2001: A Space Odyssey

Trivia: The little girl on the picture phone is director Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivian. (00:27:50)

Larry Koehn

Trivia: The leopard lying on a dead zebra was actually lying on a dead horse painted to look like a zebra. The cat wasn't too happy with that scene.

Larry Koehn

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.


Trivia: The Pink Floyd song 'Echoes', which clocks in at 23:27 on the album Meddle was inspired by and is perfectly timed to the 'Stargate' sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Trivia: The Computer Science department at the Engineering School at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, have a "birthday party" for HAL every January 12th - the date & place HAL became operational in the movie.

Trivia: The breathing in the movie, according to Kubrick's daughter, was actually done by Kubrick himself.


Trivia: Stanley Kubrick, a chess fan and one of the strongest chess players in Hollywood, named the surname of chief Soviet scientist who visits the space station, after former Russian chess world-champion Vassily Smyslov.

Kelsey H.

Trivia: Both director Stanley Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke originally chose Jupiter as the Discovery's destination, and production of the Jupiter sequences and elaborate special effects were already finished ("in the can") when Kubrick abruptly decided to change the destination to Saturn. Kubrick thought Saturn with its rings would be more visually exciting than the Jupiter footage that he had already finished, so he ordered his special effects team to begin work on the Saturn effects. At the same time, Arthur C. Clarke changed the destination to Saturn in his "2001" novel that he was writing concurrent with the movie's production. Stanley Kubrick was well known for making such sudden and costly changes in the middle of production, but money wasn't really an issue; in fact, when Kubrick showed MGM studio heads and investors his early special effects footage, they were so awestruck that they all agreed to pay any price for the finished film. The real reason that Kubrick didn't go to Saturn was the protest of his exasperated special effects team, who had spent an enormous amount of time and effort on the already-completed Jupiter footage and had stretched their ingenuity to the point of exhaustion. The FX artists and technicians were extremely proud of their work and argued against simply discarding it to the cutting room floor. Kubrick, in typical fashion, abruptly dropped the Saturn idea without a second thought and stayed with Jupiter. (Strangely enough, Arthur C. Clarke still thought Saturn was a better destination, so he kept it in his novel, which published shortly after the movie premiered).

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: Many of the scenes of the expanding galaxies, as Dave was passing by them, was nothing more than paint being funneled down a tube and pouring out into a glass container full of water with a camera beneath to capture the effect.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: There is no dialogue in the first 25 minutes or in the last 23 minutes of the film.

Trivia: The scene where Bowman is shown floating through HAL's 'brain' prior to disconnect used a stunt double in a space suit suspended by wires behind him. During one take the wires failed, dropping him to the floor and causing serious injury.

Trivia: The moon pit where we see the monolith was created by dyeing 90 tons of sand. (Interview with Kier Dullea).


Trivia: Almost every company whose product was advertised in this film is no longer in business.

Trivia: In the 'Stargate' sequence at the end of the film, the shots that look like colored landscape is actually unused footage from Dr. Strangelove that was colorised.

Trivia: In the ape or Dawn of Man portion of the film, the scenes of the landscapes were created by still projectors near the film camera with a stage in the foreground. This was obvious, in one scene, where the eyes of the leopard were glowing.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: Not only "Echoes," but also the album "Dark Side of the Moon," less the songs "Money," "Us and Them," and "Any Colour You Like," can be perfectly synchronized to the Stargate sequence.

Trivia: Alex North originally scored 2001. Kubrick eventually decided to go with classical music instead for he used classical music on his sets to set the mood for his actors.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: Originally the film was going to end with the Starchild activating the nuclear launch platforms orbiting Earth, using the planet's destruction as a means to accelerate the evolution of mankind into its new universally intelligent form. Stanley Kubrick eventually decided against this as it was too similar to the ending of his previous film "Dr. Strangelove".

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Suggested correction: As author Arthur C. Clarke conceived the story, Dave Bowman transforms into the Starchild and instantaneously returns to Earth to become the planet's guardian. The Starchild arrives just as international tensions erupt into nuclear war; whereupon, the Starchild safely destroys the nuclear weapons, saving Mankind from itself. There was never any mention or intention of the Starchild destroying Earth.

Charles Austin Miller

Trivia: To film Dave Bowman's explosive transition from the pod into the Discovery, a vertical airlock set was constructed. Keir Dullea was suspended on wires and pulled to the top of the set as the camera shot upwards from below. This, combined with the establishing shot of the pod lined up with the airlock door, gave the illusion that he was floating horizontally into the ship - the wires suspending him from the ceiling were hidden behind his body.

BocaDavie Premium member

Trivia: People speculate that HAL is a reference to IBM, as the letters differ by one position. Kubrick says this is a coincidence, but was concerned about IBM's reaction to the film's references, including the IBM logo on Bowman's spacesuit. However IBM had no problem as long as they weren't associated with the "equipment failure," or listed as technical advisors for the computer.


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Suggested correction: Despite decades of rumors regarding the relationship between Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and IBM, the fact is that IBM worked very closely with the production (assisting and advising on futuristic onscreen computer effects), and there was never any conflict or concern with IBM's reaction to the film.

Charles Austin Miller

Revealing mistake: When we see the space station from the cockpit of the approaching shuttle, the station does not appear to rotate because the shuttle is rotating at the same speed. OK...except that the station IS still rotating with respect to the sun, which means that the light source and shadows on the station should be moving.

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

Question: What was the ultimate destination of the Jupiter mission? The giant planet is made of gas, it has no solid surface to land on. Theoretically a spacecraft could land on one of Jupiter's moons, but they lie within the lethal radiation belt.

Answer: The ultimate goal was to orbit Jupiter to study the Monolith also in orbit around it.

Grumpy Scot

Answer: The objective of the Discovery (Jupiter) mission was to locate the recipient of the powerful radio signal that was transmitted from the Moon earlier in the movie. Interestingly, the destination of the Discovery mission changed between Jupiter to Saturn and back to Jupiter during the production of the film. The Jupiter visual effects had already been shot ("in the can" as it were) when Stanley Kubrick decided to change to Saturn. It was the protest of the visual effects team, who had already spent much time and money on the Jupiter effects, that convinced Kubrick to stay with Jupiter. In the meantime, author Arthur C. Clarke went ahead and changed the destination to Saturn in his written treatment of the movie.

Charles Austin Miller

More questions & answers from 2001: A Space Odyssey

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