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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Arthur C. Clarke (screenplay)
Popularity
537 ( 92)

Director's Trademarks: A Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Films

2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut are just the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's legacy. Are you up to speed on the film icon's style?

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Top Rated Movies #87 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keir Dullea ... Dr. Dave Bowman
Gary Lockwood ... Dr. Frank Poole
William Sylvester ... Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Daniel Richter ... Moon-Watcher
Leonard Rossiter ... Dr. Andrei Smyslov
Margaret Tyzack ... Elena
Robert Beatty ... Dr. Ralph Halvorsen
Sean Sullivan ... Dr. Bill Michaels
Douglas Rain ... HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller Frank Miller ... Mission Controller (voice)
Bill Weston ... Astronaut
Ed Bishop ... Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
Glenn Beck ... Astronaut
Alan Gifford ... Poole's Father
Ann Gillis ... Poole's Mother
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Storyline

"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Written by Larry Cousins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An epic drama of adventure and exploration See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Journey Beyond the Stars See more »

Filming Locations:

Spitzkoppe, Erongo, Namibia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£69,567 (United Kingdom), 30 November 2014, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,759, 20 May 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,954,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$190,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) | (initial release)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Kubrick previewed the film for critics, but quickly regretted doing so. Among the mostly indifferent and unfavorable reviews, as noted in the documentary 2001: The Making of a Myth (2001), were: "Somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring"--The New York Times; "A monumentally unimaginative movie"--Harpers; "Space Odyssey fails most gloriously"--Newsday; and "Big, Beautiful but plodding scifi epic. Superb photography major asset to confusing, long-unfolding plot."--Variety. See more »

Goofs

The scene where Dr. Floyd talks with Russian scientists in the space station is shot from two angles. One of the seated women has her legs crossed in all the shots from one angle and uncrossed in all the shots from the other angle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No opening credits for actors, writers, producer, director, etc. are shown, with the story beginning right after the title. Although by the 1990s it had become quite common for major films to not have opening credits, it was still unusual in 1968. See more »

Alternate Versions

To create the 35mm general release prints, the Super Panavision image was slightly truncated on the top and bottom to achieve the standard 2.35:1 aspect ratio of 35mm anamorphic ("scope") prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jobriath A.D. (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Alan Gifford and Ann Gillis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cosmic Art
6 February 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Mankind's Self awakening is the theme of "2001: A Space Odyssey", a process that unfolds along a space-time continuum. We "see" our primordial past, and we "infer" a cosmic future. The powers of intuition thus become the doors of perception, in our ongoing collective journey.

From this transcendental perspective, a conventional, egocentric plot seems superfluous. Our frenzied conflicts and self-important dialogue are consumed in evolutionary change, and are irrelevant in a cosmos that is vast beyond comprehension. It's a tough lesson for a vain and aggressive species. Not surprising then that some of us huff and puff about the film's slowness and minimal story. For perceptive viewers, the remuneration is an inspirational sense of wonder and awe.

In this film, which is mostly visual, geometric symbols guide our intuition. Circles and arcs represent nature. Right angles represent conscious intelligence. Some people think the sleek, black monolith is a Von Neumann probe. Maybe. Without doubt, the monolith is a visual metaphor for an extraterrestrial intelligence whose physical form is never shown. Mystery is more profound than explanation.

"2001 ... " is unique among films in content and scope. The cinematography is out-of-this-world, the special and visual effects are breathtaking, and the classical music is sublime. I rarely use the word "masterpiece" to describe a movie. But Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is art in the highest sense, like Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", or Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".


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