2001: A Space Odyssey

A few million years ago, in Africa's Olduvai Gorge, our ancestors were starving, defenseless prey to predators, and on the verge of extinction. An advanced civilization from the stars (never shown) spots our potential and gives our brains a boost by means of a monolith. (Symbolic dimensions 1x4x9 --the squares of 1, 2 and 3) In 2001 a monolith is found buried on the moon. When sunlight hits it, it sends a radio message to a Jupiter monolith-relay, telling the aliens that we have arrived. A space craft is sent to Jupiter on a secret mission to check it out. One member of the crew is HAL -- a sentient, self-aware computer. Unfortunately HAL has been instructed to lie -- something contrary to his very nature. This drives him to desperate measures.

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Quotes

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

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Mistakes

During the "Dawn of Man" sequence, the ape-man scenes were shot on an indoor stage with projected background images on a huge screen behind the stage. The screen itself was a highly reflective cloth. In most shots, it is quite convincing, but in several (especially when facing the aggressive, victorious group during the first fight, then again when facing the tool-using group in the last fight), the rear screen appears to be a patchwork of smaller pieces of cloth as very obvious puzzle-like shapes of varying reflectivity appear in the sky. Once you notice them, it's incredibly distracting. It was originally parallel strips, but they were VERY visible as vertical lines so they were torn into a patchwork to make lines less obvious.

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Trivia

The little girl on the picture phone is director Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian.

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