185 user 127 critic

Dark Star (1974)

2:23 | Trailer
In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.


John Carpenter


John Carpenter (original story and screenplay), Dan O'Bannon (original story and screenplay)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Brian Narelle ... Lt. Doolittle
Cal Kuniholm ... Boiler
Dre Pahich ... Talby
Dan O'Bannon ... Pinback


A low budget, sci-fi satire that focuses on a group of scientists whose mission is to destroy unstable planets. 20 years into their mission, they have battle their alien mascot, that resembles a beach ball, as well as a "sensitive" and intelligent bombing device that starts to question the meaning of its existence. Written by yusufpiskin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alien | cult film | spoof | satire | parody | See All (79) »


What would you be like after 20 years aboard DARK STAR the spaced-out spaceship. The ultimate cosmic comedy! See more »


Comedy | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


A computer screen flashes: "FUCK YOU HARRIS" during the film. This was a message directed toward Jack H. Harris, the producer, who annoyed director John Carpenter during production. Supposedly, the offensive sentence was his revenge. However, many people have a hard time finding it. See more »


In the elevator shaft, Pinback's long hair keeps on pointing towards the wall whenever he moves his head away from it, revealing the shaft to be a tunnel, with him laying on the ground instead of standing on the ledge. See more »


Doolittle: Don't give me any of that intelligent life crap, just give me something I can blow up
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Alternate Versions

Originally released in a shorter 68-minutes version, later expanded to a longer 83 minute version with the addition of new scenes (including the meteor storm, the visit to the crew's quarters and Doolittle playing his music). See more »


Edited into Zaum - Andare a parare: Lo spazio dell'orbita (2011) See more »


Benson Arizona
Music by John Carpenter
Lyrics by Bill Taylor
Vocals by John Yager (uncredited)
[Played over the opening and closing credits]
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User Reviews

Cult classic
3 November 2003 | by Jay-KavanaughSee all my reviews

Well OK this may not the most enjoyable film I've seen but it is certainly one of the most unique and cynical films ever. I find myself pulling out the tape and watching it again every couple of years just to give myself a reality check with all the Hollywood tripe you get these days. To make the most of it you need to watch a couple of Star Trek episodes first and then watch this. Instead of the clean-cut, politically correct, join-the-dots films that are so common now, you get a feeling that this might just be the way life on a space ship would really be.

It was really way ahead of its time. People now comment that films like Star Wars and Alien were the first to make sci-fi more 'realistic' but Dark Star pre-dates both of them by several years. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is where Scott Ridley and George Lucas got some of their ideas.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

9 February 1979 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Star See more »


Box Office


$60,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Original Version) | (Director's Cut) | (original student film)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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