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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 HAL 9000, sets off on a quest.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Popularity
452 ( 144)
Top Rated Movies #90 | 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:

Still The Ultimate Trip. [2001 re-release] 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

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,759, 20 May 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,954,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$190,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

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

The sun and the crescent moon aligned with each other (in the opening shot) was a symbol of Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian religion that predated Buddhism and Christianity and was based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra). This particular alignment symbolized the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Appropriately enough, the famous "2001: A Space Odyssey Theme" is from "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Thus Spake Zarathustra), the symphonic poem by Richard Strauss, based on a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, which contained his famous declaration "God is dead". One can assume, given Stanley Kubrick's working methods, that none of this was accidental. See more »

Goofs

Although the meeting on the moon is presented indoors, in a shirt-sleeve environment, it is still on the moon. Dr. Floyd walks around the room in full Earth gravity, rather than using the low-gravity "skip" that was adopted by the Apollo astronauts. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
See more »

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

Spoofed in The Simpsons: The Ziff Who Came to Dinner (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Lux Aeterna
(1966)
Music by György Ligeti
Performed by Stuttgart Schola Cantorum (as the Stuttgart Schola Cantorum)
Conductor Clytus Gottwald
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cosmic Art
6 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Mankind's Self awakening is the theme of "2001: A Space Odyssey", a process that unfolds along a space-time continuum. We "see" our primordial past, and we "infer" a cosmic future. The powers of intuition thus become the doors of perception, in our ongoing collective journey.

From this transcendental perspective, a conventional, egocentric plot seems superfluous. Our frenzied conflicts and self-important dialogue are consumed in evolutionary change, and are irrelevant in a cosmos that is vast beyond comprehension. It's a tough lesson for a vain and aggressive species. Not surprising then that some of us huff and puff about the film's slowness and minimal story. For perceptive viewers, the remuneration is an inspirational sense of wonder and awe.

In this film, which is mostly visual, geometric symbols guide our intuition. Circles and arcs represent nature. Right angles represent conscious intelligence. Some people think the sleek, black monolith is a Von Neumann probe. Maybe. Without doubt, the monolith is a visual metaphor for an extraterrestrial intelligence whose physical form is never shown. Mystery is more profound than explanation.

"2001 ... " is unique among films in content and scope. The cinematography is out-of-this-world, the special and visual effects are breathtaking, and the classical music is sublime. I rarely use the word "masterpiece" to describe a movie. But Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is art in the highest sense, like Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", or Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".


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