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Solaris (1972)
"Solyaris" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  20 March 1972 (Soviet Union)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 48,347 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 233 user | 135 critic | 8 from

A psychologist is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet in order to discover what has caused the crew to go insane.


(as Andrey Tarkovskiy)


(novel) (as Stanislav Lem) , (screenplay) (as F. Gorenshteyn) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natalya Bondarchuk ...
Donatas Banionis ...
Jüri Järvet ...
Doktor Snaut, kibernetik (as Yuri Yarvet)
Vladislav Dvorzhetskiy ...
Anri Berton, pilot
Nikolay Grinko ...
Nik Kelvin, otets Krisa Kelvina
Anatoliy Solonitsyn ...
Olga Barnet ...
Mat Krisa Kelvina (as O. Barnet)
Vitalik Kerdimun ...
Syn Anri Bertona (as V. Kerdimun)
Olga Kizilova ...
Gostya doktora Gribaryana (as O. Kizilova)
Tatyana Malykh ...
Plemyannitsa Krisa Kelvina (as T. Malykh)
Aleksandr Misharin ...
Shanakhan, predsedatel komissii Anri Bertona (as A. Misharin)
Bagrat Oganesyan ...
Professor Tarkhe (as B. Oganesyan)
Tamara Ogorodnikova ...
Anna, tetka Krisa Kelvina (as T. Ogorodnikova)
Sos Sargsyan ...
Doktor Gribaryan, fiziolog (as S. Sarkisyan)
Yulian Semyonov ...
Predsedatel nauchnoy konferentsii (as Yu. Semyonov)


The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for ten years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence. Written by Dan Ellis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1972 (Soviet Union)  »

Also Known As:

Solaris  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


RUR 1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unapproved cut)

Sound Mix:


(Eastman Double-X Negative Film)| (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There are a number of references to Cervantes' "Don Quixote" in the film. In the library, Snaut quotes from the novel ("Never before, Sancho, have I heard you speak so elegantly as now.") At one point, Dr Snaut also refers to tilting at windmills, and during the weightless scene, an open copy of Don Quixote flies past, showing the knight errant on his steed Rosinante. See more »


When Kris is standing in the rain near the beginning of the film the camera tilts down to the table to show a coffee cup and various other items. The cut to the next shot of Kris shows him to have moved (which seems reasonable as a small amount of time has elapsed) but all the items on the table are now in a different configuration. See more »


Dr. Snaut: Science? Nonsense! In this situation mediocrity and genius are equally useless! I must tell you that we really have no desire to conquer any cosmos. We want to extend the Earth up to its borders. We don't know what to do with other worlds. We don't need other worlds. We need a mirror. We struggle to make contact, but we'll never achieve it. We are in a ridiculous predicament of man pursuing a goal that he fears and that he really does not need. Man needs man!
See more »


Referenced in Sphere (1998) See more »


Fa-minornaya khoralnaya prelyudiya
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as I. S. Bakh)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The magic of not knowing where we're going....
22 March 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Like the majority of reviewers here, I rate this film as one of the most profound viewing experiences I can remember. While the IMDb guidelines recommend avoiding reference to specific reviews of Solaris within this section, I strongly believe that there is much to be learnt about this movie by evaluating those reviews as a whole.

This is clearly either a love or a hate movie. Those who love it describe in detail its effect on them, the feelings it evokes, its significance and the depth of its philosophical enquiry. Those who hate it largely describe it as too slow-paced; boring.

What matters to me about this film which I first watched as mesmerised 15 year old is that it is almost entirely the antithesis of Classical Hollywood cinema. It came from behind the Iron Curtain (that dark place whose strange and hidden 'otherness' has, like the plot of any modern movie, now also been laid wide open by capitalist 'democracy'). Its actors were unknown - more like real people than the celebrities the West populates its movies with. Its pace was slow, mesmeric, hypnotic and atmospheric. It was completely free of the kind of 'good triumphs over evil' motif that riddles Hollywood film-making, where 'good' is white-ness, wealth, youth, Westernness and so on.

The pleasure of Solaris was that I didn't know what I was watching. I didn't know who I was watching. I didn't know the culture it reflected and - most importantly - I didn't know what was going to happen.

Perhaps its only in re-watching the 1971 Solaris that it becomes apparent to me that somewhere along the way we have been stripped of the right to not know; robbed of the true narrative thrill of being led into the dark, magical forest of the unknown.

82 of 98 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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