A Brief History of Time (1991)

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A film about the life and work of the cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who despite his near total paralysis, is one of the great minds of all time.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isobel Hawking ...
Herself - Stephen Hawking's Mother
Janet Humphrey ...
Herself - Stephen Hawking's Aunt
Mary Hawking ...
Herself - Stephen Hawking's Sister
Basil King ...
Himself - Hawking Family Neighbor
Derek Powney ...
Himself - Hawking Classmate at Oxford
Norman Dix ...
Himself - Hawking Classmate at Oxford
Robert Berman ...
Himself - Hawking Tutor at Oxford
Gordon Berry ...
Himself - Hawking Classmate at Oxford
Roger Penrose ...
Himself - Professor at Cambridge
Dennis Sciama ...
Himself - Professor at Cambridge
John Wheeler ...
Himself - Astrophysicist
Brandon Carter ...
Himself - Astrophysicist
John Taylor ...
Himself - Astrophysicist
Himself - Research Scientist at Cambridge


Unlike the book, this film is really an anecdotal biography of Stephen Hawking. Clips of his lectures, interviews with friends and family and a little physics are thrown together. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where did the universe come from? Will time ever come to an end? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?


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Release Date:

16 October 1992 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ajan lyhyt historia  »

Box Office


$2,279,692 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Appearances to the contrary, all interviews were filmed on sets built for the movie. See more »


[first lines]
Stephen Hawking: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the universe have a beginning, and if so, what happened before then? Where did the universe come from, and where is it going?
See more »


Referenced in The Critic: Uneasy Rider (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Also a Brief History of Stephen Hawking...
19 August 1999 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

Along with Carl Sagan, we can credit Stephen Hawking with de-mystifying the Universe. We've been fortunate to have two such men in our time with the gift of translating Physics into a format we don't need a degree to comprehend.

You will find yourself in awe of Hawking's mind, and justifiably so. It would be truly remarkable if we could find a way to venture into his brain and feel the pleasure he takes in what so many of us find abstract.

The biography of this remarkable man is just as interesting as his research. Told in documentary fashion through interviews with family and friends, we see his development from a precocious child to a mischievous youth to remarkable adult. Also, we have the chance to meet Mr. Hawking himself, who is very personable with quite a sense of humor.

I strongly recommend reading the book A Brief History of Time to accompany the film...it picks up where the film leaves off regarding the sciences, and is less biographical, except for his brief summaries of such luminaries as Newton and Galileo.

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