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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  15 May 1968 (UK)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 353,398 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,658 user | 263 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Top 250 #93 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ...
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Storyline

"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

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$56,715,371 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The chess position and moves that we see are from a game played in 1910 in Hamburg between two undistinguished players named Roesch and Schlage. The computer claims that the final position is a checkmate in two moves. Actually, white is not obliged to play the move that HAL suggests (Bxf3), so we have a checkmate in three moves. Another result of Stanley Kubrick's fondness for chess is the character Smyslov, named after a Russian champion. See more »

Goofs

When the astronaut leaves the pod to replace the AE-35 unit, he is holding it in his right hand so he can use his left hand to control his thruster backpack. In the next shot showing him maneuvering toward Discovery, the AE-35 is in his left hand. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

No opening credits for actors, writers, producer, director, etc. are shown, with the story beginning right after the title. Although by the 1990s it had become quite common for major films to not have opening credits, it was still unusual in 1968. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Off Beats Mood
by Sidney Torch
[BBC segment opening theme.]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A film of monolithic proportions.
5 January 2005 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

A review I have put off for far too long....

Bluntly, 2001 is one of the best science-fiction films made to date, if not the very best. Stanley Kubrick was a genius of a film maker and this is one of his very best works. And although it is misunderstood by many, and respectively underrated, it is considered one of the best films of all time and I'll have to agree. Back in 1968, no one had done anything like this before, and no one has since. It was a marvel of a special effects breakthrough back then, and seeing how the effects hold up today, it is no wonder as to why. The film still looks marvelous after almost forty years! Take note CGI people. Through the use of large miniatures and realistic lighting, Kubrick created some of the best special effects ever put on celluloid. This aspect alone almost single-handedly created the chilling void of the space atmosphere which is also attributed to the music and realistic sound effects. I can't think of another film where you can't here anything in space, like it is in reality. Not only is the absence of sound effects in space realistic, it is used cleverly as a tool to establish mood, and it works flawlessly.

Aside from the magnificent display of ingenious special effects, there are other factors that play a part in establishing the feel of the film. The music played, all classical, compliment what the eyes are seeing and make you feel the significance of man's journey through his evolution from ape to space traveler.

The story, while seemingly simple, is profound. Sequentially, several mysterious black monoliths are discovered and basically trigger certain events integral to the film. What are they? Where did they come from? What do they do? These are all questions one asks oneself while watching the story develop and is asked to find his own way. While most come away with a general idea of what took place in the story, each individual will have to decide what it means to them. Any way one decides to answer these question results in profound solutions. It's not left entirely up to interpretation, but in some aspects it is. Experience it for more clarification. The end result is quite chilling, no matter your personal solution.

While it is a long film, and sometimes slows down, it has to be in order to accurately portray the journey of man. It's not a subject that would have faired well in a shorter film, faster paced feature. Those with short attention spans need not apply.

Last but not least, is the epitome of a remorseless antagonist, HAL 9000, the computer. Never has a machine held such a chilling screen presence. Which reminds me, for a film with such profound ambition and execution, there is surprisingly little dialogue. Another sign of Kubrick's genius.

All in all, one of the best films made to date and one of the very best science fiction films made. A personal favorite. Everyone must see this film at least once.

Very highly recommended.


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