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The Black Hole (1979)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Family  |  21 December 1979 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 17,099 users  
Reviews: 221 user | 87 critic

A research vessel finds a missing ship, commanded by a mysterious scientist, on the edge of a black hole.

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(story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Captain Dan Holland
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Lieutenant Charles Pizer
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Dr. Kate McCrae
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Captain S.T.A.R. (as Tommy McLoughlin)
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Storyline

It is the year 2130 A.D. An Earth exploratory ship, the USS Palomino, discovers a black hole with a lost ship, the USS Cygnus, just outside its event horizon. Deciding to solve the mystery of the Cygnus are: the Palomino's Captain, Dan Holland; his First Officer, Lieutenant Charlie Pizer; journalist Harry Booth; scientist and ESP-sensitive Dr. Kate McCrae, whose father was the Cygnus's First Officer; Dr. Alex Durant, the expedition's civilian leader; and the robot known as V.I.N.CENT. The Palomino attempts a dangerous fly-by of the darkened ship. As they come within close range of it, the buffeting they experience (due to the black hole's gravity) suddenly ceases. They bring more instruments to bear on the derelict, but do not even realize the gravity-free zone is artificial; slipping outside it, they are almost drawn into the black hole, an abyss from which no one can escape. Matters worsen when Reinhardt holds the crew captive, after realizing that they can help him reach his goal. ... Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't escape the most powerful force in the universe. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Space Station One  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 1,424,203 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The laser pistols originally had light up tips that would activate when the actors pressed the trigger, thus giving the animators cues as to when someone was actually firing the guns. This proved to be a problem however because the actors would unconsciously press the triggers when they were not supposed to often times inadvertently shooting cast members. See more »

Goofs

When Booth is taking off in the spaceship before it explodes, the wire holding him is visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
V.I.N.CENT: [beep] 2130; day 547. Unscheduled course correction due at 2200. Pre-correction check: rotation axis plus three degrees. Nitrous oxide pressure: 4100 rising to 5,000. Quad jet C and D on preselect. Rotor ignition sequence beginning in 3-0. Thruster line reactors on standby.
Captain Dan Holland: V.I.N.CENT, notify me with 15 to go. Alex?
Dr. Alex Durant: Yes, Dan?
Captain Dan Holland: Have you determined a difference in ETAs with and without our correction?
Dr. Alex Durant: Working on it. You know, we shouldn't be needing a correction at this time. ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in South Park: Imaginationland: Episode III (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

End Title
Composed by John Barry
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Ahead of Its Time
21 May 2005 | by (Kings Park, NY) – See all my reviews

With the advancement of movie technology today, I am awaiting a re-make of this film as I can see the enhancement of the Armageddon-like atmosphere of this movie.

Even though this film came out on the heels of Star Wars I feel that for its time and its budget it was awesome and very much overlooked. I think in this case, being a Disney film, didn't help its image either. As a kid this movie scared the pants off of me. It was dark and menacing and there was the big black hole staring me in the face the whole movie. (I can still recall the extent of the willies this movie game me).

While flawed I see this movie as an artistic and hard core science fiction classic. It uses many of what I see as key elements in science fiction - known science, theoretical science, possible futures, and our fear of the unknown (I personally think even with what we know, we still know very little about black holes).

This movie was made in the feel of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Moby Dick, with the mad, yet brilliant captain, sailing a state of the art ship, knowingly, into certain and utter doom in the name of some idealistic obsession. And as it usually goes you have your idealistic yet rational unwilling passengers who want to get off the ship and survive the mad man's nightmarish dreams.

The robots, while used in a highly symbolic fashion, were original in their concept and design. I particularly liked the way V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and B.O.B. were constructed as the "avatars" of humanity - completely man-made with human-like eyes and a "soul", that only allowed them to see the "right" side of things - as we see them. While on the other hand Maximilian was brilliant as the epitome of evil and twisted humanity in this movie - a man silently trapped and condemned to an inhuman fate as part of a mechanical nightmare.

Lastly, I feel that the space backdrops and the internal renderings of the space ship, which I feel have somewhat of an impressionistic flair, are awesome and were very well done for the period. If you passed on this movie the first time I recommend giving it a second chance. Take in the movie - see its symbolism, its social commentaries and far reaching vision. I think some of the issues the movie quietly addresses are still relative today.


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