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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 383,541 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,681 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 #93 | 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?


If you consider the relative positions of Bowman when he first arrives in the suite, when he is next standing in the room, when he is in the bathroom, when he is at the table, and when he is in the bed, these points form a star. See more »


During Dr. Floyd's trip to TMA-1, the occupants of the moon bus are shown walking, sitting and pouring coffee. Since the Moon has no atmosphere, the moon bus cannot be flying, but must be tracking an orbit, even if only a fractional orbit. Since it's in orbit, the occupants would be weightless, and walking, sitting and pouring liquids would be impossible. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

"Thus Spake Zarathustra" is the only musical piece in the film whose conductor and orchestra are not mentioned in the closing credits. For all other pieces, the orchestra which plays it, and the conductor who leads it, are given screen credit. See more »


Referenced in Springbringer - Songs from the World of New Nature (2008) See more »


The Blue Danube
("An der schönen, blauen Donau, op. 314 (The Blue Danube)")
Music by Johann Strauß (as Johann Strauss)
Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker (as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conductor Herbert von Karajan
Courtesy Deutsche Grammophon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Cosmic Art
6 February 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – 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".

285 of 458 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I confess to becoming an apostate rhollingsworth
Endings of 2001 and Interstellar joeravioli
BEAUTIFUL onaks_ne1
Am I the only one who finds this movie pretentious? osprey1987
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Warning message for 2001: A Space Odyssey mickeyone
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