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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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616 ( 93)
Top Rated Movies #92 | 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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Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
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Astronaut
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Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
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Astronaut
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...
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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:

The Ultimate Trip. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

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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) | (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

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

On each of the monolith's first two appearances, the upward camera shot shows the sun/moon or sun/earth in line, artistically above the structure. In both cases, however, it's early morning on earth or the moon, and the sun should actually be on the horizon. See more »

Quotes

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

"Thus Spake Zarathustra" is the only musical piece in the film whose conductor and orchestra are not mentioned in the closing credits. For all other pieces, the orchestra which plays it, and the conductor who leads it, are given screen credit. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tomorrow People: Pilot (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Music by Richard Strauss
Performed by Wiener Philharmoniker (uncredited)
Conducted by Herbert von Karajan (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's a puzzlement...
17 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

There are two schools of thought about 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. One, is that it is the greatest science-fiction epic ever made. This is supported by those who claim to understand the complexities involved and leading up the Star Child ending. The others, like myself, find it as absorbing as watching paint dry on woodwork.

The musical background is glorious, the colors are dazzling, and there's an interesting use of HAL as a villainous computer. Beyond that, there is nothing the least bit interesting about the human characters (trite dialogue and no personality or warmth to any of the individuals), the pace is unbelievably slow (so the intellectually gifted can philosophize on the mysteries of space), and the payoff at the end leaves you either breathless with enlightenment or convinced that you have watched three hours of nothingness.

I had the same letdown feeling when I watched THE CLOCKWORK ORANGE, so your like or dislike of this movie is purely dependent on personal taste. Intellectuals will take the position that you are a mentally challenged clod if you dare disagree with their elevated opinion of the movie--so be aware that this is not conventional story-telling in any sense whatsoever and only for those who admire Stanley Kubrick's way with unlikely cinematic material.


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