2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

49 corrected entries

Corrected entry: When Bowman rotates the handle of the emergency hatch on the Discovery, the pod should rotate. Without a grip on the Discovery to brace the pod, nothing would keep it from rotating.



Correction: The designers of the Discovery and their pods obviously thought of this. They would have incorporated attitude jets on the pod itself or a counter rotating sleeve on the arm of the grip to balance the rotation.

Corrected entry: When Dave Bowman blows the explosive bolts on the pod to get into the Discovery, he flies into the long airlock, then back out towards the exit. Watch the pod through both of these shots; it doesn't move a single centimeter when the bolts explode and is in the exact same position when Bowman's body heads back towards the exit. Even with the best possible maneuvering thrusters automatically set to hold the pod in place, it would have moved significantly when the explosive bolts were set off. One corrector proposed that the pod would be held in place because the mechanical arms used to open the airlock would have held it there. Incorrect; Bowman released the pod's grip on the discovery in order to turn it around. The same corrector proposed that the expolsion would not overcome the forward inertia of the Discovery. Wrong again, the pod and Discovery are traveling at the same speed; an explosive decompression would push the pod forward at great velocity.


Correction: Not so. The pod would be weightless in outer space but it still has mass and inertia. The total change in momentum of Bowman and the air escaping from the pod, applied to a pod with about the mass of medium sized car, would result in the pod moving away at only about 50cm per second. That would be barely noticeable from our point of view, even if the change wasn't immediately corrected by an auto-pilot mechanism, which is feasible. We can calculate the reaction speed of the pod this way : assume a gas volume of 4 cubic metres, a mass for the pod of 2500 kg, a mass for Bowman of 150 kg, an average delta v of 100 m/s for the air in the pod, and a delta v of 10 m/s for Bowman - all of which yields a result of 0.5 m/s, and if air pressure in the pod were lower it would have moved even more slowly.

Corrected entry: When Dave goes to retrieve lifeless Frank the computer screen to his right which is supposed to show continuously updated data, twice displays a jagged line like those found near the end of a reel of a motion picture film.

Correction: Those things in films are there to tell the projectionist that the reel is about to end. The first tells him to expect a projector swap, and the second means "switch projectors." Whatever you see is DEFINITELY not projector switch signals, as the little mini-movies on screens would not have them. I just looked at the scene seven times and I don't see it. Either I missed it or it's an image compression artifact. What color was the screen background, and was it the front or rear right screen? Where on the screen was it? If it was a purple background, those are numbers flashing onscreen.


Corrected entry: When Astronaut Poole goes on the EVA to retrieve the AE-35 unit from Discovery's antenna, the scene shows the Pod coming directly over the top of the sphere. However, the view from inside the Pod has it off to the side of the spaceship.


Correction: There is a time interval during which the window is not seen, during that time, Bowman maneuvers the pod to the side of the ship.


Corrected entry: Early in this chapter of the film, we see Discovery has three EVA Pods (from HAL's view, left to right they are C-pod, B-pod and A-pod). When Poole is killed, we see he was using the center pod. Bowman then goes after Poole with A-pod. This leaves behind the C-pod. Bowman gets back aboard Discovery by blowing explosive bolts to release his pod's door. After Bowman deactivates HAL, we can presume he recovers the now-damaged A-pod he ejected from. It can only be placed in either the right or center pod locations, and as we learn in 2010, it is found sitting in its original right-side location. So to leave Discovery for the last time, Bowman must use the C-pod which is on the left, yet is shown emerging from the center doorway B-pod originally launched from.



Correction: Bowman must have made an EVA during the time he was alone on board, and opened the middle door on returning to the podbay. Mistakes are definite mistakes, not ones for which there is a reasonable explanation.


Corrected entry: The spacecraft Discovery has a rotating centrifuge-room that the astronauts use to avoid the detrimental effects of prolonged weightlessness. We see the rotation when Dave first enters the room and again later when he and Frank re-enter the room after inspecting the AE-35 Unit. But by Newton's laws the torque on the centrifuge must be countered by an equal anti-torque, so the surrounding body of the ship ought to be counter-rotating to conserve angular momentum.

Correction: The centrifuge began rotating in earth orbit. The counter-rotation would have been corrected by whatever structure holds the ship in place while being built. If this didn't happen, then the bad momentum would be stopped by discovery's roll-mode attitude thrusters.


Corrected entry: Towards the end of the movie where there are deep space shots of the planets, the spaceship and the sun, there is one shot where the sun is in the middle of several planetary objects. The objects closer to the viewer show crescent as they should due to the suns orientation to the planetary objects. On the far side of the sun however, the planetary objects also show crescent but shouldn't. They should show FULL or nearly full.

Correction: Those aren't planets. What we're being shown is Jupiter and its many moons. As such. all the objects you see on the screen are near the camera and being seen from the dark side. Which means they shouldn't be lit any more than a crescent shape.


Corrected entry: The transmission from Earth says that Discovery left three weeks previously, that transmissions take seven minutes and that the journey will take the better part of a year. The speed of light is 186,282 miles/sec. In seven minutes, light travels 78,238,440 miles so the movie statement that Discovery is 80,000,000 miles away from Earth is reasonable. To cover that distance in three weeks, the speed would be around 158,000 mph. To travel half a billion miles at that speed would take a mere nineteen weeks, not the "better part of a year.



Correction: It is absolutely clear from the reporter's intonation that he is asking Poole to speculate about what it is going to be like living with Bowman, HAL, etc for a year - the travel to Jupiter and their lengthy mission time once they get there, and the time spent on the return leg.

Corrected entry: HAL has complete control over the pods while they are outside the Discovery - he can even use one as a murder weapon. How, then, does he allow Bowman to steer a pod to the escape hatch? Why not just shoot him and the pod off into deep space?

Correction: This is a question, not a mistake. The pods obviously have a manual override.


Corrected entry: In the scene where we see the Moonbus landing at the Tycho Excavation Base, it's descent engines raise dust that billows rather than falling in an arc straight back to the ground as would normally be the case in a vacuum.



Correction: Previously posted and corrected. This is an accepted film technique, not a mistake. You cannot film in a vacuum.

Corrected entry: While Dave Bowman & Frank Poole are in the pod bay they lean against the workbench much as anyone would on Earth, yet the pod bay is a weightless environment.

Correction: Already posted and corrected. Microgravity doesn't paralyse your muscles. You'd lean on things just the way you do under normal gravity.

Corrected entry: Counter to a previous claim of factual error . In various scenes on both the Discovery spaceship and the Pod, angular momentum CAN be preserved without rotating the whole Discovery ship, as was claimed, if there were unseen counter-motions (as in a possible "sub floor" rotating in the opposite direction as the visible floor). The same principle can explain how the pod rotates without any visible thrust from, for example, gas jets. Rotation can be all mechanically achieved, with motors, and all angular momentum is preserved as the ship avoids appearing to rotate against the background stars.What we see is all plausibly accurate according to Newtonian Mechanics.

Correction: Good point, but this is a section for posting mistakes, not non-mistakes. If you are claiming that a previous post for a factual error is incorrect you would need to correct that submission, not post the correction as a mistake.


Corrected entry: If you take the letters in the computer's name (HAL), and then the next letter in the alphabet after each one, you get IBM. Stanley Kubrick denied it was on purpose but it is still kind of neat.

Correction: Arthur C. Clarke who wrote the book from the film also always and consistently denied this .

Corrected entry: In the famous scene where the ape throws a bone into the sky, in one shot the bone at first revolves anti-clockwise and then in the next shot, just before the jump cut to the shot of the spaceship, it now revolves clockwise.

Correction: As the background changes dramatically, it's obvious this is shot from the other side.


Corrected entry: In the beginning of the film where we see the ape-men, it looks as if they are wearing Converse All-Star type gym shoes that have been painted to look like feet. Perhaps the rocky terrain was too hard on the costumed actors' feet.

Correction: No shot clearly indicates this suggestion. A more specific scene description or timecode is needed to verify this claim as the 'Dawn of Man" sequence is 20 minutes long.


Corrected entry: When all the apes are gathering around the big block at the beginning of the film, look carefully at the sky. The clouds never move, not even slowly.



Correction: It's not that they NEVER move; they just don't appear to move within the few minutes we are watching, which is perfectly natural.


Corrected entry: When Dave recaptures Frank with the pod, one of Frank's legs is outside the pod's pincers, but when Dave releases Frank to reenter the ship, both legs are in the pincer. Seems a bit risky to try to get another grip in the vacuum of space...


Correction: Not at all. The other arm held Frank securely around the neck so that opening and re-grasping for both Frank's legs would be risk-free.


Corrected entry: The first time Dave is shown running around the room on the ship, in the roomwide shot he runs past the three hibernating crew, then the two empty beds. In the following chase shot on his back, he passes them in reverse order.


Correction: The scenes aren't necessarily continuous time, but a collage of shots of his exercise period. He even reverses direction between two of the shots so where the pair of sleeping crew was on his left, they are now on his right.


Corrected entry: On Discovery, artificial gravity is created by a spinning centrifuge. This is fine, but crew members are shown climbing a ladder into the center, where they are weightless. In reality, they would experience a quite large force perpendicular to the ladder. This is because they still have momentum from traveling with the floor of the centrifuge, but the speed of the higher steps is lower, and the speed in the center is zero.

Correction: True, but you are not taking all of the variables into consideration. Most importantly, how fast is the centrifuge spinning? We don't really know; they never say that the subjects standing at the bottom of the ladder are under full gravity; it may be a fraction of earth's gravity. Second, they take a few seconds to climb/descend the ladder, and they are bracing themselves from any sideways motion while on the trips up and down. Saying they would experience "quite a large force perpendicular to the ladder" is an asumption. It is also not a movie mistake, your statement would have to include both the amount of force that should be pushing them sideways and proof that they could not overcome the force by grasping the ladder rungs tightly.


Corrected entry: During the scene when the photographer is taking photographs of the scientists next to the monolith on the moon, a flying insect e.g. a fly or moth, can quite be briefly seen against the dark background of the monolith itself.

Correction: I just watched this scene twice, once in slow motion, and can see no such thing. Screenshot, please?



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