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The Black Hole (1979)

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



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


Complete credited cast:
Captain S.T.A.R. (as Tommy McLoughlin)


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


A journey that begins where everything ends! See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Space Station One  »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$35,841,901, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dr. Reinhardt's ship was originally called the Centaurus. It was renamed Cygnus after the constellation where the first known black hole was discovered in 1964. See more »


Near the end of the movie when the Cygnus is struck by a passing meteor, V.I.N.CENT states that "A METEORITE STRUCK THE SHIP!" In fact, unless it enters the Earth's atmosphere, it isn't called a meteorite. Instead, it is simply called a METEOR. See more »


[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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Spoofed in Futurama: A Flight to Remember (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

"The time has come to liquidate our guests."
13 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

A team of space travelers locates a long lost, massive spacecraft, the U.S.S. Cygnus, perched in space near an imposing black hole. They meet its commander, the mad genius Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell), who's created an army of obedient robot slaves and who fully intends to explore this black hole and see what might lay beyond it. It doesn't take our heroes too long to realize that they should get out while the getting is good.

"The Black Hole" came along at a very interesting time during the reign of Disney Studios, when they took some unusual chances with their projects and dipped their toes into genres like fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. Also of note during this time are "The Watcher in the Woods", "Tron", and "Something Wicked This Way Comes". The result is a very dark and highly operatic piece of work that offers great fun, although it will have more appeal to older kids and adults than the very young due to its themes, plot details, and suggestion of violence. (As a matter of fact, some pretty nasty violence is suggested at one point, not that we ever see any blood or gore.) It does play as reminiscent of earlier works - Disney's own production of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", "Forbidden Planet", "2001: A Space Odyssey", and "Star Wars".

Some of the visual effects may show their age now, 37 years later, but overall, the movie is quite agreeable as eye candy, and looks especially nice in its intended 2.35:1 aspect ratio. John Barry's music score is somewhat repetitive, but also utterly thunderous and ominous, perfectly suiting the material.

The human cast is steadfast and reliable, with Schell making the most of his madman role. It's hard to go too wrong with a group of actors including Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Ernest Borgnine, and the lovely Yvette Mimieux. As was the case with "Star Wars", the cute robot characters tend to steal the show, V.I.N.CENT (voiced by Roddy McDowall) and B.O.B. (voiced by Slim Pickens). The towering red robot thug Maximillian leaves quite the impression as well. Director Gary Nelson cameos as the drone whose mask is removed.

Great fun overall, which is made all the more memorable by its truly haunting ending.

Eight out of 10.

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