. See, after leaving the Nevada Air National Guard as a jet engine mechanic in the early 60s, he went to work for Rocketdyne in the Nevada desert as a technician for the descent engine for the Apollo Lunar Module. He claims to be the first to ride that engine. Something was amiss after a test firing while he was on the test stand, it fired again, and moved down the track some yards. So far as I know, his claim is undisputed. So it was no surprise that in spite of getting to the theater about five minutes before our appointed meeting time, he was already there with my ticket in hand. I bought snacks.
The film is amazing. Quite a lot of footage I’ve never seen before, and I’ve seen a lot. Lot’s of lead-up and behind the scenes footage too. And the interviews with the guys — their insights and perspectives — are just a wall-to-wall treasure. Really something to see.
The last time I went through the Air & Space at the Smithsonian, I recall seeing an area dedicated to the world’s reaction to the moon mission and it’s even more extensive in this film. In watching how obviously idolized America was in that time, It brings to mind a sad state of affairs today.