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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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2:24 | Trailer

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Airs Sat. Mar. 02, 3:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
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 HAL 9000.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Arthur C. Clarke (screenplay)
Popularity
661 ( 42)

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 #88 | 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:

Let the Awe and Mystery of a Journey Unlike Any Other Begin 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 »

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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

Although the film leaves it mysterious, early script drafts made clear that HAL's breakdown is triggered by authorities on Earth who order him to withhold information from the astronauts about the purpose of the mission (this is also explained in 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)). Frederick Ordway, Stanley Kubrick's science advisor and technical consultant, stated that in an earlier script Poole tells HAL there is "... something about this mission that we weren't told. Something the rest of the crew knows and that you know. We would like to know whether this is true", to which HAL responds: "I'm sorry, Frank, but I don't think I can answer that question without knowing everything that all of you know." HAL then falsely predicts a failure of the hardware maintaining radio contact with Earth (the source of HAL's difficult orders) during the broadcast of Frank Poole's birthday greetings from his parents.

The final script removed this explanation, but it is hinted at when HAL asks David Bowman if Bowman is bothered by the "oddities" and "tight security" surrounding the mission. After Bowman concludes that HAL is dutifully drawing up the "crew psychology report", the computer makes his false prediction of hardware failure. Another hint occurs at the moment of HAL's deactivation when a video reveals the purpose of the mission.

In an interview with Joseph Gelmis in 1969, Kubrick stated that HAL "had an acute emotional crisis because he could not accept evidence of his own fallibility". See more »

Goofs

On the space station, right after Dr. Floyd clears security, and before he meets the Russians, he and another man are strolling along the curved floor of the station. Their bodies' orientation should be radial to the curvature of the floor, appearing to lean forward in the frame, but instead they are perpendicular to the orientation of the frame: they are walking downhill rather that walking along the bottom of the curved floor. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The traditional "roaring lion" logo for MGM was not used in this film. Instead, the newly designed corporate logo for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was used, along with the letters "MGM", all in white against a blue background. See more »

Alternate Versions

Most current video versions contain the 139-minute general release version plus the original overture, entr'acte, and exit music from the roadshow version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I, Robot... You, Jane (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Music by Richard Strauss
Performed by Wiener Philharmoniker (uncredited)
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unmatched accomplishment
17 June 2003 | by simon_boothSee all my reviews

Sometimes reading the user comments on IMDB fills me with despair for the species. For anybody to dismiss 2001: A Space Odyssey as "boring" they must have no interest in science, technology, philosophy, history or the art of film-making. Finally I understand why most Hollywood productions are so shallow and vacuous - they understand their audience.

Thankfully, those that cannot appreciate Kubrick's accomplishment are still a minority. Most viewers are able to see the intelligence and sheer virtuosity that went into the making of this epic. This is the film that put the science in "science fiction", and its depiction of space travel and mankind's future remains unsurpassed to this day. It was so far ahead of its time that humanity still hasn't caught up.

2001 is primarily a technical film. The reason it is slow, and filled with minutae is because the aim was to realistically envision the future of technology (and the past, in the awe inspiring opening scenes). The film's greatest strength is in the details. Remember that when this film was made, man still hadn't made it out to the moon... but there it is in 2001, and that's just the start of the journey. To create such an incredibly detailed vision of the future that 35 years later it is still the best we have is beyond belief - I still can't work out how some of the shots were done. The film's only notable mistake was the optimism with which it predicted mankind's technological (and social) development. It is our shame that the year 2001 did not look like the film 2001, not Kubrick's.

Besides the incredible special effects, camera work and set design, Kubrick also presents the viewer with a lot of food for thought about what it means to be human, and where the human race is going. Yes, the ending is weird and hard to comprehend - but that's the nature of the future. Kubrick and Clarke have started the task of envisioning it, now it's up to the audience to continue. There's no neat resolution, no definitive full stop, because then the audience could stop thinking after the final reel. I know that's what most audiences seem to want these days, but Kubrick isn't going to let us off so lightly.

I'm glad to see that this film is in the IMDB top 100 films, and only wish that it were even higher. Stanley Kubrick is one of the very finest film-makers the world has known, and 2001 his finest accomplishment. 10/10.


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