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The reasons for HAL's malfunction and subsequent malignant behaviour have elicited much discussion. He has been compared to Frankenstein's monster. In Clarke's novel, HAL malfunctions because of being ordered to lie to the crew of Discovery and withhold confidential information from them, namely the confidentially programmed mission priority over expendable human life, despite being constructed for "the accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment". This would not be addressed on film until the 1984 follow-up, 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that HAL, as the supposedly perfect computer, is actually the most human of the characters. In an interview with Joseph Gelmis in 1969, Kubrick said that HAL "had an acute emotional crisis because he could not accept evidence of his own fallibility".






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.

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, by composers including 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 deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.




In a prehistoric veldt, a tribe of hominins is driven away from its water hole by a rival tribe. The next day, they find an alien monolith has appeared in their midst. They then learn how to use a bone as a weapon and, after their first hunt, return to drive their rivals away with it.

Millions of years later, Dr. Heywood Floyd, Chairman of the United States National Council of Astronautics, travels to Clavius Base, an American lunar outpost. During a stopover at Space Station 5, he meets Russian scientists who are concerned that Clavius seems to be unresponsive. He refuses to discuss rumours of an epidemic at the base. At Clavius, Heywood addresses a meeting of personnel to whom he stresses the need for secrecy regarding their newest discovery. His mission is to investigate a recently found artefact, a monolith buried four million years earlier near the lunar crater Tycho. As he and others examine the object, it is struck by sunlight, upon which it emits a high-powered radio signal.

Eighteen months later, the American spacecraft Discovery One is bound for Jupiter, with mission pilots and scientists Dr. David "Dave" Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole on board, along with three other scientists in suspended animation. Most of Discovery's operations are controlled by HAL, a HAL 9000 computer with a human personality. When HAL reports the imminent failure of an antenna control device, Dave retrieves it in an extravehicular activity (EVA) pod, but finds nothing wrong. HAL suggests reinstalling the device and letting it fail so the problem can be verified. Mission Control advises the astronauts that results from their twin 9000 computer indicate that HAL has made an error, but HAL blames it on human error. Concerned about HAL's behaviour, Dave and Frank enter an EVA pod so they can talk without HAL overhearing. They agree to disconnect HAL if he is proven wrong, but HAL follows their conversation by lip reading.

While Frank is outside the ship to replace the antenna unit, HAL takes control of his pod, setting him adrift. Dave takes another pod to rescue Frank. While he is outside, HAL turns off the life support functions of the crewmen in suspended animation, killing them. When Dave returns to the ship with Frank's body, HAL refuses to let him back in, stating that their plan to deactivate him jeopardises the mission. Dave releases Frank's body and, despite not having a spacesuit helmet, exits his pod, crosses the vacuum and opens the ship's emergency airlock manually. He goes to HAL's processor core and begins disconnecting HAL's circuits, despite HAL begging him not to. When the disconnection is complete, a prerecorded video by Heywood plays, revealing that the mission's objective is to investigate the radio signal sent from the monolith to Jupiter.

At Jupiter, Dave finds a third, much larger monolith orbiting the planet. He leaves Discovery in an EVA pod to investigate. He is pulled into a vortex of coloured light and observes bizarre cosmological phenomena and strange landscapes of unusual colours as he passes by. Finally he finds himself in a large neoclassical bedroom where he sees, and then becomes, older versions of himself: first standing in the bedroom, middle-aged and still in his spacesuit, then dressed in leisure attire and eating dinner, and finally as an old man lying in bed. A monolith appears at the foot of the bed, and as Dave reaches for it, he is transformed into a foetus enclosed in a transparent orb of light floating in space above the Earth. 







Stanley Kubrick (July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and photographer. Widely considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, his films, almost all of which are adaptations of novels or short stories, cover a wide range of genres and are noted for their innovative cinematography, dark humor, realistic attention to detail and extensive set designs.

Kubrick was raised in the Bronx, New York City, and attended William Howard Taft High School from 1941 to 1945. He received average grades but displayed a keen interest in literature, photography, and film from a young age, and taught himself all aspects of film production and directing after graduating from high school. After working as a photographer for Look magazine in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he began making short films on shoestring budgets, and made his first major Hollywood film, The Killing, for United Artists in 1956. This was followed by two collaborations with Kirk Douglas: the war picture Paths of Glory (1957) and the historical epic Spartacus (1960).

Creative differences arising from his work with Douglas and the film studios, a dislike of the Hollywood industry, and a growing concern about crime in America prompted Kubrick to move to the United Kingdom in 1961, where he spent most of his remaining life and career. His home at Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, which he shared with his wife Christiane, became his workplace, where he did his writing, research, editing, and management of production details. This allowed him to have almost complete artistic control over his films, but with the rare advantage of having financial support from major Hollywood studios. His first productions in Britain were two films with Peter Sellers: Lolita (1962), an adaptation of the Vladimir Nabokov novel, and the Cold War black comedy Dr. Strangelove (1964).

A demanding perfectionist, Kubrick assumed control over most aspects of the filmmaking process, from direction and writing to editing, and took painstaking care with researching his films and staging scenes, working in close coordination with his actors, crew, and other collaborators. He often asked for several dozen retakes of the same shot in a movie, which resulted in many conflicts with his casts. Despite the resulting notoriety among actors, many of Kubrick's films broke new ground in cinematography. The scientific realism and innovative special effects of the science fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) were without precedent in the history of cinema, and the film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his generation's "big bang"; it is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.

While many of Kubrick's films were controversial and initially received mixed reviews upon release - particularly the brutal A Clockwork Orange (1971), which Kubrick pulled from circulation in the UK following a mass media frenzy—most were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards, and underwent critical reevaluations. For the 18th-century period film Barry Lyndon (1975), Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes under natural candlelight. With the horror film The Shining (1980), he became one of the first directors to make use of a Steadicam for stabilized and fluid tracking shots, a technology vital to his Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket (1987). His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death in 1999 at the age of 70. 




After completing Dr. Strangelove (1964), director Stanley Kubrick told a publicist from Columbia Pictures that his next project would be about extraterrestrial life, and resolved to make "the proverbial good science fiction movie". How Kubrick became interested in creating a science fiction film is far from clear. Biographer John Baxter notes possible inspirations in the late 1950s, including British productions featuring dramas on satellites and aliens modifying early humans, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's big budget CinemaScope production Forbidden Planet, and the slick widescreen cinematography and set design of Japanese kaiju (monster movie) productions (such as Godzilla and Warning from Space).

Kubrick obtained financing and distribution from the American studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with the selling point that the film could be marketed in their ultra widescreen Cinerama format, recently debuted with their How the West Was Won. It would be filmed and edited almost entirely in southern England, where Kubrick lived, using the facilities of MGM-British Studios and Shepperton Studios. MGM had subcontracted the production of the film to Kubrick's production company to qualify for the Eady Levy, a UK tax on box-office receipts used at the time to fund the production of films in Britain.


Chesley Bonestell, Roy Carnon, and Richard McKenna were hired to produce concept drawings, sketches, and paintings of the space technology seen in the film. Two educational films, the National Film Board of Canada's 1960 animated short documentary Universe and the 1964 New York World's Fair movie To the Moon and Beyond, were major influences.

According to biographer Vincent LoBrutto, Universe was a visual inspiration to Kubrick. The 29-minute film, which had also proved popular at NASA for its realistic portrayal of outer space, met "the standard of dynamic visionary realism that he was looking for." Wally Gentleman, one of the special-effects artists on Universe, worked briefly on 2001. Kubrick also asked Universe co-director Colin Low about animation camerawork, with Low recommending British mathematician Brian Salt, with whom Low and Roman Kroitor had previously worked on the 1957 still-animation documentary City of Gold. Universe's narrator, actor Douglas Rain, was cast as the voice of HAL.

After pre-production had begun, Kubrick saw To the Moon and Beyond, a film shown in the Transportation and Travel building at the 1964 World's Fair. It was filmed in Cinerama 360 and shown in the "Moon Dome". Kubrick hired the company that produced it, Graphic Films Corporation—which had been making films for NASA, the US Air Force, and various aerospace clients—as a design consultant. Graphic Films' Con Pederson, Lester Novros, and background artist Douglas Trumbull airmailed research-based concept sketches and notes covering the mechanics and physics of space travel, and created storyboards for the space flight sequences in 2001. Trumbull became a special effects supervisor on 2001.


Searching for a collaborator in the science fiction community for the writing of the script, Kubrick was advised by a mutual acquaintance, Columbia Pictures staffer Roger Caras, to talk to writer Arthur C. Clarke, who lived in Ceylon. Although convinced that Clarke was "a recluse, a nut who lives in a tree," Kubrick allowed Caras to cable the film proposal to Clarke. Clarke's cabled response stated that he was "frightfully interested in working with [that] enfant terrible", and added "what makes Kubrick think I'm a recluse?" Meeting for the first time at Trader Vic's in New York on 22 April 1964, the two began discussing the project that would take up the next four years of their lives. Clarke kept a diary throughout his involvement with 2001, excerpts of which were published in 1972 as The Lost Worlds of 2001.

Kubrick told Clarke he wanted to make a film about "Man's relationship to the universe", and was, in Clarke's words, "determined to create a work of art which would arouse the emotions of wonder, awe ... even, if appropriate, terror". Clarke offered Kubrick six of his short stories, and by May 1964, Kubrick had chosen "The Sentinel" as the source material for the film. In search of more material to expand the film's plot, the two spent the rest of 1964 reading books on science and anthropology, screening science fiction films, and brainstorming ideas. They created the plot for 2001 by integrating several different short story plots written by Clarke, along with new plot segments requested by Kubrick for the film development, and then combined them all into a single script for 2001. Clarke said that his 1953 story "Encounter in the Dawn" inspired the film's "Dawn of Man" sequence.

Kubrick and Clarke privately referred to the project as How the Solar System Was Won, a reference to how it was a follow-on to MGM's Cinerama epic How the West Was Won. On 23 February 1965, Kubrick issued a press release announcing the title as Journey Beyond The Stars. Other titles considered included Universe, Tunnel to the Stars, and Planetfall. Expressing his high expectations for the thematic importance which he associated with the film, in April 1965, eleven months after they began working on the project, Kubrick selected 2001: A Space Odyssey; Clarke said the title was "entirely" Kubrick's idea. Intending to set the film apart from the "monsters-and-sex" type of science-fiction films of the time, Kubrick used Homer's The Odyssey as both a model of literary merit and a source of inspiration for the title. Kubrick said, "It occurred to us that for the Greeks the vast stretches of the sea must have had the same sort of mystery and remoteness that space has for our generation."

Originally, Kubrick and Clarke had planned to develop a 2001 novel first, free of the constraints of film, and then write the screenplay. They planned the writing credits to be "Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, based on a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick" to reflect their preeminence in their respective fields. In practice, the screenplay developed in parallel with the novel, with only some elements being common to both. In a 1970 interview, Kubrick said:

There are a number of differences between the book and the movie. The novel, for example, attempts to explain things much more explicitly than the film does, which is inevitable in a verbal medium. The novel came about after we did a 130-page prose treatment of the film at the very outset. ... Arthur took all the existing material, plus an impression of some of the rushes, and wrote the novel. As a result, there's a difference between the novel and the film ... I think that the divergences between the two works are interesting.

In the end, Clarke and Kubrick wrote parts of the novel and screenplay simultaneously, with the film version being released before the book version was published. Clarke opted for clearer explanations of the mysterious monolith and Star Gate in the novel; Kubrick made the film more cryptic by minimising dialogue and explanation. Kubrick said the film is "basically a visual, nonverbal experience" that "hits the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does, or painting".

The screenplay credits were shared whereas the 2001 novel, released shortly after the film, was attributed to Clarke alone. Clarke wrote later that "the nearest approximation to the complicated truth" is that the screenplay should be credited to "Kubrick and Clarke" and the novel to "Clarke and Kubrick". Early reports about tensions involved in the writing of the film script appeared to reach a point where Kubrick was allegedly so dissatisfied with the collaboration that he approached other writers who could replace Clarke, including Michael Moorcock and J. G. Ballard. But they felt it would be disloyal to accept Kubrick's offer. In Michael Benson's 2018 book Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece, the actual relation between Clarke and Kubrick was more complex, involving an extended interaction of Kubrick's multiple requests for Clarke to write new plot lines for various segments of the film, which Clarke was expected to withhold from publication until after the release of the film while receiving advances on his salary from Kubrick during film production. Clarke agreed to this, though apparently he did make several requests for Kubrick to allow him to develop his new plot lines into separate publishable stories while film production continued, which Kubrick consistently denied on the basis of Clarke's contractual obligation to withhold publication until release of the film.

Astronomer Carl Sagan wrote in his 1973 book The Cosmic Connection that Clarke and Kubrick had asked him how to best depict extraterrestrial intelligence. While acknowledging Kubrick's desire to use actors to portray humanoid aliens for convenience's sake, Sagan argued that alien life forms were unlikely to bear any resemblance to terrestrial life, and that to do so would introduce "at least an element of falseness" to the film. Sagan proposed that the film should simply suggest extraterrestrial superintelligence, rather than depict it. He attended the premiere and was "pleased to see that I had been of some help." Sagan had met with Clarke and Kubrick only once, in 1964; and Kubrick subsequently directed several attempts to portray credible aliens, only to abandon the idea near the end of post-production. Benson asserts it is unlikely that Sagan's advice had any direct influence. Kubrick hinted at the nature of the mysterious unseen alien race in 2001 by suggesting that given millions of years of evolution, they progressed from biological beings to "immortal machine entities" and then into "beings of pure energy and spirit" with "limitless capabilities and ungraspable intelligence".

In a 1980 interview (not released during Kubrick's lifetime), Kubrick explains one of the film's closing scenes, where Bowman is depicted in old age after his journey through the Star Gate:

The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by godlike entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. ... [W]hen they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth, transformed and made some kind of superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.

The script went through many stages. In early 1965, when backing was secured for the film, Clarke and Kubrick still had no firm idea of what would happen to Bowman after the Star Gate sequence. Initially all of Discovery's astronauts were to survive the journey; by 3 October, Clarke and Kubrick had decided to make Bowman the sole survivor and have him regress to infancy. By 17 October, Kubrick had come up with what Clarke called a "wild idea of slightly fag robots who create a Victorian environment to put our heroes at their ease." HAL 9000 was originally named Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom and had a feminine voice and persona.

Early drafts included a prologue containing interviews with scientists about extraterrestrial life, voice-over narration (a feature in all of Kubrick's previous films),[a] a stronger emphasis on the prevailing Cold War balance of terror, and a different and more explicitly explained breakdown for HAL. Other changes include a different monolith for the "Dawn of Man" sequence, discarded when early prototypes did not photograph well; the use of Saturn as the final destination of the Discovery mission rather than Jupiter, discarded when the special effects team could not develop a convincing rendition of Saturn's rings; and the finale of the Star Child exploding nuclear weapons carried by Earth-orbiting satellites, which Kubrick discarded for its similarity to his previous film, Dr. Strangelove. The finale and many of the other discarded screenplay ideas survived in Clarke's novel.

Kubrick made further changes to make the film more nonverbal, to communicate on a visual and visceral level rather than through conventional narrative. By the time shooting began, Kubrick had removed much of the dialogue and narration. Long periods without dialogue permeate the film: the film has no dialogue for roughly the first and last twenty minutes, as well as for the 10 minutes from Floyd's Moonbus landing near the monolith until Poole watches a BBC newscast on Discovery. What dialogue remains is notable for its banality (making the computer HAL seem to have more emotion than the humans) when juxtaposed with the epic space scenes. Vincent LoBrutto wrote that Clarke's novel has its own "strong narrative structure" and precision, while the narrative of the film remains symbolic, in accord with Kubrick's final intentions.


Principal photography began on 29 December 1965, in Stage H at Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, England. The studio was chosen because it could house the 60-by-120-by-60-foot (18 m × 37 m × 18 m) pit for the Tycho crater excavation scene, the first to be shot. In January 1966, the production moved to the smaller MGM-British Studios in Borehamwood, where the live-action and special-effects filming was done, starting with the scenes involving Floyd on the Orion spaceplane; it was described as a "huge throbbing nerve center ... with much the same frenetic atmosphere as a Cape Kennedy blockhouse during the final stages of Countdown." The only scene not filmed in a studio—and the last live-action scene shot for the film—was the skull-smashing sequence, in which Moonwatcher (Richter) wields his newfound bone "weapon-tool" against a pile of nearby animal bones. A small elevated platform was built in a field near the studio so that the camera could shoot upward with the sky as background, avoiding cars and trucks passing by in the distance. The Dawn of Man sequence that opens the film was filmed at Borehamwood by John Alcott after Geoffrey Unsworth left to work on other projects. The still photographs in the background for the Dawn of Man sequence were photographed in Namibia.

Filming of actors was completed in September 1967, and from June 1966 until March 1968, Kubrick spent most of his time working on the 205 special-effects shots in the film. He ordered the special-effects technicians to use the painstaking process of creating all visual effects seen in the film "in camera", avoiding degraded picture quality from the use of blue screen and travelling matte techniques. Although this technique, known as "held takes", resulted in a much better image, it meant exposed film would be stored for long periods of time between shots, sometimes as long as a year. In March 1968, Kubrick finished the "pre-premiere" editing of the film, making his final cuts just days before the film's general release in April 1968.

The film was announced in 1965 as a "Cinerama" film and was photographed in Super Panavision 70 (which uses a 65 mm negative combined with spherical lenses to create an aspect ratio of 2.20:1). It would eventually be released in a limited "roadshow" Cinerama version, then in 70 mm and 35 mm versions. Colour processing and 35 mm release prints were done using Technicolor's dye transfer process. The 70 mm prints were made by MGM Laboratories, Inc. on Metrocolor. The production was $4.5 million over the initial $6 million budget and 16 months behind schedule.

For the opening sequence involving tribes of apes, professional mime Daniel Richter played the lead ape and choreographed the movements of the other man-apes, who were mostly portrayed by his mime troupe.

Kubrick and Clarke consulted IBM on plans for HAL, though plans to use the company's logo never materialized.







Sir Arthur Charles Clarke CBE FRAS (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was an English science-fiction writer, science writer, futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.

He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely regarded as one of the most influential films of all time. Clarke was a science fiction writer, an avid populariser of space travel, and a futurist of a distinguished ability. He wrote many books and many essays for popular magazines. In 1961, he received the Kalinga Prize, a UNESCO award for popularising science. Clarke's science and science-fiction writings earned him the moniker "Prophet of the Space Age". His science-fiction writings in particular earned him a number of Hugo and Nebula awards, which along with a large readership, made him one of the towering figures of the genre. For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.

Clarke was a lifelong proponent of space travel. In 1934, while still a teenager, he joined the BIS, British Interplanetary Society. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system using geostationary orbits. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946 to 1947 and again in 1951–1953.

Clarke immigrated to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1956, to pursue his interest in scuba diving. That year, he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient original Koneswaram Temple in Trincomalee. Clarke augmented his popularity in the 1980s, as the host of television shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death.

Clarke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1989 "for services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka". He was knighted in 1998 and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.




In its first nine weeks from 22 locations, it grossed $2 million in the United States and Canada. The film earned $8.5 million in theatrical gross rentals from roadshow engagements throughout 1968, contributing to North American rentals of $16.4 million and worldwide rentals of $21.9 million during its original release. The film's high costs, in excess of $10 million, meant that the initial returns from the 1968 release left it $800,000 in the red; but the successful re-release in 1971 made it profitable. By June 1974, the film had rentals from the United States and Canada of $20.3 million (gross of $58 million) and international rentals of $7.5 million. The film had a reissue on a test basis on 24 July 1974 at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles and grossed $53,000 in its first week, which led to an expanded reissue. Further re-releases followed, giving a cumulative gross of over $60 million in the United States and Canada. Taking its re-releases into account, it is the highest-grossing film of 1968 in the United States and Canada. Worldwide, it has grossed $146 million across all releases, although some estimates place the gross higher, at over $190 million.

Upon release, 2001 polarised critical opinion, receiving both praise and derision, with many New York-based critics being especially harsh. Kubrick called them "dogmatically atheistic and materialistic and earthbound". Some critics viewed the original 161-minute cut shown at premieres in Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. Keir Dullea says that during the New York premiere, 250 people walked out; in L.A., Rock Hudson not only left early but "was heard to mutter, 'What is this bullshit?'" "But a few months into the release, they realised a lot of people were watching it while smoking funny cigarettes. Someone in San Francisco even ran right through the screen screaming: 'It's God!' So they came up with a new poster that said: '2001 – the ultimate trip!'"

In The New Yorker, Penelope Gilliatt said it was "some kind of great film, and an unforgettable endeavor ... The film is hypnotically entertaining, and it is funny without once being gaggy, but it is also rather harrowing." Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times wrote that it was "the picture that science fiction fans of every age and in every corner of the world have prayed (sometimes forlornly) that the industry might some day give them. It is an ultimate statement of the science fiction film, an awesome realization of the spatial future ... it is a milestone, a landmark for a spacemark, in the art of film." Louise Sweeney of The Christian Science Monitor felt that 2001 was "a brilliant intergalactic satire on modern technology. It's also a dazzling 160-minute tour on the Kubrick filmship through the universe out there beyond our earth." Philip French wrote that the film was "perhaps the first multi-million-dollar supercolossal movie since D.W. Griffith's Intolerance fifty years ago which can be regarded as the work of one man ... Space Odyssey is important as the high-water mark of science-fiction movie making, or at least of the genre's futuristic branch." The Boston Globe's review called it "the world's most extraordinary film. Nothing like it has ever been shown in Boston before or, for that matter, anywhere ... The film is as exciting as the discovery of a new dimension in life." Roger Ebert gave the film four stars in his original review, saying the film "succeeds magnificently on a cosmic scale." He later put it on his Top 10 list for Sight & Sound. Time provided at least seven different mini-reviews of the film in various issues in 1968, each one slightly more positive than the preceding one; in the final review dated 27 December 1968, the magazine called 2001 "an epic film about the history and future of mankind, brilliantly directed by Stanley Kubrick. The special effects are mindblowing."

Others were unimpressed. Pauline Kael called it "a monumentally unimaginative movie." Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic described it as "a film that is so dull, it even dulls our interest in the technical ingenuity for the sake of which Kubrick has allowed it to become dull." The Soviet film director Andrei Tarkovsky found the film to be an inadequate addition to the science fiction genre of filmmaking. Renata Adler of The New York Times wrote that it was "somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring." Variety's Robert B. Frederick ('Robe') believed the film was a "[b]ig, beautiful, but plodding sci-fi epic ... A major achievement in cinematography and special effects, 2001 lacks dramatic appeal to a large degree and only conveys suspense after the halfway mark." Andrew Sarris called it "one of the grimmest films I have ever seen in my life ... 2001 is a disaster because it is much too abstract to make its abstract points." (Sarris reversed his opinion upon a second viewing, and declared, "2001 is indeed a major work by a major artist.") John Simon felt it was "a regrettable failure, although not a total one. This film is fascinating when it concentrates on apes or machines ... and dreadful when it deals with the in-betweens: humans ... 2001, for all its lively visual and mechanical spectacle, is a kind of space-Spartacus and, more pretentious still, a shaggy God story." Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. deemed the film "morally pretentious, intellectually obscure and inordinately long ... a film out of control". In a 2001 review, the BBC said that its slow pacing often alienates modern audiences more than it did upon its initial release.

2001: A Space Odyssey is now considered one of the major artistic works of the 20th century, with many critics and filmmakers considering it Kubrick's masterpiece. Director Martin Scorsese has listed it as one of his favourite films of all time. In the 1980s,[ critic David Denby compared Kubrick to the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, calling him "a force of supernatural intelligence, appearing at great intervals amid high-pitched shrieks, who gives the world a violent kick up the next rung of the evolutionary ladder". By the start of the 21st century, 2001: A Space Odyssey had become recognised as among the best films ever made by such sources as the British Film Institute (BFI). The Village Voice ranked the film at number 11 in its Top 250 "Best Films of the Century" list in 1999, based on a poll of critics. In January 2002, the film was voted no. 1 on the list of the "Top 100 Essential Films of All Time" by the National Society of Film Critics. Sight & Sound magazine ranked the film 12th in its greatest films of all-time list in 1982, tenth in 1992 critics poll of greatest films, sixth in the top ten films of all time in its 2002 and 2012 critics' polls. editions; it also tied for second place in the magazine's 2012 directors' poll. The film was voted no. 43 on the list of "100 Greatest Films" by the prominent French magazine Cahiers du cinéma in 2008. In 2010, The Guardian named it "the best sci-fi and fantasy film of all time". The film ranked 4th in BBC's 2015 list of the 100 greatest American films.

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a "Certified Fresh" rating of 92% based on 115 reviews, with an average rating of 9.30/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "One of the most influential of all sci-fi films – and one of the most controversial – Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity – and folly – of mankind." Review aggregation website Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, has assigned the film a score of 84 out of 100, based on 25 critic reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".


The film won the Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation, as voted by science fiction fans and published science-fiction writers. Ray Bradbury praised the film's photography, but disliked the banality of most of the dialogue, and believed that the audience does not care when Poole dies. Both he and Lester del Rey disliked the film's feeling of sterility and blandness in the human encounters amidst the technological wonders, while both praised the pictorial element of the film. Reporting that "half the audience had left by intermission", Del Rey described the film as dull, confusing, and boring ("the first of the New Wave-Thing movies, with the usual empty symbols"), predicting "[i]t will probably be a box-office disaster, too, and thus set major science-fiction movie making back another ten years". Samuel R. Delany was impressed by how the film undercuts the audience's normal sense of space and orientation in several ways. Like Bradbury, Delany noticed the banality of the dialogue (he stated that characters say nothing meaningful), but regarded this as a dramatic strength, a prelude to the rebirth at the conclusion of the film. Without analysing the film in detail, Isaac Asimov spoke well of it in his autobiography and other essays. James P. Hogan liked the film but complained that the ending did not make any sense to him, leading to a bet about whether he could write something better: "I stole Arthur's plot idea shamelessly and produced Inherit the Stars."

In 1969, a United States Department of State committee chose 2001 as the American entry at the 6th Moscow International Film Festival.

2001 was ranked 15th on the American Film Institute's 2007 100 Years ... 100 Movies (22 in 1998), was no. 40 on its 100 Years, 100 Thrills, was included on its 100 Years, 100 Quotes (no. 78 "Open the pod bay doors, HAL."), and HAL 9000 was the no. 13 villain in 100 Years ... 100 Heroes and Villains. The film was also no. 47 on AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Cheers and the no. 1 science fiction film on AFI's 10 Top 10. 2001 was the only science fiction film to make Sight & Sound's 2012 list of the ten best films, and tops the Online Film Critics Society list of greatest science fiction films of all time. In 2012, the Motion Picture Editors Guild listed the film as the 19th best-edited film of all time based on a survey of its membership. Other lists that include the film are 50 Films to See Before You Die (#6), The Village Voice 100 Best Films of the 20th century (#11), the Sight & Sound 2002 and 2012 Top Ten poll (#6), and Roger Ebert's Top Ten (1968) (#2). In 1995, the Vatican named it one of the 45 best films ever made (and included it in a sub-list of the "Top Ten Art Movies" of all time.) In 1998, Time Out conducted a reader's poll and 2001: A Space Odyssey was voted as #9 on the list of "greatest films of all time". Entertainment Weekly voted it no. 26 on their list of 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. In 2017, Empire magazine's readers' poll ranked the film 21st on its list of "The 100 Greatest Movies". In the Sight & Sound poll of 480 directors published in December 2022, 2001: A Space Odyssey was voted as the Greatest Film of All Time, ahead of Citizen Kane and The Godfather.





2001: A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C Clarke

Ben Hur (Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins) 1959

Fools Gold (Matthew McConaughy, Kate Hudson) 2008

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989

Jungle Cruise, (Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson) 2021

Jurassic World Dominion, (Chris Pratt) 2022

La Amistad (Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey) 1997

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider, Pandora's Box 2001

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider, Cradle of Life 2003

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider, Himiko 2018

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975

Oblivion (Tom Cruise, Andria Riseborough) 2013

Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall) 1968

Sixth Day (Arnold Schwarzenegger) 2000

The Count of Monte Cristo (Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce) 2002

The da Vinci Code (Tom Hanks) 2006

The Fly - (Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis) 1986

The Golden Compass (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards) 2007

The Greatest Story Ever Told (Charlton Heston) 1965

The Medicine Man (Sean Connery, Lorraine Bracco) 1992

The Pope's Exorcist (Russell Crowe, Julius Avery) 2023

The Ten Commandments (Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner) 1956 Cecile B DeMille

Total Recall - (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone) 1990

Uncharted (Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg) 2022





The 'Hall 9000' supercomputer in Space Odyssey, is where the AI computer onboard the Elizabeth Swann gets it's name. A joke on the part of Professor Douglas Storm. Not lost on Dan Hawk and George Franks.











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