After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
"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
Deleted scenes include details about the daily life on Discovery, additional space walks, astronaut Bowman retrieving a spare part from an octagonal corridor, a number of cuts from the Poole murder sequence including the entire space walk preparation and shots of HAL turning off radio contact with Poole--explaining HAL's response that the radio is "still dead" when Bowman asks him if radio contact has been made--and notably a close-up of Bowman picking up a slipper during his walk in the alien room; the slipper can still be seen behind him in what would have been the next shot in the sequence. See more »
When the Earth Shuttle stewardess enters the passenger cabin and moves towards Heywood Floyd, she stumbles on the walkway. The nature of the misstep reveals that she is not weightless. See more »
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 »
The DVD version from MGM omits a few seconds of dialogue from the scene in which Dave is attempting to re-enter the Discovery through the pod bay doors. Dave asks several times, "Do you read me, HAL?" In the original release, HAL answers, "Affirmative, Dave. I read you." In the DVD version, HAL only answers "Affirmative, Dave," although the English subtitles still contains "I read you." The DVD release from Warner Bros. corrects this and HAL's full line of dialogue is heard. See more »
For all those bewildered by the length and pace of this film ("like, why does he show spaceships docking for, like, 15 minutes?"), here's a word you might want to think about:
Beauty is an under-rated concept. Sure, you'll often see nice photography and so on in films. But when did you last see a film that contains beauty purely for the sake of it? There is a weird belief among cinemagoers that anything which is not plot or character related must be removed. This is depressing hogwash. There is nothing wrong with creating a beautiful sequence that has nothing to do with the film's plot. A director can show 15 minutes of spaceships for no reason than that they are beautiful, and it is neither illegal nor evil to do so.
'2001' requires you to watch in a different way than you normally watch films. It requires you to relax. It requires you to experience strange and beautiful images without feeling guilty that there is no complex plot or detailed characterization. Don't get me wrong, plots and characters are good, but they're not the be-all and end-all of everything. There are different KINDS of film, and to enjoy '2001' you must tune your brain to a different wavelength and succumb to the pleasure of beauty, PURE beauty, unfettered by the banal conventions of everyday films.
"All art is quite useless" - Oscar Wilde.
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