A journey through the universe as it would appear to a space traveler beginning at the David Dunlap Observatory on Earth.




Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Filmstudie (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Entertaining Dadaist experimental short, similar to Man Ray's work, full of shifting geometric shapes, stock footage of seagulls, flying eyeballs, and glaring floating heads.

Director: Hans Richter
Stars: Stella F. Simon
Entr'acte (1924)
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An absolute dada movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin dissapear.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Jean Börlin, Inge Frïss, Francis Picabia
City of Gold (1957)
Documentary | Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Author Pierre Berton tells the history of his hometown of Dawson City at its heyday during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Directors: Wolf Koenig, Colin Low
Stars: Pierre Berton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In order to inherit $7,000,000, an ex-soldier must spend $1,000,000 in two months' time.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Helen Walker, June Havoc
The Snails (1966)
Animation | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A gardener tries his best to make his salad plants grow. It is only when he cries that his tears finally water the field and the salads grow huge. The incredible size attracts a multitude ... See full summary »

Director: René Laloux
Waging War (2013)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Seven cousins meet for a last holiday in their childhood house.

Directors: Cosme Castro, Léa Forest
Stars: Cosme Castro, Léa Forest, Justine Bachelet
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »

Director: Sergei Parajanov
Stars: Ivan Mykolaichuk, Larisa Kadochnikova, Tatyana Bestayeva
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Hans Richter, noted for his abstract shorts, has everyday objects rebelling against their daily routine.

Director: Hans Richter
Stars: Werner Graeff, Walter Gronostay, Paul Hindemith
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A handsome prince rides a flying horse to far-away lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess.

Directors: Lotte Reiniger, Carl Koch
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Walter is told by his boss, Sara, to deliver an urgent letter to Henri de Corinthe. On the way he finds a beautiful woman he had been eying in a nightclub, lying in the road, bound up. He ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Robbe-Grillet
Stars: Daniel Mesguich, Cyrielle Clair, Daniel Emilfork
Huey (1969)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver
Romance | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Magic, synchronicity, love and loss around the Place Denfert-Rochereaus and its famous statue of the lion of Denfert.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Julie Depardieu, Frédérick E. Grasser-Hermé, Silvia Urrutia


Credited cast:
Donald MacRae ...
Himself (astronomer)


Beginning with a dramatization of the nightly work of an astronomer at the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, Ontario, the documentary film shifts to focus on the workings of the universe. A journey to the stars is depicted in animation and takes the viewer to the boundaries of the heavenly bodies: the Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Pluto, to the farthest regions of space beyond the reach of the strongest telescope, past the Sun and the Milky Way into unfathomed galaxies. Written by pr1mal_1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Documentary | Short





Release Date:

May 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Notre univers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Stanley Kubrick' viewed this film and was used as a template for the special effect shots used in his 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). He used the same panning camera effect for creating his planets. He even hired narrator Douglas Rain to voice the computer HAL. See more »


Referenced in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wonderful special effects, dated information
10 May 1999 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

When this black-and-white astronomy documentary came out in 1960, it was a startling venture into groundbreaking special effects--a grand tour of the universe from our own planet to the far-flung galactic clusters at the limits of mid-century astronomical observation. Although much of the information is now dated (particularly that on Mars and Venus), the film deserves video release if only for its consummate artistry in combining visuals, music, and narration. When he was assembling a crew for "2001--A Space Odyssey," Stanley Kubrick was so impressed with the film that he tried to hire the team that created it; unfortunately they were unavailable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Universe (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page