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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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(screenplay), (screenplay)
Popularity
625 ( 29)
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:
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Daniel Richter ...
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Sean Sullivan ...
Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
Bill Weston ...
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Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
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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:

An epic drama of adventure and exploration See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£69,567 (UK) (30 November 2014)

Gross:

$56,954,992 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) | (initial release) | (Canada VHS French Version)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (2001 re-release)

Color:

(Technicolor)| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end music credits do not list a conductor and orchestra for "Also Sprach Zarathustra." Stanley Kubrick wanted the Herbert von Karajan / Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic) version on British Decca for the film's soundtrack, but Decca executives did not want the company's recording supposedly cheapened by association with the movie, and so it gave permission on the condition that the conductor and orchestra were not named. After the movie's successful release, Decca tried to rectify its blunder by re-releasing the recording with an "As-Heard-in-'2001'" flag printed on the album cover. John Culshaw recounts the incident in the book "Putting the Record Straight" (1981). In Decca's haste to rush the re-release the recording, the album was issued with a disfiguring pitch waver at the end of each side. In the meantime, MGM released the official soundtrack album with Karl Böhm's Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin Philharmonic) "Also Sprach Zarathustra" discreetly substituting for von Karajan's version. The always publicity-minded von Karajan, by then permanent conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, was furious with Decca. Rhino/Atlantic Records' current CD release of the soundtrack purports to restore the von Karajan recording to its proper place. 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

The original theatrical release had Ligeti's Atmospheres to a black screen for roughly 8 to 10 minutes before the movie began, and Strauss' The Blue Danube well after the end credits to a black screen. See more »


Soundtracks

Daisy Bell (A Bicycle Built for Two)
(1893) (uncredited)
Composed by Harry Dacre
Sung by Douglas Rain
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
My god, it's full of stars
20 April 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

For all those bewildered by the length and pace of this film ("like, why does he show spaceships docking for, like, 15 minutes?"), here's a word you might want to think about:

Beauty.

Beauty is an under-rated concept. Sure, you'll often see nice photography and so on in films. But when did you last see a film that contains beauty purely for the sake of it? There is a weird belief among cinemagoers that anything which is not plot or character related must be removed. This is depressing hogwash. There is nothing wrong with creating a beautiful sequence that has nothing to do with the film's plot. A director can show 15 minutes of spaceships for no reason than that they are beautiful, and it is neither illegal nor evil to do so.

'2001' requires you to watch in a different way than you normally watch films. It requires you to relax. It requires you to experience strange and beautiful images without feeling guilty that there is no complex plot or detailed characterization. Don't get me wrong, plots and characters are good, but they're not the be-all and end-all of everything. There are different KINDS of film, and to enjoy '2001' you must tune your brain to a different wavelength and succumb to the pleasure of beauty, PURE beauty, unfettered by the banal conventions of everyday films.

"All art is quite useless" - Oscar Wilde.


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