2001: A Space Odyssey

Synopsis: An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship's computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time.
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
149 min



3,000,000 YEARS AGO




The remorseless drought had lasted now for ten million years,

and would not end for another million. The reign of the ter-

rible lizards had long since passed, but here on the continent

which would one day be known as Africa, the battle for survival

had reached a new climax of ferocity, and the victor was not

yet in sight. In this dry and barren land, only the small or

the swift or the fierce could flourish, or even hope to exist.

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The man-apes of the field had none of these attributes, and

they were on the long, pathetic road to racial extinction.

About twenty of them occupied a group of caves overlooking

a small, parched valley, divided by a sluggish, brown stream.

The tribe had always been hungry, and now it was starving.

As the first dim glow of dawn creeps into the cave, Moonwatcher

discovers that his father has died during the night. He did not know

the Old One was his father, for such a relationship was beyond

his understanding. but as he stands looking down at the emac-

iated body he feels something, something akin to sadness. Then

he carries his dead father out of the cave, and leaves him for the


Among his kind, Moonwatcher is almost a giant. He is nearly

five feet high, and though badly undernourished, weighs over

a hundred pounds. His hairy, muscular body is quite man-like,

and his head is already nearer man than ape. The forehead is

low, and there are great ridges over the eye-sockets, yet he

unmistakably holds in his genes the promise of humanity. As

he looks out now upon the hostile world, there is already

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something in his gaze beyond the grasp of any ape. In those

dark, deep-set eyes is a dawning awareness-the first intima-

tions of an intelligence which would not fulfill itself for another

two million years.

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As the dawn sky brightens, Moonwatcher and his tribe reach

the shallow stream.

The Others are already there. They were there on the other

side every day - that did not make it any less annoying.

There are eighteen of them, and it is impossible to distinguish

them from the members of Moonwatcher's own tribe. As

they see him coming, the Others begin to angrily dance and

shriek on their side of the stream, and his own people reply

In kind.

The confrontation lasts a few minutes - then the display dies

out as quickly as it has begun, and everyone drinks his fill of

the muddy water. Honor has been satisfied - each group has

staked its claim to its own territory.

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Moonwatcher and his companions search for berries, fruit

and leaves, and fight off pangs of hunger, while all around

them, competing with them for the samr fodder, is a potential

source of more food than they could ever hope to eat. Yet

all the thousands of tons of meat roaming over the parched

savanna and through the brush is not only beyond their reach;

the idea of eating it is beyond their imagination. They are

slowly starving to death in the midst of plenty.

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The tribe slowly wanders across the bare, flat country-

side foraging for roots and occasional berries.

Eight of them are irregularly strung out on the open plain,

about fifty feet apart.

The ground is flat for miles around.

Suddenly, Moonwatcher becomes aware of a lion, stalking

them about 300 yards away.

Defenceless and with nowhere to hide, they scatter in all

directions, but the lion brings one to the ground.

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It had not been a good day, though as Moonwatcher had no

real remembrance of the past he could not compare one day

with another. But on the way back to the caves he finds a

hive of bees in the stump of a dead tree, and so enjoys the

finest delicacy his people could ever know. Of course, he

also collects a good many stings, but he scacely notices

them. He is now as near to contentment as he is ever

likely to be; for thought he is still hungry, he is not actually

weak with hunger. That was the most that any hominid could

hope for.

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Over the valley, a full moon rises, and a cold wind blows down

from the distant mountains. It would be very cold tonight -

but cold, like hunger, was not a matter for any real concern;

it was merely part of the background of life.

This Little Sun, that only shone at night and gave no warmth,

was dangerous; there would be enemies abroad. Moonwatcher

crawls out of the cave, clambers on to a large boulder besides

the entrance, and squats there where he can survey the valley.

If any hunting beast approached, he would have time to get back

to the relative safety of the cave.

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Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance, Kubrick's father sent him in 1940 to Pasadena, California, to stay with his uncle, Martin Perveler. Returning to the Bronx in 1941 for his last year of grammar school, there seemed to be little change in his attitude or his results. Hoping to find something to interest his son, Jack introduced Stanley to chess, with the desired result. Kubrick took to the game passionately, and quickly became a skilled player. Chess would become an important device for Kubrick in later years, often as a tool for dealing with recalcitrant actors, but also as an artistic motif in his films. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on June 02, 2016

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