2001: A Space Odyssey

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German title 2001: A Space Odyssey
Original title 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001 - A Space Odyssey.png
Country of production United Kingdom ,
United States
original language English
Publishing year 1968
length 143 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Stanley Kubrick
script Stanley Kubrick,
Arthur C. Clarke
production Stanley Kubrick
music Aram Khatchaturian ,
György Ligeti ,
Johann Strauss ,
Richard Strauss
camera Geoffrey Unsworth
cut Ray Lovejoy

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2001: A Space Odyssey (Original title: 2001: A Space Odyssey ) is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick . The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke and is based in part on several of Clarke's short stories, including The Sentinel from 1948 and Encounter at Dawn from 1950. The collaboration also resulted in Clarke's novel 2001: A Space Odyssey , which shortly after Movie was released. The novel differs in details from the film and is much more detailed. Clarke referred to the film when there were deviations in other parts of the series.

The film describes the research trip of five scientists to the planet Jupiter after a mysterious black monolith was discovered which influenced human evolution; The spaceship is controlled using the HAL 9000 on-board computer . The film offers a lot of room for interpretation and deals with the topics of existentialism , human evolution , technology, artificial intelligence and the existence of extraterrestrial life . 2001: A Space Odyssey is known for its physically correct representation of space travel, its groundbreaking special effects and its ambiguous imagery. The film uses the sound and the minimalist dialogue instead of traditional cinematic and narrative techniques, and the film's soundtrack contains numerous pieces of classical music, such as Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss , On the Beautiful Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II and various works by Composers Aram Chatschaturjan and György Ligeti .

2001: A Space Odyssey was nominated for four Academy Awards, one of which Kubrick received for directing the visual effects . The film is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films of all time, and the American Film Institute voted the film the number one best science fiction film of all time in 2008.


The film begins with a three-minute music sequence from György Ligeti's Atmosphères to a completely black image, which is usually left out on television broadcasts. The first thing the viewer gets to see is the logo of the production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer . In the following scene the moon, earth and sun are in conjunction . The sun rises and the opening credits are faded in. The scene is accompanied by the introduction from Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss . The rest of the film can be divided into four acts , each act (with the exception of the second) is announced beforehand with an intertitle .

Dawn of Man

A group of pre-humans in the African savannah. Their everyday life is determined by hardship and the struggle for bare survival: a leopard kills a member of the group, conspecifics of a rival clan drive the group from their watering hole.

One morning the group notices that a perfect, square, black monolith has appeared next to them . The reason for this is not initially clear. However, the monolith brings about a change in consciousness in the pre-humans who fearfully circle around it and touch it timidly. This becomes clear later, when one of the pre-humans, when seeing a bleached bone, got the idea to use the bone as a tool or weapon. This scene is also accompanied by the introduction of Also Spoke Zarathustra .

In the next scene, the life of the pre-human group has changed significantly. With the killing of a tapir , man has become a hunter . He no longer lives with the animals, but from them. The group returns to the waterhole armed with large bones and tries to drive away the other group. This succeeds after the leader of the alien horde was killed with the bone used as a weapon. The newly created homo faber triumphantly flings his tools into the sky. The camera tracks the flight of the bone to the turning point of its trajectory and beyond.

Moon station Clavius ​​(Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1)

Model of the Orion III spaceship
Moonbus model from the 2001 movie: A Space Odyssey

In an artistically often quoted image section, the primitive bone tool is replaced by a technically advanced earth satellite . Ages have passed since the primeval scene of the introduction. Different satellites move their orbits in earth orbit. Most are marked by national flags as belonging to different countries of the world. An arrow-shaped spaceship is approaching a large, wheel-shaped space station that is still under construction. It bears the lettering and logo of the PanAmerican airline . To the sound of the waltz On the beautiful blue Danube , the ferry glides into the hub of the huge rotating wheel.

The only passenger on the ferry is the space official Dr. Heywood Floyd. From the space station he wants to take another ferry to the lunar station Clavius . On the space station he meets a group of Soviet scientists. Rumors are circulating that an epidemic is said to have broken out on Clavius, as a result of which a news blackout was imposed. Floyd responds politely to questions from Soviet scientists, but does not give them any information. He travels on to the moon in a spherical spaceship.

When Floyd arrives on Clavius, the scientists at this base want to show him something that was excavated in the lunar crater Tycho . You set off there with a lunar module: In a pit there is a monolith that resembles the one from the opening sequence. The cuboid is four million years old, absolutely black and generates a strong magnetic field . Everything indicates that he is of extraterrestrial origin. In this scene too, people touch the monolith. When the sun rises above the pit and its light falls on the cube, it sends an electromagnetic signal in the direction of the planet Jupiter , which can be heard deafeningly loud via the scientists' communication systems.

The Journey to Jupiter (Jupiter Mission 18 Months Later)

The red eye of HAL 9000

18 months later, the US completed construction of the Discovery One spacecraft . Its official mission is to conduct scientific research on Jupiter. On board are the astronauts Frank Poole and Dave Bowman, three other colleagues who are sleeping in deep sleep chambers, as well as the supercomputer HAL 9000 , which is equipped with artificial intelligence and can autonomously control the spaceship. The 9000 computer is the only one on board that has knowledge of the company's true purpose - the search for further traces in connection with the monolith on the moon.

The computers of the 9000 series represent the pinnacle of computer technology as a technical masterpiece at that time. They are considered absolutely perfect - unable to make the slightest mistake or provide even vague information. However, after speaking with Dave about the company, HAL predicts a fault in an important electronic component, an AE-35 unit. In fact, the unit turns out to be fully functional. From this point on, the HAL computer, created by humans, begins to develop an unpredictable life of its own. Poole and Bowman retreat to an EVA space capsule on pretext where HAL cannot hear them, and consider turning off HAL, or at least blocking its higher functions; but the latter observes her lip movements . This is followed by a pause (intermission), which shows a black screen for three minutes, as in the opening scene, while the scene is backed up by György Ligeti's Atmosphères .

A little later, Frank is killed while reinstalling the AE-35 unit outside the spaceship, with HAL remotely controlling Frank's space capsule as a killing tool. HAL also switches off the life support systems of the three deeply asleep colleagues, as it now regards all crew members as a danger to itself. Bowman, who tries to rescue Frank with a second space capsule, is "locked out" by HAL. Bowman can only save himself by opening the Discovery's airlock via an emergency circuit and catapulting himself into it through the explosive decompression of the capsule. Bowman then succeeds in gradually switching off HAL's higher functions manually. In doing so, HAL tries with ever new arguments, for example about the importance of the mission, and appeasements ("I already feel much better") to dissuade him from his decision. HAL also asserts that it feels an emotion (“I'm afraid”) and remembers fragments from his development, including a song that his “creator” engineer taught him. When asked by Bowman to perform the song, he sings a nursery rhyme. As he sings, HAL's functions gradually go out and his voice slows down and deepens. After the shutdown of HAL, a secret video message is played (prematurely) to the astronauts, in which the head of the company, Dr. Heywood Floyd, reports on the monolith found on the moon.

Rebirth (Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite)

Model of the suite
Original fetus model from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey

As Bowman with the Discovery to Jupiter reached hovers another monolith in space. Bowman boards a space capsule to investigate the monolith and, after a spectacular flight, ends up in an unknown location. The viewer is initially drawn into a long, psychedelic color sequence. It ends, alternating back and forth between (mostly incorrectly colored ) images of space and stars, the surface of the earth and detailed shots of Bowman's eye. Then you can see a suite of rooms that gives a futuristic impression with its floor made of luminous panels, but is also furnished in the Louis XVI style. Bowman's space capsule now stands in the middle of this surrealistic space.

Bowman sees himself out of it, standing in the room in a spacesuit and already aged by years. The camera now adopts the perspective of this second Bowman, while the first, together with his space capsule, has disappeared with the next cut. Bowman looks around and discovers a mirror in which he looks at himself. Then he notices the presence of another person in the next room. When he takes a look into the room, he sees himself, aged several years again, eating a meal at a table. The perspective changes again. The third Bowman accidentally overturns his glass and cautiously looks at the pieces. When he slowly looks up, he sees himself once more lying on the bed as a dying old man. The perspective changes again and takes over the gaze of the old man who is lying on his death bed and looking at the black monolith that suddenly stands in the middle of the room, framed by the interior of the room with two ancient statues on the left and on the right. The old man raises his hand as if he wanted to touch the stone, as prehistoric humans and astronauts touched on the moon.

In the next setting , one appears where previously was the dying, fetus with eyes wide open in an amniotic sac. In the final sequence that follows, this being hovers between the moon and earth in space. It seems to be looking at the earth. As at the beginning, the beginning of Richard Strauss ' Also sprach Zarathustra can be heard again .


Origin background

The title page of the script

Shortly after the completion of Dr. Strangely , Kubrick was fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life and decided to make “the proverbially good science fiction film”. He was probably influenced by the films of Pavel Klushanzew . He once said that he would never have made this film if he had not seen Klushanzev films.

When searching for a suitable colleague from the SF community, Columbia Pictures employee Roger Caras Kubrick suggested their mutual acquaintance, the writer Arthur C. Clarke. Although he was convinced that Clarke was "a hermit, a madman who lives in a tree," Kubrick agreed, whereupon Caras telegraphed the film offer to the Ceylon- based author. In the telegraphed response, Clarke stated that he was "terribly interested in working with the enfant terrible, " but added, "Why does Kubrick think I am a hermit?"

In their first conversations, Kubrick and Clarke jokingly referred to their project as “How the Solar System Was Won”, an allusion to the Cinerama epic How the West Was Won . Like this film, Kubrick's production is also divided into separate files. Clarke initially considered adapting several of his earlier stories before finally choosing his 1948 short story The Sentinel as a starting point for the film. Originally, the writing duo planned to first write a novel, free of all the restrictions that a normal film script would bring, and only then to write the screenplay . Both also remembered that the credits should read: "Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, based on a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick" to reflect their own priority in their respective areas. In practice, however, the cinematic ideas that were needed for the script developed parallel to the novel, with cross-fertilization between the two parts. Ultimately, the script credits were split, while the novel, which appeared shortly after the film, was solely attributed to Clarke. But Clarke later made it clear that "the closest approximation to the complicated truth" is that the script should be attributed to "Kubrick and Clarke" and the novel to "Clarke and Kubrick". He described that work on both works (script and novel) was interlinked, and changes in one often flowed into the other, and says that this was a "stimulating but rather expensive way" to "write a novel".

On February 22, 1965, MGM announced that it would fund Kubrick's new science fiction film Journey beyond the Stars . Interviewed by The New Yorker shortly thereafter , Kubrick compared the proposed film to a "Space Odyssey," and in April officially changed the film title to 2001: A Space Odyssey . Arthur C. Clarke kept a diary while working on 2001 . Excerpts from it were later published in the book 2001: Departure to Lost Worlds . Clarke's diary reveals that at the time the funding for Journey Beyond the Stars was secured in early 1965, the authors had no idea what would happen to Bowman after the so-called Star-Gate scene, even though it was on October 17, 1964 Kubrick came up with what Clarke described as "a wild idea of ​​slightly submissive robots creating a Victorian environment to make our heroes as comfortable as possible". Initially, all of the astronauts on Discovery should have survived the mission. The decision to leave Bowman alone as the only survivor to step back into his own childhood was not made until October 3, 1965. The computer HAL should originally have been called "Athena" after the Greek goddess of wisdom , endowed with a female voice and personality.

Director Kubrick explained how the end of the film, which was later so much discussed and covered with all kinds of free and floating interpretations, came about: “The end was knocked over shortly before the recording. We didn't originally intend to show Bowman's aging process. He should just walk around this room and look at the monolith. But that didn't seem satisfactory and interesting enough to us, so we looked for another idea until we finally came up with the ending that you see in the film. "


Handwritten pattern by Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick's guest house in Abbots Mead, Borehamwood , where he cut in 2001

The shooting for 2001 began on 29 December 1965 in the Shepperton Studios in Shepperton , England. The film studio was chosen for its size, as it was big enough for the 18 × 36 × 18 meter pit that was used as the set for the Tycho Crater excavation scene, which was first filmed. From 1966 on, further filming took place at MGM British Studios in Borehamwood near Elstree . A "command post" was also set up here to support the filming of special effects scenes, which was described as a "large throbbing nerve center ... with about the same frenetic atmosphere as a Cape Kennedy log cabin during the final countdown phase". The film was shot in Super Panavision 70 with a 70 mm film negative - Format rotated and the 35mm - film copies were with the Technicolor created process. Kubrick began editing in March 1968. On April 2, the world premiere took place at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC . Before the film hit US cinemas on April 6, Kubrick cut it by 19 minutes. By then, the film was already $ 4.5 million above the originally planned $ 6 million budget and 16 months behind scheduled completion.

Special effects

The film paved the way for the front projection used on the African scenes. In this slide of an African landscape over a semitransparent mirror projected onto a highly reflective screen, in front of the performer of the ape-man then acted. This technique produced far more realistic images than other methods available at the time, but has now generally been supplanted by more flexible, computerized blue screen techniques . To represent the space sequences, very large and extremely detailed models were built for the first time, the outer skin of which was covered with details from plastic model kits . The space station was more than 2 m in diameter, the Discovery was nearly 20 m long. These models were filmed using a forerunner system of motion control technology. Everything ran on rails and was movable by motors so that the camera could drive along the models extremely slowly and very dimmed . The stopping action avoided depth blurring that would have immediately exposed the models as such. For Bowman's psychedelic experience in the stargate, Douglas Trumbull developed the so-called slitscan technique. With the shutter open, the camera moves towards a slit cut in black paper, behind which there is a light source and transparent or colored panes. The long exposure time selected results in colored stripes, similar to the effect that occurs with long exposure of passing cars, the headlights of which are depicted as distorted lines.

Unused scenes

These include, among other things, a classroom scene on the Clavius ​​moon base in which Kubrick's daughter played, as well as the purchase of a bush baby in a futuristic department store for Heywood Floyd's little daughter who appeared in the videophone scene. There was another unused scene where Bowman was replacing part of a replacement antenna in an octagonal corridor. MGM took a commercial photo of it, which was then used as a movie poster. Most noteworthy, however, is a ten-minute black and white opening scene in which scientists ( AI Oparin , Harlow Shapley , Francis J. Hayden, SJ , Gerald Feinberg , Frederick C. Durant, III , Jeremy Bernstein , Freeman Dyson , Frank Drake , Fred Whipple , Philip Morrison and Norman Lamm ) as they discuss the possibility of extraterrestrial life .

On December 19, 2010, 17 minutes of the film were discovered in a chamber in an abandoned salt mine in Kansas, which Kubrick had cut out of the final theatrical version after the premiere, according to Warner Brothers. To what extent and whether these scenes will be released at all is currently unclear. In a first statement, Warner Brothers announced that they had always known about the 17 cut minutes, but that Stanley Kubrick had made it clear after the cuts that this would be his final version. It was the film he wanted to present and Warner Home Video had no plans to expand or change it.


The German dubbing was created in 1968 by the MGM dubbing department in Berlin. Ottokar Runze was responsible for the script and dialogue direction .

role actor German voice
Dr. Dave Bowman Keir Dullea Gerd Vespermann
HAL 9000 (voice only) Douglas Rain Peter Schiff
Dr. Frank Poole Gary Lockwood Lutz Mackensy
Dr. Heywood Floyd William Sylvester Rolf Schult
Dr. Andrei Smyslov Leonard Rossiter Lothar Blumhagen
Elena Margaret Tyzack Tilly Lauenstein
Dr. Ralph Halvorsen Robert Beatty Arnold Marquis
Dr. Bill Michaels Sean Sullivan Michael Chevalier
Miss Turner, Clavius ​​receptionist Chela Matthison Christel Merian
Miller, Clavius ​​chief security officer Kevin Scott Randolf Kronberg
Dr. Poole's mother Ann Gillis Alice Treff
Dr. Poole's father Alan Gifford Wolfgang Amerbacher
BBC news anchor Kenneth Kendall Manfred Schmidt
BBC interviewer Martin Amor Rainer Brandt
Ground Control (Voice Only) Frank Miller Heinz Petruo

Film music


Stanley Kubrick, whose films are also famous for the often unconventional choice of music, originally hoped to win Carl Orff for his new 2001 film . He had liked Orff's Carmina Burana very much. But the then 71-year-old composer turned it down because he felt too old for it.

Therefore, Kubrick hired the English composer Frank Cordell . His job was to adapt parts of Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony for the film. But Kubrick didn't use anything of Cordell's contribution in the final film. More detailed information about this work is sparse and sometimes controversial. The manuscripts and music recordings have either been lost or destroyed.

In December 1967, Kubrick finally commissioned Alex North to compose original music for the film. He had already worked successfully with North at Spartacus . Some scenes from 2001 had been underlaid with classical music by Kubrick when he showed North a rough version and asked him to compose the score, inspired by this selection of music.

Under great time pressure, North wrote the music in London initially only for the first half of the film. The plan was to start the second part later. Henry Brant orchestrated the score . He also took over the conducting of the music recordings scheduled for early January 1968 in London , because North was unable to do so for health reasons.

A total of around 40 minutes of North's music was recorded. The composer then waited to begin composing the rest of the film. But Kubrick let him know that for the second half he didn't want to use music and only work with noise. Eventually, he ditched North's work entirely in favor of the Temp track , which consisted of pre-existing classical and modern music . North only found out about this painful decision during an internal studio screening of the finished film, which took place shortly before the world premiere .

Alex North's composition for 2001 remained a torso . However, he used elements from it in later works ( The Shoes Of The Fisherman and Dragonslayer ). In 1993 Jerry Goldsmith performed a restored version from 2001 in concert and released the work on CD with Varèse Sarabande . This started a new debate about the use of already existing (“preexistent”) music in films, which has not ebbed to this day.

The original music by North under the direction of Henry Brant was released on CD by Intrada in 2007 with an extensive booklet on the music and the background to its origins and rejection. This also corrects errors that originated in the Varese Sarabande Edition. In addition, it is now possible to add the North music to some film scenes and thus compare them with the official film version. Kubrick's decision to reject North's music remains controversial, with Kubrick's advocates clearly predominating.

The music in the film

The film itself begins with the piece Atmosphères of Gyorgy Ligeti to a black image. The same composer underlines all of the monoliths' leitmotifs with the Kyrie from his Requiem . You can also hear his Lux Aeterna , a composition for 16-part mixed choir a cappella .

The first scene after the fade-in of the film studio's logo shows the sun, moon and earth in conjunction. The sun rises, and the introduction to Also Spoke Zarathustra by Richard Strauss sounds. In this piece, Richard Strauss set the sunrise described at the beginning of the book of the same name to music. In this context, the beginning of something new, a turning point, the play of this piece can be understood throughout the film.

Kubrick contrasts the composer Richard Strauss with the waltz king Johann Strauss . The musical contrast is as great as the heartfelt dislike that both musicians had in common: Johann Strauss' waltz On the beautiful blue Danube flows in and with time. Often quoted is the scene in which a spaceship approaches a huge space station and performs a kind of dance while adapting to its rotation to the waltz sounds of Strauss. There are also musicological approaches, the ¾ timing of the waltz as a modern zahlenmystische to interpret variant: When Pythagoras was the number 3 symbol of the eternal return , in the sacred music of the Renaissance was a triple time as modus perfectus circumscribing the divinity.

The departure to Jupiter is backed by the Adagio for solo cello and strings from the first Gayaneh - Suite by Aram Khachaturian .

The majority of the film's soundtrack is determined by music or noises. With 143 minutes of play time, speaking in only 48 minutes of the film.

There are different records or CD editions of this film music . A CD (number AK45439) released by Columbia Records contains the following titles:

  1. Overture: Atmosphères [excerpt] (György Ligeti) 2:48 - Symphony Orchestra of Südwestfunk Baden-Baden , conductor: Ernest Bour
  2. Title Music: Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss) 1:42 - Berliner Philharmoniker , conductor: Karl Böhm
  3. From Earth to the Moon: On the beautiful blue Danube (Johann Strauss) 9:51 am - Berliner Philharmoniker, conductor Herbert von Karajan
  4. TMA-1: Lux Aeterna (György Ligeti) 6:00 am - Schola Cantorum Stuttgart, Direction: Clytus Gottwald
  5. Discovery: Adagio from Gayane Ballet Suite (Aram Chatschaturjan) 5:16 - Leningrad Philharmonic , conductor: Gennady Roshdestvensky
  6. Star Gate: Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Two Mixed Choirs & Orchestra (György Ligeti) 5:58 - Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra , conducted by Francis Travis
  7. Star Gate II: Atmosphères (György Ligeti) 8:39 - Symphony Orchestra of Südwestfunk Baden-Baden, conductor: Ernest Bour
  8. Transfiguration: Also Spoke Zarathustra (Richard Strauss) 1:39 - Berliner Philharmoniker, conductor: Karl Böhm

When Bowman asked, HAL sings a nursery rhyme during his shutdown (which is not included on the sound carriers for the film). The original is Harry Dacre's Daisy Bell from 1892 - the first song to be reproduced by speech synthesis by a computer (1961 on an IBM 704 from Bell Labs ). The German version is about Hänschen klein , possibly the first song that was played by a computer - the Zuse Z22 . Other songs are used in other languages.

The soundtrack , which was released on record, differs from the film itself in that the film also includes a recording with the Vienna Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan on Also sprach Zarathustra . However, the Decca record company , which owned the rights to this recording, did not want to be associated with a science fiction film. Therefore, the Karajan recording could be used for the film, but the credits of the film do not state who made the recording. For publication on record, Karajan's recording was then replaced by a recording by Karl Böhm.

In addition to various optical quotes in science fiction films, the motif of the Gayaneh Adagio in the film Aliens - The Return was included in the opening sequence by the film composer James Horner .



The film was the financially most successful of the film year 1968 and grossed over 190 million US dollars in cinemas worldwide.


  • Uwe Nettelbeck praised the film in the highest tones: Kubrick was the first to afford the luxury of showing time. It is only worth watching to experience how long a “cinerama minute” is. The story, too, is superior to the usual productions of the genre in terms of wit and determination to realize even the most adventurous ideas with an adventurous effort. A film that makes you addicted to the cinema like few.

“Kubrick's fantastic adventure combines technical utopia and cultural-philosophical speculation into a space opera of overwhelming proportions. The bold conceptual design of the film is realized with no less bold optical effects and a revolutionary trick technique that decisively shaped the science fiction genre in the following years. "

“After all the cinematic nonsense that hordes of inexperienced SF filmmakers had presented to the audience up to 1969, 2001: A Space Odyssey went down to SF fans like pure jelly… [The film belongs] undeniably to one of the top places in the top ten in science Fiction films. "

- Ronald M. Hahn and Volker Jansen

“Stanley Kubrick's space show, which shows an overwhelming scenery and unprecedented technical perfection on the basis of a trip to Jupiter. It is affected by the fact that the authors devoted their ideas not only to technology, but also to confused anthropology and symbolism. A little too lengthy, but worth seeing for friends of the genre. "

- Protestant film observer, review No. 425/1968

"Predicate valuable"

The well-known film critic Leonard Maltin rated the film with 4 out of 4 possible stars.


Oscar 1969:

  • 1969 Oscar for Stanley Kubrick (special effects)
  • Oscar nomination 1969 for Tony Masters, Harry Lange, Ernie Archer (equipment)
  • 1969 Oscar nomination for Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke (Original Screenplay)
  • Oscar nomination 1969 for Stanley Kubrick (director)

Society of Film and Television Arts Awards 1969 (Great Britain):

  • Award for Geoffrey Unsworth (British Cinematography)
  • Award for Tony Masters, Harry Lange and Ernest Archer (Art Direction)
  • Award for Winston Ryder (Soundtrack)
  • Nomination for Stanley Kubrick (Best Film)
  • Nomination for Stanley Kubrick (United Nations Award)

Various other prices:

Awards from the American Film Institute :

  • 2007: 15th place in the list of the 100 best films of all time (1998: 22nd place)
  • # 40 on the list of the 100 best thrillers of all time
  • The role of HAL 9000 reached number 13 in the Top 50 Villains of All Time
  • The quote: “Open the gondola lock gate, HAL!” (“Open the pod bay door, HAL!”) Made it to 78th place among the best film quotes of all time
  • In the list of the 100 most inspiring films, the film ranks 47th
  • 2008: The film made it to # 1 in the top 10 science fiction films of all time

Kubrick on his film

The director himself said about 2001 as follows:

I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content. I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does; to 'explain' a Beethoven symphony would be to emasculate it by erecting an artificial barrier between conception and appreciation. You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film - and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level - but I don't want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he's missed the point.

“I tried to create a visual experience that bypasses the linguistic classification schemes and penetrates directly to the subconscious by means of an emotional-philosophical content. I strove to create the film as an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer on an inner level of consciousness, just like music; To 'explain' a Beethoven symphony would demystify it by creating an artificial barrier between conception and perception. Everyone is free to speculate on the philosophical and allegorical significance of the film - and such speculation is an indication that we have succeeded in touching the audience on a deep level - but I don't want to make a verbal interpretation of 2001 that too every viewer will feel obliged to follow, fearing that otherwise they will not have grasped the core. "

- Stanley Kubrick : Playboy Magazine (1968)


Kubrick hadn't considered a 2001 sequel . Concerned about the possible later use and recycling of his material in other productions (as had happened with the props for MGM's Alarm in Space ), he ordered that all sets , props, miniatures, production blueprints and negatives from unused scenes be destroyed. Most of this material has been lost, with a few exceptions: a spacesuit backpack appeared in Target Unknown of Gerry Anderson's television series UFO , and one of HAL's red eye sensors is owned by the author of HAL's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality , David G. Stork. Adam Johnson, who worked with Frederick I Ordway III, a Kubrick science adviser, published 2001: The Lost Science in 2012 , which for the first time included many of the blueprints of spacecraft and movie sets previously thought to be lost went.

Clarke wrote three sequels in novel form: Odyssey 2010 - The Year We Make Contact (1982), 2061 - Odyssey III (1987), and 3001 - The Final Odyssey (1997). The only film sequel , 2010, was based on Clarke's 1982 novel and released in theaters in 1984. Kubrick was not involved in the production of this film, which was shot by Peter Hyams in a more conventional style with more dialogue. Clarke found the film a suitable adaptation of his novel and made a brief cameo in it. Since Kubrick had ordered all models and blueprints from 2001 to be destroyed, Hyams was forced to remake these models for his film. Hyams also stated he would never have made the film without first seeking the blessings of Kubrick and Clarke:

“I had a long conversation with Stanley and told him what was going on. If it met with his approval, I would do the film; and if it didn't, I wouldn't. I certainly would not have thought of doing the film if I had not gotten the blessing of Kubrick. He's one of my idols; simply one of the greatest talents that's ever walked the earth. He more or less said, “Sure. Go do it. I don't care. "And another time he said," Don't be afraid. Just go do your own movie. ""

“I had a long talk with Stanley and told him what was going on. If he agreed, I would make the film; and if not, then not. I certainly wouldn't have thought of doing the film if I hadn't had Kubrick's blessing to do it. He is one of my idols; one of the greatest talents who ever walked the earth. He said more or less, “Sure. Go ahead and do it. I don't care. "And another time he said:" Don't be afraid. Just go ahead and make your own film. ""

- Peter Hyams

Parts three (2061 - Odyssey III) and four (3001 - The Last Odyssey) have not yet been filmed .


  • In the book 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke , the action does not take place in front of Jupiter, but in front of the planet Saturn . For technical reasons regarding the special effects, for which Douglas Trumbull was responsible, Kubrick decided to select Jupiter as the target planet, as the rings of Saturn could not be realistically shown in the film at that time. Trumbull was only able to realize it for the film Silent in Space .
  • The game of chess between Frank Poole and HAL 9000 is based on the game Roesch - Schlage, Hamburg 1910 (see also list of films in which chess appears ).
  • In the original theatrical version from 1968, the film began with no opening credits at the direction of Stanley Kubrick . At the beginning of the performance, the first thing to do was to turn off the light in the cinema; after 1–2 minutes of darkness - when complete calm had spread in the cinema - the film started with the long bass crescendo of Also Spoke Zarathustra and a long fade-in at sunrise in the desert. In addition, a break of 10 to 15 minutes was planned after the chapter Clavius ​​moon station .
  • No word is spoken for the first 25 minutes and the last 22 minutes of the film. Overall, 70 percent of the film contains no text.

Tributes and parodies

In popular media such as film, television, advertising, music and computer games, there have been innumerable allusions and allusions to the film since 2001: A Space Odyssey . In particular the "bone scene", the monolith, HAL 9000, the final scene and the film music were often quoted or copied. Individual works consistently deal with the work. Examples of such homages or parodies are:


The film debuted in the US on April 2, 1968, and in Germany on September 11, 1968. The first DVD release appeared punctually in 2001 as 2001: A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick Collection . A limited box edition was also released on the same day. In 2007 a new special edition with bonus material was published. In HD format, the film was only released in 2007 as HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc , a limited steelbook edition as Blu-ray in 2015. On October 30, 2018, a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and a conventional Blu -ray were released -ray, based on a new photochemical restoration of the original 70mm negative. On December 3, 2018, an 8K Ultra High Definition Television version of the film was reported that will serve as 8K demo material in Japan.


Alex North : Alex North's 2001. The Legendary Original Score . Varèse Sarabande / Colosseum, Nuremberg 1993, sound carrier no. VSD-5400 - (digital) first recording of the then discarded soundtrack by the National Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Jerry Goldsmith


  • Arthur C. Clarke : 2001: A Space Odyssey. The novel for the film (= Heyne books 01, Heyne general series 20079). (OT: 2001: A Space Odyssey ). Foreword by Stephen Baxter . With the underlying short story The Guardian. Paperback edition, revised new edition. Heyne, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-453-19438-1 .
  • Arthur C. Clarke: 2001, Departure to Lost Worlds. The logbook of Captains Clarke and Kubrick (= Goldmann-Taschenbuch. Goldmann-Science-fiction. 23426). (OT: The Lost Worlds of 2001). Goldmann, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-442-23426-3 .
  • Jerome Agel: The Making of Kubrick's 2001. New American Library, New York NY 1970, ISBN 0-451-07139-5 .
  • Lorenz Belser: 2001 - A Space Odyssey. In: Filmstellen VSETH & VSU (Hrsg.): Science Fiction. Andrzej Wajda. Documentation. Association of Students at the University of VSU, Zurich 1990, pp. 121–131.
  • Piers Bizony: 2001. Filming the future. With a foreword by Arthur C. Clarke. Aurum Press, London 1994, ISBN 1-85410-365-2 .
  • Piers Bizony, M / M (Paris): The Making of Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Taschen, 2015, ISBN 978-3-8365-5954-6 .
  • Ralf Michael Fischer: Space and time in the cinematic oeuvre of Stanley Kubrick (= New Frankfurt Research on Art. Volume 7). Gebr. Mann, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-7861-2598-3 (At the same time: Marburg, University, dissertation, 2006).
  • Christopher Frayling: The 2001 File: Harry Lange and the Design of the Landmark Science Fiction Film . Reel Art Press, London 2015, ISBN 978-0-9572610-2-0 .
  • Fabian Grumbrecht: "What are you doing, Dave?": The Confrontation of Dave Bowman and HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. In: Sonja Georgi, Kathleen Loock (Eds.): Of Body Snatchers and Cyberpunks. Student Essays on American Science Fiction Film (= Göttingen Writings on English Philology. Volume 5). Universitäts-Verlag Göttingen, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-941875-91-3 , pp. 63–71, open access available .
  • Nils Daniel Peiler: 201 x 2001. Questions and answers with everything you need to know about Stanley Kubrick's Odyssey in Space. Schüren, Marburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-89472-848-9 .
  • David G. Stork (Ed.): HAL's Legacy. 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality. MIT Press, Cambridge MA 1997, ISBN 0-262-19378-7 .
  • Stephan Walter: 2001: Myth and Science in Cinema. Self-published, Denzlingen 2002, ISBN 3-8311-3954-7 . 2nd Edition. Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2012, ISBN 978-3-8482-1568-3 .

Web links

Commons : 2001: A Space Odyssey  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Probably the most famous match cut in film history .
  2. See on the behavior of HALs also: Double bond theory .
  3. Called "Starchild" in the theme music.

Individual evidence

  1. AFI: 10 Top 10. Accessed April 30, 2018 .
  2. Bild der Wissenschaft 4/2011 - p. 50.
  3. Arthur C. Clarke: 2001: A Space Odyssey. The novel about the film . (Afterword by the author.)
  4. Arthur C. Clarke 2001: Departure to Lost Worlds - The Log of Captains Clarke and Kubrick
  5. Ronald M. Hahn, Volker Jansen: Cult films. From “Metropolis” to “Rocky Horror Picture Show” . - Original edition, 5th edition - Wilhelm Heyne, Stuttgart 1992 (Heyne-Filmbibliothek; 32/73), p. 311 f.
  6. Jerome Agel: The Making of Kubrick's 2001. Signet, 1970, ISBN 0-451-07139-5 , pp. 27-57.
  7. Found footage 17 minutes away , Dec 25, 2010.
  8. Warner comments on the use of the 17 minutes removed by Kubrick , Dec. 25, 2010.
  9. 2001: A Space Odyssey in the German synchronous file
  10. ^ Cinerama expedition into the future , Die Zeit
  11. 2001: A Space Odyssey. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  12. Ronald M. Hahn, Volker Jansen: Cult films. From “Metropolis” to “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Original edition, 5th edition. Wilhelm Heyne, Stuttgart 1992 (Heyne-Filmbibliothek; 32/73), pp. 308-312.
  13. Science Fiction Hall of Fame 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017 .
  14. Bild der Wissenschaft 3/2013 - p. 49.
  15. Bill Hunt: 2001: A Space Odyssey (4K UHD Review). In: TheDigitalBits.com. Retrieved October 29, 2018 .
  16. Webmaster: 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K Blu-ray. In: blu-ray.com. Retrieved June 21, 2018 .
  17. Sam Byford: 2001: A Space Odyssey's 8K TV broadcast doesn't quite go beyond the infinite. In: The Verge . Retrieved December 3, 2018 .