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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

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When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk resumes command of the overhauled USS Enterprise in order to intercept it.

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(based on Star Trek created by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Capt. James T. Kirk
... Spock
... Dr. McCoy
... Scotty
... Sulu
... Dr. Chapel
... Chekov
... Uhura
... Ilia
... Decker
... Janice Rand
... Klingon Captain
... Alien Boy
... Epsilon Technician
Gary Faga ... Airlock Technician
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Storyline

A massive alien spacecraft of enormous power destroys three powerful Klingon cruisers, entering Federation space. Admiral James T. Kirk is ordered to take command of the USS Enterprise for the first time since her historic five-year mission. The Epsilon IX space station alerts the Federation, but they are also destroyed by the alien spacecraft. The only starship in range is the Enterprise, after undergoing a major overhaul at Spacedock on Earth. Kirk rounds up the rest of his crew, and acquires some new members, and sets off to intercept the alien spacecraft. However, it has been three years since Kirk last commanded the Enterprise - is he up to the task of saving Earth? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not owning it would be illogical (DVD release) See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Startrek.com

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Trek I: The Motion Picture  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,926,421, 9 December 1979, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$82,258,456

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$139,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

(director's cut)|

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just before the Epsilon IX station is destroyed by V'Ger, Commander Branch (David Gautreaux) mentions that the size of the V'Ger cloud is "My God, over 82 AUs in diameter." For comparative purposes, the distance between Earth and the Sun is 1 AU (short for "Astronomical Unit") and the distance between the Sun and Pluto ranges between 30-40 AUs, which would mean the V'Ger cloud could theoretically encompass the entire Solar System! In the Director's Cut, the line is altered by skillful sound editing, making the size of the cloud only "over 2 AU's in diameter" - Wise (wisely) decided 82 AUs was just too much. 1 AU has an equivalent to 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles. (In the Australian DVD, there is still a reference to 82 AUs in the film, but to only 2 AUs in 'Starfleet Academy SciSec Brief 001: Mystery behind V'Ger', a featurette in the 'Extras'.) See more »

Goofs

When the Vulcan Master (Edna Glover) performs a mind meld with Spock during his Kolinahr ceremony, her face drops with obvious disappointment when she learns of the space consciousness calling Spock which is clearly an emotion a Vulcan Master shouldn't be feeling. She also beams with obvious pride earlier while talking about Kolinahr as "total logic". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Klingon captain: [giving an order in Klingon] Tactical...
See more »

Crazy Credits

End title: "The human adventure is just beginning." See more »


Soundtracks

Theme from 'Star Trek: The television Series'
Written by Alexander Courage and Gene Roddenberry
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A different kind of Star Trek
20 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

I recently watched this movie for the first time in ten or fifteen years. When I was younger I thought this one was even worse than Star Trek V, because as bad as "The Final Frontier" was, at least it had some action and colour.

The version I just saw wasn't the new Director's Edition, just the old video, but I was still completely surprised by just about everything -- partly because I hadn't seen it in so long, and partly because it's so totally different from all the following Trek movies. I even kinda liked the silly space pajamas everyone wears.

After this, the movie series turned to action-oriented stories, a more militaristic look and feel, and infinitely less challenging concepts. True, the pacing of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" drags in parts, and the behavior of its stars is a little cold and stiff. But instead of treating us with space battles and phaser shootouts, it gives us long, loving shots of the newly revamped starship Enterprise, and instead of rather tawdry plots grounded in mundane reality, it takes us on a metaphysical voyage into an unknown, bizarre, and palpably huge alien device. The relationship of the three main characters has changed a little after several years apart, and they're each getting used to things all over again: Kirk has to deal with the unfamiliar new ship; Spock, after trying to purge his emotions, must confront his human half; and McCoy is "shanghaied" out of retirement for the trip. Decker and Ilia, the new characters, provide enough interest that they were virtually resurrected as Riker and Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The sense of scale is important. The cloud surrounding V'Ger is gigantic, and the ship at the heart of the cloud is a whole world to itself. The Enterprise must fly into the cloud and communicate with the ship, and it's the only time in any of the ten movies that the heroes actually confront something new and unknown. This was a staple of the original show, and some of the best episodes of the spin-off series. The subsequent films were content with setting their battles and chases in space, but "Star Trek I" actually wants to explore that space. The question at the centre of the film, posed by Spock, is "Is this all we are? Is there nothing more?" Kirk, Spock, and V'Ger are all searching for an answer to that question.

However, the thing that definitely drags the film down is the sound. The red alert blares every other minute, and mechanical computer voice-overs announce just about everything they possibly can. In the process of updating the ship, they've emphasized the computers and mechanics of the vessel in a way they never had before or since, and the effect is jarring and interesting at the same time. The Enterprise is much more of a physical ship traveling in space, and less of a device to facilitate storytelling.

The visual effects are amazing enough to warrant some digital cleaning, and the movie should be seen in widescreen, preferably on a large television.

It's too bad that this movie wasn't more of a success, because I would like to see more Star Trek in this style. After many years and many TV shows, I admit I've gotten a little tired of space battles.

UPDATE: I recently watched the Director's Edition DVD. The sound effects are fixed, and the film has been re-edited to tighten the pace ever so slightly. The changes made are not on the level of the Star Wars special editions, but they do make the movie more watchable. It's a little more coherent now, and I like it even more.


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