2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

4.6 57
Director: Stanley Kubrick

Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester


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A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay is structured in four movements. At the "Dawn of Man," a group of hominids encounters a mysterious black monolithSee more details below

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A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay is structured in four movements. At the "Dawn of Man," a group of hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith alien to their surroundings. To the strains of Strauss's 1896 "Also sprach Zarathustra," a hominid invents the first weapon, using a bone to kill prey. As the hominid tosses the bone in the air, Kubrick cuts to a 21st century spacecraft hovering over the Earth, skipping ahead millions of years in technological development. U.S. scientist Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) travels to the moon to check out the discovery of a strange object on the moon's surface: a black monolith. As the sun's rays strike the stone, however, it emits a piercing, deafening sound that fills the investigators' headphones and stops them in their path. Cutting ahead 18 months, impassive astronauts David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) head toward Jupiter on the spaceship Discovery, their only company three hibernating astronauts and the vocal, man-made HAL 9000 computer running the entire ship. When the all-too-human HAL malfunctions, however, he tries to murder the astronauts to cover his error, forcing Bowman to defend himself the only way he can. Free of HAL, and finally informed of the voyage's purpose by a recording from Floyd, Bowman journeys to "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite," through the psychedelic slit-scan star-gate to an 18th century room, and the completion of the monolith's evolutionary mission. With assistance from special-effects expert Douglas Trumbull, Kubrick spent over two years meticulously creating the most "realistic" depictions of outer space ever seen, greatly advancing cinematic technology for a story expressing grave doubts about technology itself. Despite some initial critical reservations that it was too long and too dull, 2001 became one of the most popular films of 1968, underlining the generation gap between young moviegoers who wanted to see something new and challenging and oldsters who "didn't get it." Provocatively billed as "the ultimate trip," 2001 quickly caught on with a counterculture youth audience open to a contemplative (i.e. chemically enhanced) viewing experience of a film suggesting that the way to enlightenment was to free one's mind of the U.S. military-industrial-technological complex.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Frank Lovece
Dubbed the "ultimate trip" in its day, Stanley Kubrick's influential masterpiece remains true to both senses of the phrase. A controlled kaleidoscope of images and ideas, 2001: A Space Odyssey is both a space-travel adventure and, with its explosive climactic sequence, a hallucinogenic voyage of the mind. Based on the Arthur C. Clarke story "The Sentinel," 2001 initially bewildered many viewers with its lengthy, wordless opening sequence involving prehistoric protohumans and a mysterious black monolith. Jumping four million years into the future, two robotic astronauts (Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood) and a supercomputer named HAL, who seems more human than they are, head to Jupiter aboard the space-ship Discovery. This doomed mission produces such iconic scenes as the homicidal HAL's attack on the astronauts and the legendarily enigmatic "star child" birth set to Richard Strauss's "Thus Spake Zarathustra." 2001's unconventional approach to narrative thrilled adventurous '60s audiences, and fans still ponder the questions this landmark science-fiction film raises. Is the monolith God or the work of aliens? Only God and the late Stanley Kubrick know for sure.
Barnes & Noble
This limited-edition collector's classic box set of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey includes the restored digital transfer on DVD, the original soundtrack on CD, a 16-page behind-the-scenes booklet, a 70mm film frame matted and suitable for framing, and a free poster offer.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Stanley Kubrick rewrote the book on what a mainstream, major-studio motion picture could look, sound, and feel like with this groundbreaking work. At a time when science fiction onscreen meant bug-eyed monsters menacing scantily clad women, 2001: A Space Odyssey was a visually dazzling and intellectually challenging experience. Kubrick abandoned narrative convention to tell four tangentially related stories about man's destiny, reflected in the conquest of space. Kubrick also insisted that a story set in outer space should look like it was taking place in outer space, and his special effects team (headed by Douglas Trumbull) created some of the most stunning visual effects to appear onscreen before or since. Unlike the effects-laden films that followed in the wake of Star Wars, the imagery in 2001 doesn't slow the story but helps move it along, and it creates a genuine sense of wonder about the beautiful, dangerous vastness of space. Kubrick's embrace of avant-garde music and abstract visual textures brought experimental art to an audience that had no exposure to the works of such '60s avant-garde filmmakers as Stan Brakhage or Jordan Belson, and the film's resulting "trippy" atmosphere greatly increased its popularity (and revenue) as a late '60s drug movie. Still as richly thought-provoking as ever, 2001: A Space Odyssey remains a watershed work in '60s cinema and lives up to its billing as "the ultimate trip."

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood ; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Keir Dullea Bowman
Gary Lockwood Poole
William Sylvester Dr. Heywood Floyd
Daniel Richter Moonwatcher, the Man-Ape
Douglas Rain HAL 9000
Leonard Rossiter Smyslov
Margaret Tyzack Elena
Robert Beatty Halvorsen
Sean Sullivan Michaels
John Ashley Astronaut
Glenn Beck Actor
Simon Davis Actor
Ann Gillis Actor
David Hines Ape
John Jordan Actor
Vivian Kubrick Floyd's Daughter
Bill Weston Actor
Terry Duggan Actor
Frank Miller Mission Controller
Ed Bishop Lunar shuttle captain
Alan Gifford Poole's Father
Edwina Carroll Stewardess
Penny Brahms Stewardess
Tony Jackson Actor

Technical Credits
Stanley Kubrick Director,Producer,Screenwriter,Special Effects
Hardy Amies Costumes/Costume Designer
Ernest Archer Production Designer
Arthur C. Clarke Screenwriter
Derek Cracknell Asst. Director
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
John Hoesli Art Director
Tom Howard Special Effects
Harry Lange Production Designer
Bryan Loftus Special Effects
Bruce Logan Special Effects
Ray Lovejoy Editor
Victor Lyndon Producer
Tony Masters Production Designer
Alex North Score Composer
David D. Osborn Special Effects
Douglas Trumbull Special Effects
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer
Wally Veevers Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 2001: A Space Odyssey
1. Overture [2:55]
2. Main Title [1:40]
3. The Dawn of Man [7:01]
4. Apparition and Revelation [5:17]
5. The Fittest [2:54]
6. To the Moon [5:35]
7. Voice Print Identification [2:08]
8. Squirt [1:51]
9. Great Big Mystery [4:16]
10. 10 off to Clavius [7:21]
11. Purpose of the Visit [4:28]
12. Deliberately Buried [5:16]
13. The Monolith [3:47]
14. Jupiter Mission [3:51]
15. The World Tonight [5:22]
16. Frank's Parents [2:09]
17. Sketches and Suspicions [6:05]
18. Removing the AE35 [6:40]
19. Human Error? [:17]
20. Bad Feeling [3:52]
21. Intermission [4:00]
22. Entr'Acte [:48]
23. Cut Adrift [2:16]
24. Rescue Mission [2:43]
25. Terminated [5:44]
26. Open the Pod Bay Doors [2:11]
27. Emergency Airlock [4:48]
28. My Mind Is Going [4:05]
29. Prerecorded Briefing [5:37]
30. Jupiter... [1:46]
31. ... And Beyond the Infinite [4:21]
32. Future Selves [10:04]
33. Star Child [6:23]
34. End Credits and Exit Music [2:35]

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