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

Directors:

,

Writer:

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

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Entr'acte (1924)
Short
    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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
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
Waging War (2013)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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

Directors: Cosme Castro, Léa Forest
Stars: Cosme Castro, Léa Forest, Justine Bachelet
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Eugeniusz Rudnik revolutionized the idea of music itself with a pair of scissors and a magnetic tape. As part of the legendary Experimental Studio of Polish Radio, he revealed hidden value ... See full summary »

Director: Zuzanna Solakiewicz
Stars: Eugeniusz Rudnik
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A documentary about actor/director Dennis Hopper, showing him at his home and studio putting together his film "The Last Movie."

Directors: L.M. Kit Carson, Lawrence Schiller
Stars: Dennis Hopper, L.M. Kit Carson, Lois Ursone
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
Night Mayor (2009)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Winnipeg, 1939: Bosnian immigrant Nihad Ademi conceives of a way to harness the power of the Aurora Borealis in order to broadcast imagery of his vast and beloved adopted land from coast to coast to coast.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Nihad Ademi, Mike Bell, Timna Ben Ari
Filmstudie (1926)
Short
    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
Romance | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
America I (2013)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

One place. One boy. One day. One shot. One reel of film.

Director: Valérie Massadian
Stars: Solomon Calvert-Adera
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Concerns a scientist's flight into outer space.

Directors: Walerian Borowczyk, Chris Marker
Stars: Michel Boschet, Ligia Branice, Anatole Dauman
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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) »

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Notre univers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

'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 »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Useless For Astronomy In The Modern World, But It Had A Lasting Impact
25 July 2012 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

As I watched this, I worked on the assumption that while I don't remember it I'm convinced that I've probably seen it before - as a child in school in the early 1970's. It's a production of the National Film Board of Canada, and NFB films were a staple in classrooms at the time. It's quite short (27 minutes) and it's very hard to rate. One has to try to remember that it was made in 1960. More than 50 years later we know a lot more about the universe than we did then. So perhaps it's unfair to become overly concerned with some of the scientific errors that are made, but having said that - they do stand out to the modern viewer. Things like, "Mars almost certainly has vegetation," or "Venus may have either dense clouds - or dust storms," or "Jupiter has 12 moons." Those things tempt the viewer to simply declare this hopelessly dated and out of touch with modern knowledge. The absence of any commentary about either Uranus or Neptune during the tour of the planets perhaps suggests that not enough was known about Uranus or Neptune in 1960 to even make inaccurate statements. (On the other hand, Pluto is referred to as a "dwarf" - 46 years before the International Astronomical Union got around to downgrading it! You have to give the NFB some credit for its prophetic abilities!) So, as an aid in classrooms studying astronomy, this wouldn't be useful today.

Still, you have to also look at its technical merit and at its message. It makes great and haunting points about the vastness of both space and time - the unimaginableness of such things on a cosmic perspective. That reflection succeeds in putting our little life here on this little planet revolving around this little sun in this one galaxy among countless galaxies into perspective. The closing words, speculating about how many civilizations in the vastness of the universe have risen and fallen reminds us of how temporary are the things that we think of as so important. So if now rendered scientifically inaccurate, it is nevertheless still thought-provoking.

I was somewhat surprised to discover that this film inspired Stanley Kubrick as he worked on "2001: A Space Odyssey." It's therefore made a lasting contribution to the genre of science fiction - although science fiction was certainly not what the NFB was going for.

The narration in this could have perhaps been a bit more dramatic; a bit more exciting - although it's pretty typical for what I can remember of NFB films. They didn't go for excitement or drama; they dealt with their subject matters in very formal and official sounding tones. So while I may think this would have benefited from a lively narrator, this was undoubtedly what the NFB was going for.

While I admire its technical merits, and the lasting impact that it had, I can't get over the fact that, based on the purpose for which it would originally have been made, it's now rather useless. So it only gets a 6/10 - but it's nevertheless well worth watching.


0 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