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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 384,257 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,682 user | 276 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #92 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 7 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


Let the Awe and Mystery of a Journey Unlike Any Other Begin 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?


The entire film contains only 205 special effects shots, compared to 350 in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and over 2,200 such shots in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). See more »


As Dave Bowman climbs into HAL's logic center to shut him off, the seal on his suit's left hand is broken and the glove separates from the suit (due to the swing). The glove is reattached once he enters the logic center. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in 2001: A Big Bust Odyssey (2001) See more »


Gayaneh Ballet Suite
Music by Aram Khachaturyan
Performed by Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra (as the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Courtesy Deutsche Grammophon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

film is a poetical contemplation of most exciting eternal questions
29 August 2002 | by (Vilnius, Lithuania) – See all my reviews

This movie is certainly one of the greatest films ever made. It is a story told in a steady pace, told mostly not by words but by cinematic means of expression. Perfect blend of spectacular special effects and classical music bring to life creations of human imagination in both realistic and poetical way. The story itself is quite simple at a first glance. As the title implies, there is an archetypal journey, a motive repeated for thousands of years. This motive was always used not only to depict a trip in space and time, and beyond, but also had rich philosophic meaning. The film is a poetical contemplation of most exciting eternal questions. It is not just an odyssey of a person; it is an odyssey of our species. The film is great by itself, yet, in my case, the impression from it will always be mingled with that from the book. I've read it at the age of 10, really not thinking about problems like 'what is the relationship between evolution of humankind and development of human morality'. But the impression was great enough to make me fall for entire genre of science fiction.

The day I learned '2001' got only special effects Oscar and was not even nominated for the Best Picture was the day when 'Academy Award' completely became two words meaning nothing to me.

265 of 429 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A tiny wincy little bit sexist and racist? stan-18673
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