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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer HAL 9000.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Arthur C. Clarke (screenplay)
Popularity
568 ( 82)

Director's Trademarks: A Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Films

2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut are just the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's legacy. Are you up to speed on the film icon's style?

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Top Rated Movies #86 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keir Dullea ... Dr. Dave Bowman
Gary Lockwood ... Dr. Frank Poole
William Sylvester ... Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Daniel Richter ... Moon-Watcher
Leonard Rossiter ... Dr. Andrei Smyslov
Margaret Tyzack ... Elena
Robert Beatty ... Dr. Ralph Halvorsen
Sean Sullivan ... Dr. Bill Michaels
Douglas Rain ... HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller Frank Miller ... Mission Controller (voice)
Bill Weston ... Astronaut
Ed Bishop ... Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
Glenn Beck ... Astronaut
Alan Gifford ... Poole's Father
Ann Gillis ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Journey Beyond the Stars See more »

Filming Locations:

Spitzkoppe, Erongo, Namibia See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) | (initial release)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took Stanley Kubrick and his crew months to figure out how to make the pen float during the trip to the Moon. They couldn't come up with a wire fine enough not to show up on film. Finally they taped the pen to a glass plate held in front of the camera. If you look closely, when the stewardess plucks it out of the air, you can actually see her pulling it off the plate. See more »

Goofs

The quadrupeds shown coexisting peacefully with the apes in the early scenes are tapirs, Tapirus bairdii. They live in tropical forests in Central America and northwest South America. You'd never see them in Africa (outside of a zoo), nor in the very dry habitat shown in the film. But tapirs that are accustomed to humans can be quite docile (though obstinate), and they look exotic to most viewers, so they were a reasonable choice for the film. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The film originally premiered at 160 minutes. After the premiere, director Stanley Kubrick removed about 19 minutes' worth of scenes and made a few changes:
  • Some shots from the "Dawn of Man" sequence were removed and a new scene was inserted where an ape pauses with the bone it is about to use as a tool. The new scene was a low-angle shot of the monolith, done in order to portray and clarify the connection between the man-ape using the tool and the monolith.
  • Some shots of Frank Poole jogging in the centrifuge were removed.
  • An entire sequence of several shots in which Dave Bowman searches for the replacement antenna part in storage was removed.
  • A scene where HAL severs radio communication between the "Discovery" and Poole's pod before killing him was removed. This scene explains a line that stayed in the film in which Bowman addresses HAL on the subject.
  • Some shots of Poole's space walk before he is killed were removed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Duel of the Iron Fist (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Requiem
(1963)
("Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Two Mixed Choirs, and Orchestra")
Music by György Ligeti
Performed by Bavarian Radio Orchestra (as the Bavarian Radio Orchestra)
Conductor Francis Travis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A film of monolithic proportions.
5 January 2005 | by ManthorpeSee all my reviews

A review I have put off for far too long....

Bluntly, 2001 is one of the best science-fiction films made to date, if not the very best. Stanley Kubrick was a genius of a film maker and this is one of his very best works. And although it is misunderstood by many, and respectively underrated, it is considered one of the best films of all time and I'll have to agree. Back in 1968, no one had done anything like this before, and no one has since. It was a marvel of a special effects breakthrough back then, and seeing how the effects hold up today, it is no wonder as to why. The film still looks marvelous after almost forty years! Take note CGI people. Through the use of large miniatures and realistic lighting, Kubrick created some of the best special effects ever put on celluloid. This aspect alone almost single-handedly created the chilling void of the space atmosphere which is also attributed to the music and realistic sound effects. I can't think of another film where you can't here anything in space, like it is in reality. Not only is the absence of sound effects in space realistic, it is used cleverly as a tool to establish mood, and it works flawlessly.

Aside from the magnificent display of ingenious special effects, there are other factors that play a part in establishing the feel of the film. The music played, all classical, compliment what the eyes are seeing and make you feel the significance of man's journey through his evolution from ape to space traveler.

The story, while seemingly simple, is profound. Sequentially, several mysterious black monoliths are discovered and basically trigger certain events integral to the film. What are they? Where did they come from? What do they do? These are all questions one asks oneself while watching the story develop and is asked to find his own way. While most come away with a general idea of what took place in the story, each individual will have to decide what it means to them. Any way one decides to answer these question results in profound solutions. It's not left entirely up to interpretation, but in some aspects it is. Experience it for more clarification. The end result is quite chilling, no matter your personal solution.

While it is a long film, and sometimes slows down, it has to be in order to accurately portray the journey of man. It's not a subject that would have faired well in a shorter film, faster paced feature. Those with short attention spans need not apply.

Last but not least, is the epitome of a remorseless antagonist, HAL 9000, the computer. Never has a machine held such a chilling screen presence. Which reminds me, for a film with such profound ambition and execution, there is surprisingly little dialogue. Another sign of Kubrick's genius.

All in all, one of the best films made to date and one of the very best science fiction films made. A personal favorite. Everyone must see this film at least once.

Very highly recommended.


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