2001: A Space Odyssey

1968 film directed by Stanley Kubrick / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke's 1951 short story "The Sentinel" and other short stories by Clarke. Clarke also published a novelisation of the film, in part written concurrently with the screenplay, after the film's release. The film stars Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and Douglas Rain and follows a voyage by astronauts, scientists, and the sentient supercomputer HAL to Jupiter to investigate an alien monolith.

Quick facts: 2001 A Space Odyssey, Directed by, Screenpla...
2001: A Space Odyssey
A painted image of a space station suspended in space, in the background the Earth is visible. Above the image appears "An epic drama of adventure and exploration" in blue block letters against a white background. Below the image in a black band, the title "2001: a space odyssey" appears in yellow block letters.
Theatrical release poster by Robert McCall
Directed byStanley Kubrick
Screenplay by
Produced byStanley Kubrick
CinematographyGeoffrey Unsworth
Edited byRay Lovejoy
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • 2 April 1968 (1968-04-02) (Uptown Theater)[1]
  • 3 April 1968 (1968-04-03) (United States)[1]
  • 1 May 1968 (1968-05-01) (United Kingdom)[1]
Running time
139 minutes[2]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$10.5 million
Box office$146 million

The film is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. Kubrick avoided conventional cinematic and narrative techniques; dialogue is used sparingly, and there are long sequences accompanied only by music. The soundtrack incorporates numerous works of classical music, including pieces by composers such as Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Aram Khachaturian, and György Ligeti.

The film received diverse critical responses, ranging from those who saw it as darkly apocalyptic to those who saw it as an optimistic reappraisal of the hopes of humanity. Critics noted its exploration of themes such as human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Kubrick the award for his direction of the visual effects. The film is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 2022, 2001: A Space Odyssey placed in the top ten of Sight & Sound's decennial critics' poll, and topped their directors' poll. A sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, was released in 1984, based on the novel 2010: Odyssey Two.

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