A research vessel finds a missing ship, commanded by a mysterious scientist, on the edge of a black hole.

Director:

Gary Nelson

Writers:

Jeb Rosebrook (story by), Bob Barbash (story by) | 3 more credits »
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4,830 ( 2,119)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maximilian Schell ... Dr. Hans Reinhardt
Anthony Perkins ... Dr. Alex Durant
Robert Forster ... Captain Dan Holland
Joseph Bottoms ... Lieutenant Charles Pizer
Yvette Mimieux ... Dr. Kate McCrae
Ernest Borgnine ... Harry Booth
Tom McLoughlin ... Captain S.T.A.R. (as Tommy McLoughlin)
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Storyline

An Earth exploratory ship, the USS Palomino, discovers a black hole with a lost ship, the USS Cygnus, just outside its event horizon. Deciding to solve the mystery of the Cygnus are: the Palomino's Captain, Dan Holland; his First Officer, Lieutenant Charlie Pizer; journalist Harry Booth; scientist and ESP-sensitive Dr. Kate McCrae, whose father was the Cygnus's First Officer; Dr. Alex Durant, the expedition's civilian leader; and the robot known as V.I.N.CENT. The Palomino attempts a dangerous fly-by of the darkened ship. As they come within close range of it, the buffeting they experience (due to the black hole's gravity) suddenly ceases. They bring more instruments to bear on the derelict, but do not even realize the gravity-free zone is artificial; slipping outside it, they are almost drawn into the black hole, an abyss from which no one can escape. Matters worsen when Reinhardt holds the crew captive, after realizing that they can help him reach his goal. The squad must now figure... Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is an inexorable force in the cosmos, a place where time and space converge. A place beyond man's vision...but not beyond his reach. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the crew of the Palamino asks how Dr Reinhardt lived alone for 20 years, Dr Reinhardt repeats 20 years as if taken aback. He then says 20 EARTH years, perhaps. This leads to a scientific theory that gravity affects time. According to the theory, an object or person at the event horizon of a black hole would experience a time dilation or slowing of the passage of time. This would mean that while 20 years have passed on earth, less time would have passed for Reinhardt and the Cygnus. How much less is not clear. See more »

Goofs

Despite the fact that throughout the dining room scene characters come and go through an interior door, as is clearly shown in later exterior shots, the dining room is set apart from the body of the Cygnus atop a scaffold-like tower with no elevator, walkway, ladder or any means to enter or exit. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
V.I.N.CENT: [beep] 2130; day 547. Unscheduled course correction due at 2200. Pre-correction check: rotation axis plus three degrees. Nitrous oxide pressure: 4100 rising to 5,000. Quad jet C and D on preselect. Rotor ignition sequence beginning in 3-0. Thruster line reactors on standby.
Captain Dan Holland: V.I.N.CENT, notify me with 15 to go. Alex?
Dr. Alex Durant: Yes, Dan?
Captain Dan Holland: Have you determined a difference in ETAs with and without our correction?
Dr. Alex Durant: Working on it. You know, we shouldn't be needing a correction at this time. V.I.N.CENT, ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

70 mm and some 35 mm (distributed for example in Finland) film prints feature an overture before the start of the film with black picture (this is not included on non-letter-boxed-video prints). This overture can be heard on letter-boxed video prints on VHS, DVD and some broadcast editions, including Turner Classic Movies. The overture scene also appears on Disney+. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goldbergs: A Goldberg Thanksgiving (2014) See more »

User Reviews

 
Light at the end of the tunnel....
23 August 1999 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

Back in 1979, when this first came out, this could be seen coming down Main Street as a "Star Wars" cash-in. Even I could see that (being 14 at the time).

At the time, it was being hailed by everyone whom had not seen it as a return to cerebral, thought-provoking space opera, with the same kind of reverberations as "2001".

Now, let me tell you the truth about "The Black Hole".

From a technical standpoint, the movie is impressive (moreso when you consider that Harrison and Peter Ellenshaw, virtuosos in matte paintings, did the background FX work). The ships all fly as they should, you can BARELY see the robots flying about on their strings and the wonder and mystery of what a black hole really is (physically as well as metaphorically) are explored satisfactorily.

But if the FX are exemplary, the flesh and blood on display are not. Each actor supplies their own black hole; empty, dark voids where there once was talent but now serve only to suck away all the life and energy surrounding it. A shame, since actors like Forster, Mimieux, Schell, Perkins and even Roddy McDowell (in voice only) have all done good deeds on film prior and since. In the acting sense, at least, this movie matches "2001".

But in the end, you see a movie like "The Black Hole" for the story itself. Is it worth watching? In that respect, I think so. What are the limits to which mankind can play God? Are the mysteries of the universe for Man to explore? Do black holes lead to anything? We are left to draw our own conclusions, but at least the ending here allows us to think seriously about what really is out there.

Eight stars. Not a classic, but not that vacuous.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Space Station One See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$35,841,901

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,841,901
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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