IMDb > Dark Star (1974)
Dark Star
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Dark Star (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Dark Star -- Open-ended Trailer from Liberty


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John Carpenter (original story and screenplay) and
Dan O'Bannon (original story and screenplay)
View company contact information for Dark Star on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 February 1979 (West Germany) See more »
What Do You Say To A Talking Bomb? All Systems Snafu!!! See more »
In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Bizarro 2001 See more (151 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Brian Narelle ... Lt. Doolittle
Cal Kuniholm ... Boiler
Dre Pahich ... Talby

Dan O'Bannon ... Pinback
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adam Beckenbaugh ... Bomb #20 (uncredited)

John Carpenter ... Talby voice (uncredited)
Nick Castle ... Alien (uncredited)
Cookie Knapp ... Computer / 'Mother' (uncredited)
Joe Saunders ... Commander Powell (uncredited)
Alan Sheretz ... Bomb #19 (uncredited)
Miles Watkins ... Watkins - Mission Control (uncredited)

Directed by
John Carpenter 
Writing credits
John Carpenter (original story and screenplay) and
Dan O'Bannon (original story and screenplay)

Produced by
John Carpenter .... producer
Jack H. Harris .... executive producer
J. Stein Kaplan .... associate producer
Original Music by
John Carpenter 
Cinematography by
Douglas Knapp (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Dan O'Bannon 
Production Design by
Dan O'Bannon 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
J. Stein Kaplan .... assistant director
Art Department
David Seal .... chief carpenter
Tommy Lee Wallace .... associate art director (as Tom Wallace)
Sound Department
John Brasher .... sound effects
Nina Kleinberg .... sound
Leslie Shatz .... sound effects re-recording
Nick Spaulding .... sound effects cutter
Visual Effects by
Ron Cobb .... special effects
Bob Greenberg .... special effects
Gregory Jein .... special effects (as Greg Jein)
Dan O'Bannon .... special effects supervisor
Bill Taylor .... optical effects
Bill Taylor .... visual effects consultant
Harry Walton .... special effects
John C. Wash .... special effects (as John Wash)
Jim Danforth .... matte painter (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dale Beldin .... additional photography
Nick Castle .... camera assistant
Cliff Fenneman .... additional photography
Les Rumsey .... key grip
Other crew
Jack H. Harris .... presenter
Jack F. Murphy .... production associate (as Jack Murphy)
Craig Portman .... creative consultant
Craig Portman .... engineering
Terence H. Winkless .... production assistant: Terry Winkless
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
83 min | 70 min (Original Version) | 71 min (Director's Cut) | 68 min (original student film)
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:G | Australia:MA (cable TV rating) | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:11 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1989) (1997) | USA:G (#23774) | West Germany:6 (f)

Did You Know?

The space suits are made to resemble the space suit of the Mattel action figure "Major Matt Mason", which was used in slightly modified form as a miniature for effects shots.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Boiler starts yelling to Pinback that he can use the gun to shoot the pins off Bomb #20, his dialogue doesn't match his lips at all.See more »
Commander Powell:Talk to the bomb. You have to talk to it, Doolittle. Teach it PHENOMENOLOGY.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Jodorowsky's Dune (2013)See more »
Benson ArizonaSee more »


What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Director's Cut?
See more »
101 out of 110 people found the following review useful.
The Bizarro 2001, 25 October 2004
Author: sciencefaction3d ( from Lafayette, La.

I saw this film as a kid, dismissed it as boring, and moved on. Luckily, fate forced me to see it again about 2 years ago and (some are going to hate me for this) now i consider it second only to Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey. The scope is gigantic, even though we're trapped inside the goofy little ship with these rejects (and they ARE rejects). It is a spoof of man's uninformed view of his place in the universe. It is filled to capacity with malfunctioning technology, illogical solutions to self-inflicted conflicts and a very genuine feeling of the isolation of deep space.

The music (John Carpenter is an innovator in film scoring) is strange and often indistinguishable from the zany noises of the ship's equipment and displays (who would ever create such tortuous bleeps and sirens for EVERY function of a spacecraft designed to house a couple of guys in the outermost regions of the galaxy?). The ship's computer is a perfect contast of Hal9000 (2001) in that SHE seems to understand her crew's dimwitted plight and ,after speaking to them in her programmed monotone, recognizes the need to go back and dumb herself down so that they can function accordingly. It is never explained whether she has assumed a mother-figure role or is simply acting out of self-preservation ,but ,like most of the more thought-provoking elements of this absurdist's fantasy, the viewer is merely given the bare-bones information and allowed to decide for itself.

Maybe all of this implied data caused me to make the movie better in my head than it actually is ,but how many films have you seen lately that can give you that freedom?

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Dark Star (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Dark Star is not supposed to be a 'Comedy' at all. Stellartoa
Remakes - Dark Star - Sam Rockwell pam-bradley1
How is this a comedy? tezz27000
Dark Star is utter tripe anthony_suleiman
Martin Segundo Easy listening thing ... Mimhakkuh
Is Director's Cut (on Netflix) worth it? johnjohnson68510
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