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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  15 May 1968 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 382,280 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,679 user | 275 critic | 14 from

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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top 250 Movies #92 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Richter ...
Sean Sullivan ...
Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
Bill Weston ...
Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
Glenn Beck ...
Alan Gifford ...
Ann Gillis ...


"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


Still The Ultimate Trip. [2001 re-release] See more »


Mystery | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

15 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

Box Office


$10,500,000 (estimated)


$56,715,371 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (2001 re-release)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie has many instances of product placement for IBM. The most apparent are the computer panels in the space plane that docks with the space station, the forearm control panel on Dave's spacesuit, and the portable viewing screens on which Dave and Frank watch "The World Tonight." See more »


In the Pan Am lunar shuttle, we see the Clavius Moon Base approach through the viewing window of the pilot's cockpit in a view like an airplane approach. In the next shot, we see the exterior of the craft, and the cockpit is shown pointing straight up towards the black sky as it lands on the landing gear beneath the craft. It would be impossible for the pilots to view the Clavius approach from the cockpit if landing with reverse thrust engines. All they would see is the sky straight above, and it would be relatively still from their point of view. See more »


[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The original theatrical release had Ligeti's Atmospheres to a black screen for roughly 8 to 10 minutes before the movie began, and Strauss' The Blue Danube well after the end credits to a black screen. See more »


Also Sprach 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

film is a poetical contemplation of most exciting eternal questions
29 August 2002 | by (Vilnius, Lithuania) – See all my reviews

This movie is certainly one of the greatest films ever made. It is a story told in a steady pace, told mostly not by words but by cinematic means of expression. Perfect blend of spectacular special effects and classical music bring to life creations of human imagination in both realistic and poetical way. The story itself is quite simple at a first glance. As the title implies, there is an archetypal journey, a motive repeated for thousands of years. This motive was always used not only to depict a trip in space and time, and beyond, but also had rich philosophic meaning. The film is a poetical contemplation of most exciting eternal questions. It is not just an odyssey of a person; it is an odyssey of our species. The film is great by itself, yet, in my case, the impression from it will always be mingled with that from the book. I've read it at the age of 10, really not thinking about problems like 'what is the relationship between evolution of humankind and development of human morality'. But the impression was great enough to make me fall for entire genre of science fiction.

The day I learned '2001' got only special effects Oscar and was not even nominated for the Best Picture was the day when 'Academy Award' completely became two words meaning nothing to me.

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