2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G   |    |  Adventure, Sci-Fi


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Poster

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.

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  • Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • "2001: A Space Odyssey" Stanley Kubrick and cast 1968 MGM
  • Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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User Reviews


6 February 2005 | Lechuguilla
10
| Cosmic Art
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The HAL 9000 computer was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2003 (inaugural class).


Quotes

Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.


Goofs

When HAL kills the three hibernating astronauts a display stating "COMPUTER MALFUNCTION" appears. Given the absolute confidence in the computer it seems odd that the provision of such a display would be necessary on the ship.


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.


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.


Soundtracks

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

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Sci-Fi

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