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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  15 May 1968 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 382,764 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,679 user | 275 critic | 14 from

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top 250 Movies #92 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Richter ...
Sean Sullivan ...
Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
Bill Weston ...
Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
Glenn Beck ...
Alan Gifford ...
Ann Gillis ...


"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Written by Larry Cousins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Man's colony on the Moon... a whole new generation has been born and is living there... a quarter-million miles from Earth. See more »


Mystery | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

15 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

Box Office


$10,500,000 (estimated)


$56,715,371 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (2001 re-release)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Early drafts had the ship powered by an Orion Drive. See more »


When the astronauts on the moon are shown walking toward the unearthed sentinel, they are walking normally, as if on earth. The moon's gravity is one-sixth that of earth; hence, they should have appeared to "bounce" a bit when walking, as was seen in the later Apollo moon landings. See more »


[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the 2001 UK cinema re-release, the music carries on for 10-15 minutes after the end of the credits. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Cave Dwellers (1991) See more »


Music by György Ligeti
Performed by Southwest German Radio Orchestra (as the Southwest German Radio Orchestra)
Conductor Ernest Bour
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Order of the Universe
7 February 2000 | by (Kuopio, Finland) – See all my reviews

I spent many a sleepless night after watching 2001. Not only because of the psychological horror (of which 2001 is a masterpiece) but also because of the way it brought me (a restless soul) some clarity to the way I observe the universe. It changed my way of thinking in a very profound way. And after reading the novel (by Arthur C. Clarke) I found myself once again inspired (a writer as I am) by the level of imagination.

The Space Odyssey is not something one can just "go and see". One has to be ready for it, or it cannot be understood. In fact I don't think it can be understood at all, at least not all of it at once. It is a philosophical journey to the infinite and beyond, a masterpiece of it's genre and still after 32 years technically quite impressive all the way to the powerful musical soundtrack featuring 'Also spracht Zarathustra' by Richard Strauss and 'Blue Danube' by Johann Strauss.

Take all the time you want, but eventually you are going to have to see this film. If it can bring some order and understanding to the universe of a struggling artist like me, it can certainly do it for you as well.

Or maybe I'm just plain crazy...

374 of 609 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Endings of 2001 and Interstellar joeravioli
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