Tear Jerker / Apollo 13

  • Several points, but particularly the splashdown.
    • The splashdown: a combination of happy tears and "Oh yes! Oh yes, yes, yes!"
    • Considering this is a Ron Howard film, this is to be expected.
  • "We just lost the moon."
  • The Apollo 1 disaster, featured at the beginning of the movie.
  • The sequence where Jim Lovell watches the Moon as 13 is speeding past it and imagines himself walking on the lunar surface. Goddamn, every man who flew in Apollo had earned the privilege to be on those flights, but if there was one among the corps who deserved to walk on the moon, it was Lovell.
    • Also during that sequence, they fly over Mount Marilyn, a lunar mountain Jim named in honor of his wife on Apollo 8. Fred says "Jim, you've gotta look at this.", to which Jim answers "I've seen it.".
    • If you listen to the Lovells' DVD commentary during this part, Marilyn Lovell gets very choked up about it.
  • In an early scene, Jim is attempting to explain the tragedy of Apollo 1 to his youngest son Jeffrey, and ends up saying that one of the main problems with the ship was that they couldn't open the door. And then scenes later there's Marilyn, trying to explain to Jeffrey what's happening to his father's mission:
    Marilyn: Something broke on your daddy's spaceship. And he's going to have to turn around before he even gets to the moon.
    Jeffrey: Was it the door?
  • They unmercifully use the kids as Tear Jerker material. During the re-entry blackout, we cut to a classroom scene in a military school where Lovell's eldest son is sitting upright at his desk, along with the rest of his class, watching the broadcast. It looks very military, and very disciplined, and very cold...until a teacher whose face we can't see walks past the astronaut's son, and, in silence, puts a hand on the boy's shoulder as the broadcast continues.
    • At one point, Jim's daughter doesn't want to see her father's live broadcast, arguing "He won't know we're not there.". Yet later, she's moved by an interview of him, and is tearing up during the radio blackout from reentry.
  • As they are first taking off, there's that shot of the rocket blasting away from the Earth . . . and we then cut to two of the astronauts' wives, who are openly weeping with fear and anxiety over their husbands' safe journey.
    • From there, we cut to Ken Mattingly, sitting alone on his car, wishing luck to the men making the trip he should have been on.
  • The music in that film is James Horner Awesome. Various points where the ground crew and the astronauts' families are waiting and can't do anything. And, okay, the part where Lovell has an Imagine Spot and pictures himself landing on the moon. He really wanted that.
  • "Hello Houston. This is Odyssey. It's good to see you again."
  • As the astronauts go around the moon, losing contact with Earth, Marilyn weeps uncontrollably as she listens to the static on her radio.
  • "Farewell, Aquarius, and we thank you."
    • Verbatim from the air-to-ground recordings, along with Fred Haise's proclamation, "She sure was a good ship."
  • Jim begging the sick and freezing Fred Haise to hold on "just a little while longer... a little while longer..."
  • In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Lovell reveals that Swigart was elected to Congress...but died of cancer before his term began.
  • The last line of Tom Hanks' narration always turned on the waterworks for this troper.
    Jim Lovell: I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?
  • "Gentlemen, it has been a privilege flying with you."
  • The scene after splashdown when everyone at Houston is celebrating exuberantly, you see Gene Kranz, who hasn't really sat down since the disaster, collapse into his chair. A few moments later you realize that he is crying tears of joy.
    • The behind-the-scenes special has the real Gene Kranz, while discussing the mission, break down in a similar manner. Ed Harris's performance was based off the real deal.
  • The scene where Ken Mattingly is told that he can not go on the mission due to the fear that he may get the measles. Also, during the scene where he watches the lift off away from everyone else pulling up by his car.