5.9/10
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247 user 101 critic

The Black Hole (1979)

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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Popularity
4,669 ( 768)

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ON DISC
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:

Man has reached the most mysterious and awesome corner of the universe...a point where the here and now become forever. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

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, 31 December 1980
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally supposed to take place in a completely weightless environment. The technical difficulties prompted a re-write of the script so that when the Palomino ties up the Cygnus gravity returned. See more »

Goofs

When Maximillian breaks through the wall to chase Vincent the wires that are holding him up are clearly visible. 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. ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

The reason for this is possibly that the notion of heaven might not have been suitable for the young audience, whereas the Hell imagery follows on visually from the destruction of the Cygnus and therefore requires no interpretation. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goldbergs: The Adam Bomb (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ahead of Its Time
21 May 2005 | by mwendelSee all my reviews

With the advancement of movie technology today, I am awaiting a re-make of this film as I can see the enhancement of the Armageddon-like atmosphere of this movie.

Even though this film came out on the heels of Star Wars I feel that for its time and its budget it was awesome and very much overlooked. I think in this case, being a Disney film, didn't help its image either. As a kid this movie scared the pants off of me. It was dark and menacing and there was the big black hole staring me in the face the whole movie. (I can still recall the extent of the willies this movie game me).

While flawed I see this movie as an artistic and hard core science fiction classic. It uses many of what I see as key elements in science fiction - known science, theoretical science, possible futures, and our fear of the unknown (I personally think even with what we know, we still know very little about black holes).

This movie was made in the feel of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Moby Dick, with the mad, yet brilliant captain, sailing a state of the art ship, knowingly, into certain and utter doom in the name of some idealistic obsession. And as it usually goes you have your idealistic yet rational unwilling passengers who want to get off the ship and survive the mad man's nightmarish dreams.

The robots, while used in a highly symbolic fashion, were original in their concept and design. I particularly liked the way V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and B.O.B. were constructed as the "avatars" of humanity - completely man-made with human-like eyes and a "soul", that only allowed them to see the "right" side of things - as we see them. While on the other hand Maximilian was brilliant as the epitome of evil and twisted humanity in this movie - a man silently trapped and condemned to an inhuman fate as part of a mechanical nightmare.

Lastly, I feel that the space backdrops and the internal renderings of the space ship, which I feel have somewhat of an impressionistic flair, are awesome and were very well done for the period. If you passed on this movie the first time I recommend giving it a second chance. Take in the movie - see its symbolism, its social commentaries and far reaching vision. I think some of the issues the movie quietly addresses are still relative today.


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