AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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2001: A Space Odyssey
Alternate Title: A Space Odyssey
Director: Stanley Kubrick (Dir)
Release Date:   6 Apr 1968
Premiere Information:   Washington, D.C., opening: 2 Apr 1968; New York opening: 3 Apr 1968; Los Angeles opening: 4 Apr 1968
Production Date:   17 Jan--early Sep 1966 at MGM British Studios Ltd., Borehamwood, England
Duration (in mins):   140-141, 160 or 162
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Cast:   Keir Dullea (David Bowman)  
    Gary Lockwood (Frank Poole)  
    William Sylvester (Dr. Heywood Floyd)  
    Daniel Richter (Moonwatcher)  
    Leonard Rossiter (Smyslov)  
    Margaret Tyzack (Elena)  
    Robert Beatty (Halvorsen)  
    Sean Sullivan (Michaels)  
    Douglas Rain (Voice of Hal 9000)  
    Frank Miller (Mission controller)  
    Bill Weston    
    Edward Bishop    
    Glenn Beck    
    Alan Gifford (Poole's father)  
    Ann Gillis    
    Edwina Carroll (Stewardess)  
    Penny Brahms (Stewardess)  
    Heather Downham    
    Mike Lovell    
    John Ashley    
    Jimmy Bell    
    David Charkham    
    Simon Davis    
    Jonathan Daw    
    Peter Delmar    
    Terry Duggan    
    David Fleetwood    
    Danny Grover    
    Brian Hawley    
    David Hines    
    Tony Jackson    
    John Jordan    
    Scott Mackee    
    Laurence Marchant    
    Darryl Paes    
    Joe Refalo    
    Andy Wallace    
    Bob Wilyman    
    Richard Wood    
    Vivian Kubrick (Dr. Floyd's daughter)  

Summary: At the dawn of mankind, a colony of peaceful vegetarian apes awakens to find a glowing black monolith standing in their midst. After tentatively reaching out to touch the mysterious object, the apes become carnivores, with enough intelligence to employ bones for weapons and tools. Four million years later, in the year 2001, Dr. Heywood Floyd, an American scientist, travels to the moon to investigate a monolith that has been discovered below the lunar surface. Knowing only that the slab emits a deafening sound directed toward the planet Jupiter, the United States sends a huge spaceship, the Discovery , on a 9-month, half billion-mile journey to the distant planet. Aboard are astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole, plus three others in frozen hibernation, and a computer called Hal 9000. During the voyage, Hal predicts the failure of a component on one of the spacecraft's antennae. Bowman leaves the ship in a one-man space pod to replace the crucial part; the prediction proves incorrect, however, and when Poole ventures out to replace the original part, Hal severs his lifeline. Bowman goes to rescue him, but Hal closes the pod entry doors and terminates the life functions of the three hibernating astronauts. Forced to abandon Poole, who is already dead, Bowman reenters the Discovery through the emergency hatch and reduces Hal to manual control by performing a mechanical lobotomy on the computer's logic and memory circuits. Now alone, Bowman continues his flight until he encounters a third monolith among Jupiter's moons. Suddenly hurtled into a new dimension of time and space, he is swept into a maelstrom of swirling colors, erupting landscapes and exploding galaxies. At last coming to rest in a pale green bedroom, Bowman emerges from the nonfunctioning space capsule. A witness to the final stages of his life, the withered Bowman looks up from his deathbed at the giant black monolith standing in the center of the room. As he reaches toward it, he is perhaps reborn, perhaps evolved, perhaps transcended, into a new "child of the universe," a fetus floating above the Earth. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.  
Production Text: A Stanley Kubrick Production
Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.  
Director: Stanley Kubrick (Dir)
  Derek Cracknell (1st asst dir)
Producer: Stanley Kubrick (Prod)
  Victor Lyndon (Assoc prod)
Writer: Stanley Kubrick (Scr)
  Arthur C. Clarke (Scr)
Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth (Dir of photog)
  John Alcott (Addl photog)
  Kelvin Pike (Cam op)
Art Direction: Tony Masters (Prod des)
  Harry Lange (Prod des)
  Ernest Archer (Prod des)
  John Hoesli (Art dir)
Film Editor: Ray Lovejoy (Film ed)
  David De Wilde (Editorial asst)
Costumes: Hardy Amies (Ward)
Sound: Winston Ryder (Sd ed)
  A. W. Watkins (Sd supv)
  H. L. Bird (Sd mixer)
  J. B. Smith (Chief dubbing mixer)
Special Effects: Stanley Kubrick (Spec photog eff des and dir)
  Wally Veevers (Spec photog eff supv)
  Douglas Trumbull (Spec photog eff supv)
  Con Pederson (Spec photog eff supv)
  Tom Howard (Spec photog eff supv)
  Colin J. Cantwell (Spec photog eff unit)
  Bryan Loftus (Spec photog eff unit)
  Frederick Martin (Spec photog eff unit)
  Bruce Logan (Spec photog eff unit)
  David Osborne (Spec photog eff unit)
  John Jack Malick (Spec photog eff unit)
Make Up: Stuart Freeborn (Makeup)
Production Misc: Frederick I. Ordway III (Scientific consultant)
  Clifton Brandon (Prod supv)
  Robert Watts (Prod mgr)
Country: Great Britain and United States
Language: English

Music: "Gayaneh Ballet Suite," music by Aram Khatchaturian, performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, courtesy Deutsche Grammophon; "Atmospheres," music by György Ligeti, performed by the Southwest German Radio Orchestra, Conductor Ernest Bour; "Lux Aeterna," music by György Ligeti, performed by the Stuttgart Schola Cantorum, Conductor Clytus Gottwald; "Requiem," music by György Ligeti, performed by the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Conductor Francis Travis; "The Blue Danube," music by Johann Strauss II, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Herbert von Karajan, courtesy Deutsche Grammophon; Thus Spake Zarathustra , music by Richard Strauss, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Karl Boehm.
Songs: "Daisy Bell," music and lyrics by Henry Dacre.
Composer: Henry Dacre
  Aram Khatchaturian
  György Ligeti
  Richard Strauss
  Johann Strauss II
Source Text: Based on the short story "Sentinel of Eternity" ("The Sentinel") by Arthur C. Clarke in Ten Story Fantasy (Spring, 1951).
Authors: Arthur C. Clarke

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. 3/4/1968 dd/mm/yyyy LP36136

PCA NO: 21197
Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor; Metrocolor
  gauge: 35mm & 70mm
  Widescreen/ratio: Super Panavision; Cinerama

 
Genre: Science fiction
 
Subjects (Major): Astronauts
  Computers
  Death and dying
  Evolution
  Time travel
 
Subjects (Minor): Apes
  Cryogenics
  Jupiter (Planet)
  Moon
  Scientists
  Spaceships

Note: Following the film's title in the opening credits is a title card reading: "The Dawn of Man." Stanley Kubrick's onscreen credit reads: "This film was directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick." 2001: A Space Odyssey opened in London in May 1968 with a running time of 141 minutes. The film was presented in Cinerama for roadshow engagements. According to the 1 May 1968 Filmfacts review, after the film's initial American release in New York, Washington D.C. and Boston, Kubrick edited 19 minutes. Filmfacts also noted that Martin Balsam, who originally played the voice of "Hal 9000," was replaced by Douglas Rain.
       Kubrick won the Special Visual Effects Academy Award. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in Art Direction, Directing and Writing (Story and Screenplay). 2001: A Space Odyssey was ranked 15th on AFI's 2007 100 Years...100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving up from the 22nd position it held on AFI's 1997 list. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Cosmopolitan   Jul 1968.   
Daily Variety   3 Jun 1966.   
Daily Variety   2 Sep 1966.   
Daily Variety   3 Apr 1968   pp. 3-4.
Filmfacts   1 May 1968   pp. 95-99.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Apr 1968   p. 3.
Life   7 Jun 1968   p. 20.
Los Angeles Times   5 Apr 1968.   
Los Angeles Times   2 Jun 1968   Calendar, p. 14, 19.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   10 Apr 1968   p. 793.
New Republic   4 May 1968   p. 24.
New York Times   4 Apr 1968   p. 58.
New York Times   21 Apr 1968   p. 1, 28.
New Yorker   13 Apr 1968   pp. 150-52.
New Yorker   21 Sep 1968   pp. 180-84.
Newsweek   15 Apr 1968   p. 97.
Saturday Review   20 Apr 1968   p. 48.
Sunday Times (London)   5 May 1968.   
Time   19 Apr 1968   pp. 91-92.
Variety   3 Apr 1968   p. 6.
Vogue   Jun 1968   p. 76.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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