2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

60 corrected entries

(11 votes)

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.

Faye_Kane
1

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.

mschiavi

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.

Faye_Kane
1

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. (01:32:50 - 01:59:45)

johnrosa

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.

Faye_Kane
1

I believe that the last pod departure in the movie from the "wrong door", the center one, was not a mistake but one of Kubrick's subtle visual clues. My interpretation is that it meant the whole end of the movie was Bowman's dream before dying when he was stranded at Jupiter.

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.

Faye_Kane
1

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.

Garlonuss Premium member
1

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.

BocaDavie Premium member
1

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.

1

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.

BocaDavie Premium member
1

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 .

1

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.

johnrosa
1

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.

johnrosa
1

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...

Phoenix

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.

johnrosa
1

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.

Phoenix

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.

johnrosa
1

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.

BocaDavie Premium member
1

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?

1

Corrected entry: In the scenes with the lunar shuttle and the lunar buggy, we see a swirling cloud of dust as they are touching down. The dust would only swirl around like this within an atmosphere; it would not do this on the airless moon. (00:40:00 - 00:50:40)

Correction: Similar mistakes have been posted and corrected. This is an accepted film technique, not an error. You cannot film in a vacuum, even if you could find a studio big enough to have the air pumped out.

1

Corrected entry: The initial scene shows a desert with Brazilian tapirs grazing in the background. Tapirs have never been recorded living in any sort of desert, either through live sightings, secondary evidence, or fossil record.

Correction: Neither have apes, leopards or zebras. This is not a desert - it is tropical grassland which has been devastated by drought.

1

Corrected entry: In the montage of various Earth orbiting satellites, there is a shot of a device which is clearly illuminated mainly from underneath, whereas the Earth & Moon in the background are clearly lit from above.

Correction: That's because it is lit from underneath - by reflected light from the Earth, which is only a few hundred kilometres away. The Earth has a very high albedo and would reflect a huge amount of light onto the satellite.

1

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the TMA-1 excavation scene, studio lights can be seen reflecting off the tops of the astronauts' helmets (note the position of the sun low on the horizon versus the camera's perspective).

Correction: Those are the reflections of the construction lights positioned to light the excavation, which are in shot, as they are intended to be.

1

Corrected entry: When Heywood Floyd was talking to his daughter on the video-phone, the camera at home was moving slightly (up, down and sideways) to follow the movements of the girl. In reality, the phone camera would have been in a fixed position.

Correction: I have a webcam with a motion sensor which follows me as I move, and a studio protected by CCTV cameras similarly equipped. Bog standard technology.

1

Other mistake: There is something drastically wrong with the design of the spherical 'Aries' moon shuttle. Some seats and many fixtures are 'upside down' relative to the up-down orientation of the shuttle itself, and we see loose food trays and equipment about the place as if this is routine. But - the shuttle is designed to land on the moon. What happens then? The moon has gravity, remember? There are going to be quite a few very disgruntled people dangling upside down like spiders, and there will be loose gear (and perhaps a stewardess or two) bouncing about all over the place. It is not a matter of stowing loose gear or lying flat on landing - some parts of the shuttle are upside down relative to others, which is why the stewardess has to do that famous 180 degree upside down walk. Whichever way you look at it the shuttle is going to encounter serious problems when it reaches a gravity well, which will occur whenever the engines are fired up, never mind landing on the moon.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The shuttle lands "on its back" with legs extending beyond the engines. As in most traditional sci-fi, and ALL actual, space flights to date, the launch (and landing) orientation for humans is to be on one's back. This minimizes blood being sucked down to your feet if you were sitting upright at launch - you could pass out. So we see this when the shuttle lands on the moon - the cockpit (red window) faces up (pilots on their backs, facing out the window). When we presume that the passenger cabin was 180 degrees spun around from the cockpit seating, they're still on their backs. Any loose objects would have been stowed before landing - the airlines don't lock down your bags, newspapers and coffee cups, right? They're loose in the cabin during flight, but put away on takeoff and landing.

Airliners do not fly upside down. The Orion shuttle cannot possibly operate the way it does if it lands in a gravity environment - some rooms are upside down relative to others - why else would the stewardess do the 180 degree vertical walk? It is an idiotic design flaw, and the posting is 100% correct.

More mistakes in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

More quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Trivia: As HAL loses his mind, he begins to sing "Daisy." In 1961, "Daisy" was the first song ever to be reproduced with a nonhuman voice - a computer.

Phoenix
More trivia for 2001: A Space Odyssey

Question: Maybe I need to read the book, but can someone explain the whole ending sequence to me. Why all the flashy over dramatized pictures? It's artistic but is there some other meaning to it?

iceverything776

Chosen answer: All the flashing images are supposed to represent Bowman travelling past far and distant galaxies, this is what happens in the book, where he travels to that white house place.

troy fox

Answer: At the end, in the Arthur C. Clarke's story, both Dave Bowman and Frank Poole (who survived) went to a moon of Saturn to investigate the second Monolith. Dave Bowman tried to touch the Monolith with his space pod and was sucked into a wormhole that transported him to a star on the other side of the universe - at which point, Dave's last transmission is "My God, it's full of stars!" All of the "slit-scan" visual effects by Doug Trumbull (based on effects created by John Whitney years earlier) represent an almost instant voyage to the other side of the universe. Whether this is supposed to be a quantum-jump is not explained, but it's millions of times faster than anything ever depicted in Star Trek or other space fantasy knockoffs.

Charles Austin Miller
More questions & answers from 2001: A Space Odyssey

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