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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

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Top Rated Movies #91 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Dave Bowman
... Dr. Frank Poole
... Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
... Moon-Watcher
... Dr. Andrei Smyslov
... Elena
... Dr. Ralph Halvorsen
... Dr. Bill Michaels
... HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ... Mission Controller (voice)
... Astronaut
... Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
... Astronaut
... Poole's Father
... 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£69,567 (United Kingdom), 30 November 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,954,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$190,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) | (initial release)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early drafts included a prologue containing interviews with scientists about off-Earth life, voice-over narration (a feature in all of Stanley Kubrick's previous films), a stronger emphasis on the prevailing Cold War balance of terror, and a different and more explicitly explained break-down for H.A.L. Other changes include a different monolith for the "Dawn of Man" sequence, discarded when early prototypes did not photograph well; the use of Saturn as the final destination of the Discovery mission rather than Jupiter, discarded when the special effects team could not develop a convincing rendition of Saturn's rings; and the finale of the Star Child detonating nuclear weapons carried by Earth-orbiting satellites, which Kubrick discarded for its similarity to his previous film, Dr. Strangelove. The finale and many of the other discarded screenplay ideas survived into Clarke's novel. See more »

Goofs

When Dave is showing HAL his sketches, and HAL questions Dave for his crew psychology report: Dave's seating position and the way he holds his sketch pad is not consistent between scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
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Crazy Credits

No opening credits for actors, writers, producer, director, etc. are shown, with the story beginning right after the title. Although by the 1990s it had become quite common for major films to not have opening credits, it was still unusual in 1968. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Atmospheres
(1961)
Music by György Ligeti
Performed by Southwest German Radio Orchestra (as the Southwest German Radio Orchestra)
Conductor Ernest Bour
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unmatched accomplishment
17 June 2003 | by See 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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