The Pestle


Ep 241: “Apollo 13”

July 18, 2023

We stir the tanks on Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13” and discuss:

  • Cinematography, vertigo shot, selling space-gravity;
  • Story & Writing, exposition, building stakes & tension;
  • Acting & Directing, building emotional weight, stoicism;
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. – Henry Ford

Notes & References:
Blanch Lovell is played by Ron Howard’s mother, Jean Speegle Howard (iMDB)
Carol Hickey Acting Studio
Gene Kranz on failure (YouTube)


Scripted page between Jim and Marilyn shows that either it was workshopped by the team or Tom Hanks added his own flair to it

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This Week’s Recommendations:


  1. Uwe says:

    What a great episode, guys. I think Ronny-Howie himself would appreciate what you brought to light about his directional artwork. I’m eager to see the mentioned scenes with Tom Hanks wife again and the segment about method acting was a complete eye-opener. Thanks a lot.

    1. wes says:


      Yeah it was really cool to finally pull that Jim & Marilyn scene up in the script and see how different it actually is from the final version. Tom Hanks delivering his Tom Hankness in spades.

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