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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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Writers:

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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:
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Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
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Astronaut
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Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
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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:

the time is now. [2001 re-release] 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

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 »

Goofs

When Heywood Floyd is talking to his daughter on the picture-phone, she moves slightly out of frame but remains in the shot. Modern cameras can move around to "follow" a person, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke foresaw this. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
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Crazy Credits

The traditional "roaring lion" logo for MGM was not used in this film. Instead, the newly designed corporate logo for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was used, along with the letters "MGM", all in white against a blue background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Limitless: Headquarters! (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Off Beats Mood
(uncredited)
Performed by Sidney Torch
BBC segment opening theme.
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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