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In the Shadow of the Moon (film)

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Title: In the Shadow of the Moon (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Documentary films about the space program of the United States, First Orbit, Philip Sheppard (musician), Moonwalk One, Gareth Edwards (director)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

In the Shadow of the Moon (film)

In the Shadow of the Moon
Promotional film poster
Directed by David Sington
Christopher Riley
Produced by Duncan Copp
Christopher Riley
Sarah Kinsella
John Battsek
Julie Goldman
Music by Philip Sheppard
Cinematography Clive North
Edited by David Fairhead
DOX Productions/Passion Pictures/Discovery Films
Distributed by Vertigo Films
Release dates
  • 19 January 2007 (2007-01-19) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • 2 November 2007 (2007-11-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

In the Shadow of the Moon is a 2007 British documentary film about the United States' manned missions to the Moon.[1] It premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Audience Award. In March 2008, it was the first film to win the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Best Film Presentation. It was given a limited release in the United States on September 7, 2007, and in Canada on October 19, 2007.[2][3] It was released on DVD in the United States on February 22, 2008, and March 31, 2008, in the United Kingdom.[4][5][6] It is also notable for giving Gareth Edwards (who would go on to direct Godzilla) an early credit in visual effects.


In the Shadow of the Moon follows the manned missions to the Moon made by the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The documentary reviews both the footage and media available to the public at the time of the missions, as well as NASA films and materials which had not been opened in over 30 years. All of this has been sourced and remastered in HD by the stock footage company Footagevault. Augmenting the archival audio and video are contemporary interviews with some surviving Apollo era astronauts, including Al Bean, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, John Young, David Scott, Charlie Duke, Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt. The former astronauts have the only speaking roles in the movie, although occasional supplementary information is presented on screen with text and archival television footage presents the words of journalists such as Jules Bergman and Walter Cronkite. Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the Moon, declined to participate, the only surviving moon walker at the time to do so.

The documentary shares its name with a book by space historians Colin Burgess and Francis French, and both include many original interviews with Apollo lunar astronauts. The documentary offers a view of the Apollo program that is complementary to the book and is neither a source nor a tie-in.


Ten former astronauts appear in In the Shadow of the Moon. During the Apollo Program, twenty-four men reached the vicinity of the Moon. Of the twelve who actually set foot on the lunar surface, eight appear on camera (Neil Armstrong did not participate, while Pete Conrad, James Irwin and Alan Shepard had died). Two other astronauts who are featured in In the Shadow of the Moon orbited or looped around the Moon without landing (Jim Lovell and Michael Collins). All manned Apollo flights with the exception of Apollo 7, which was an earth-orbit mission, were represented in the film. The film is presented by Ron Howard, but there is no narration in the film.


Critics gave the film very positive reviews. Metacritic reported In the Shadow of the Moon had an average score of 84 out of 100, based on 34 reviews, classifying the film's reception as "Universal Acclaim."[7] Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 94% rating based on 111 reviews. Furthermore, 4,884 users of IMDb gave the film 8.1/10 points.

Entertainment Weekly rated the movie an A.[8] The Los Angeles Times called the film a "fresh and compelling film, made with intelligence and emotion"[9] Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter concluded that "The value of this film, not just to moviegoers today but to future generations, is simply enormous."[10]

On June 23, 2008 the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) honoured In the Shadow of the Moon for promoting scientific skepticism in media; the award was received by producer Duncan Copp.[11]


  1. ^ "In the Shadow of the Moon". World Documentary Competition.  
  2. ^ "In the Shadow of the Moon (2006) - Release dates".  
  3. ^ Calgary Sun, October 19, 2007
  4. ^ In The Shadow Of The Moon [2007]: John Young,Buzz Aldrin,Michael Collins: DVD
  5. ^ In the Shadow of the Moon
  6. ^ (UK) : In The Shadow Of The Moon (Documentary) : DVD - Free Delivery
  7. ^ "Reviews".  
  8. ^ "Movie Review: In the Shadow of the Moon". Entertainment Weekly. August 29, 2007. 
  9. ^ 'In the Shadow of the Moon' - MOVIE REVIEW - Los Angeles Times -
  10. ^ "The Hollywood Reporter". 
  11. ^ "IIG | The IIG Awards". 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 

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