2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Script

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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Script

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 British-American science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by Clarke’s short story The Sentinel. Clarke concurrently wrote the novel of the same name which was published soon after the film was released. The story deals with a series of encounters between humans and mysterious blackmonoliths that are apparently affecting human evolution, and a space voyage to Jupiter tracing a signal emitted by one such monolith found on the moon. Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood star as the two astronauts on this voyage, with Douglas Rain as the voice of the sentient computer HAL 9000 who has full control over their spaceship. The film is frequently described as an “epic film”, both for its length and scope, and for its affinity with classical epics.

Produced and distributed by the American studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film was made almost entirely in England, using both the studio facilities of MGM’s subsidiary “MGM British” (among the last movies to be shot there before its closure in 1970) and those of Shepperton Studios, mostly because of the availability of much larger sound stages than in the United States. The film was also co-produced by Kubrick’s own “Stanley Kubrick Productions”. Kubrick, having already shot his previous two films in England, decided to settle there permanently during the filming of Space Odyssey. Though Space Odyssey was released in the United States over a month before its release in the United Kingdom, and Encyclopædia Britannica calls this an American film, other sources refer to it as an American, British, or American-British production.

Thematically, the film deals with elements of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, andextraterrestrial life. It is notable for its scientific accuracy, pioneering special effects, ambiguous imagery that is open-ended, sound in place of traditional narrative techniques, and minimal use of dialogue.

The film has a memorable soundtrack—the result of the association that Kubrick made between the spinning motion of the satellites and the dancers of waltzes, which led him to use The Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss II,  and the symphonic poem Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, to portray the philosophical concept of the Übermensch in Nietzsche’s work of the same name.

Despite initially receiving mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike, 2001: A Space Odyssey garnered a cult following and slowly became a box office hit. Some years after its initial release, it eventually became the highest grossing picture from 1968 in North America. Today it is near-universally recognized by critics, filmmakers, and audiences as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. The 2002 Sight & Sound poll of critics ranked it among the top ten films of all time, placing it #6 behind Tokyo Story. The film retained sixth place on the critics’ list in 2012, and was named the second greatest film ever made by the directors’ poll of the same magazine. Two years before that, it was ranked the greatest film of all time by The Moving Arts Film Journal. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, and received one for its visual effects. 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 1984, a sequel directed by Peter Hyams was produced, titled 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

for 2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Script