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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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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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Popularity
738 ( 405)
Top Rated Movies #92 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
...
Astronaut
...
Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
...
Astronaut
...
...
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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:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£69,567 (United Kingdom), 30 November 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,954,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$190,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) | (initial release)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the australopithecine make-up was being designed, computer technicians ran a program to determine how long it would take to make the number of costumes they needed. When the program said it would take nine years, they simplified the make-up. See more »

Goofs

Although the meeting on the moon is presented indoors, in a shirt-sleeve environment, it is still on the moon. Dr. Floyd walks around the room in full Earth gravity, rather than using the low-gravity "skip" that was adopted by the Apollo astronauts. 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

Spoofed in Feuchtgebiete (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Music by Richard Strauss
Performed by Wiener Philharmoniker (uncredited)
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cosmic Art
6 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Mankind's Self awakening is the theme of "2001: A Space Odyssey", a process that unfolds along a space-time continuum. We "see" our primordial past, and we "infer" a cosmic future. The powers of intuition thus become the doors of perception, in our ongoing collective journey.

From this transcendental perspective, a conventional, egocentric plot seems superfluous. Our frenzied conflicts and self-important dialogue are consumed in evolutionary change, and are irrelevant in a cosmos that is vast beyond comprehension. It's a tough lesson for a vain and aggressive species. Not surprising then that some of us huff and puff about the film's slowness and minimal story. For perceptive viewers, the remuneration is an inspirational sense of wonder and awe.

In this film, which is mostly visual, geometric symbols guide our intuition. Circles and arcs represent nature. Right angles represent conscious intelligence. Some people think the sleek, black monolith is a Von Neumann probe. Maybe. Without doubt, the monolith is a visual metaphor for an extraterrestrial intelligence whose physical form is never shown. Mystery is more profound than explanation.

"2001 ... " is unique among films in content and scope. The cinematography is out-of-this-world, the special and visual effects are breathtaking, and the classical music is sublime. I rarely use the word "masterpiece" to describe a movie. But Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is art in the highest sense, like Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", or Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".


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