2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

139m (release cut), 156m (premiere cut)
35mm, 70mm (Cinerama), filmed in Super Panavision, Todd-AO
in Technicolor and Metrocolor, 2.20:1, 2.35:1 (35mm prints)
70mm 6-Track (70mm prints), English
Production Start Date: 29 December 1965
Original Release Date: 10 May 1968 [UK]

A British science fiction film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film was shot in the UK by the British wing of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer between December 1965 and early 1968 at Shepperton and MGM-British Studios. Two days after it opened in the States on 2 April 1968, Kubrick recalled the film and cut 17-19 minutes, footage that was lost for many years until it was discovered, perfectly preserved, in a salt mine in Kansas in December 2010. Shot on a budget of $10.5-12 million, it made $15 million on its initial release but was re-released several times taking its official box office to $56.9 million in North America and over $190 million worldwide. Critical reaction was initially mixed with some critics hailing it as a “milestone” 1Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times and “the world's most extraordinary film” 2Marjorie Adams, Boston Globe while others dismissed it as “a monumentally unimaginative movie” 3Pauline Kael, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Barry Lyndon in The New York Times or “a film that is so dull, it even dulls our interest in the technical ingenuity for the sake of which Kubrick has allowed it to become dull” 4Stanley Kauffmann, Lost in the Stars in The New Republic. Today it regularly appears in “greatest films” lists including those published by Sight & Sound, the Online Film Critics Society, The Village Voice, Roger Ebert and the Vatican.

Plot Summary

A never-seen alien race gives early man a boost up the evolutionary ladder by teaching it how to use animal bones as hunting tools and weapons. Millions of years later, the ' emissary, an enigmatic black monolith seen at the dawn of Man, reappears, buried on . It sends a signal in the direction of and, 18 months later, a manned mission is sent to see who – or what – the signal was aimed at…


* = uncredited

This film was directed by: Stanley Kubrick
© MCMLXVIII [1968] by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents. A Stanley Kubrick production. Presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
This film was produced by: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by: Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke
Short Story: The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke
Director of Photography: Geoffrey Unsworth
Film Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Music by: Aram Khatchaturian, György Ligeti, Johann Strauss, Richard Strauss
Sound Supervisor: A.W. Watkins
Wardrobe by: Hardy Amies
Make Up Supervisor: Charles Parker *
Chief Hair: Alice Holmes *
Special Photographic Effects Designed and Crew
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Production Designed by: Tony Masters, Harry Lange, Ernest Archer

Keir Dullea (David Bowman)
Gary Lockwood (Frank Poole)
William Sylvester (Dr Heywood Floyd)
Daniel Richter (Moonwatcher)
Leonard Rossiter (Smyslov)
Margaret Tyzack (Elena)
Robert Beatty (Halvorsen)
Sean Sullivan (Dr Bill Michaels)
Douglas Rain (voice of HAL 9000)
Frank Miller (mission controller)
Glenn Beck (astronaut)
Edwina Carroll (Aries stewardess)
Bill Weston (spacewalker)
Alan Gifford (Poole's father)
Penny Brahms (stewardess)
Mike Lovell (astronaut)
Edward Bishop (Lunar shuttle commander)

Alternative Titles

2001: En rom odysse – Norway
2001 Odissea nello spazio – Italy
2001 – Odyssee im Weltraum – Germany
2001: Vesmírná odysea – Czechoslovakia
How the Solar System Was Won – working title
Journey Beyond the Stars – early title

2010 (1984)

Extracts included in
100 Years at the Movies (1994)
1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014)
2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future (1966)
2001: The Making of a Myth (2001)
2001 and Beyond (2001)
2001: HAL's Legacy (2001)
Precious Images (1986)

See also
2001: A Space Travesty (2000)
Dark Star (1974)
The Groove Tube (1974)
History of the World Part I (1981)
Solyaris (1972)

Production Notes

It opened in the UK on 10 May 1968 and was re-issued several times, the first occasion being on 5 July 1970.



  • The Christian Science Monitor 10 May 1968 section 2 p.9 – review (High voltage on four circuits by John Allen)
  • The New York Free Press 11 April 1968 – article (2001: The first space ship introduced out of a flying thighbone)
  • New York Times 4 April 1968 p.58 – review (The Screen: ‘2001' Is Up, Up and Away: Kubrick's Odyssey in Space Begins Run by Renata Adler)
  • New York Times 21 April 1968 Section D, p.1 – review (, Maoists – and girls by Renata Adler)
  • Der Spiegel no.21 (20 May 1968) – review


  • American Cinematographer vol.49 no.6 (June 1968) pp.412-413, 420-422, 416-419, 441 – 447, 451-454, 459-461 – credits, illustrated articles (Filming 2001 by Herb A. Lightman; Creating Special Effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey by Douglas Trumbull; Front Projection for 2001: A Space Odyssey by Herb A. Lightman)
  • American Cinematographer vol.50 no.10 (October 1969) p.99 – credits
  • American Cinematographer vol.80 no.3 (March 1999) pp.100-165 – illustrated article
  • Avant-scene du cinema no.231/232 (July 1979) pp.5-17, 19-53 – credits
  • Cahiers du Cinema no.179 (June 1966) p.78 – article (Le Cahier des autres by Jacques Bontemps)
  • Cahiers du Cinema no.209 (February 1969) p.56 – review
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.7 pp.47, 48
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.8 pp.51, 52
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.13 pp.7-11, 62
  • Cineaste vol.2 no.1 (Summer 1968) pp.10-11; 12-14; 15-16; 17 – article (2001: A Space Odyssey by Mark Gasser); article (A tentative for the viewing of 2001 by Gary Crowdus); article (Is 2001 worth seeing twice? by Cliff Barker); article (2004 by Michael Becker)
  • Cinefantastique vol.25 no.3 (June 1994) pp.32-47 – illustrated article, review
  • Cinema no.109 (September/October 1966) p.18
  • Cinema vol.3 n.4 (December 1966) pp.4-6, 10 – article (Stanley Kubrick in the 21st century by Norman Spinrad)
  • Cinema no.131 (December 1968) pp.30-53
  • Commonweal vol.88 no.7 (3 May 1968) pp.207-208 – review (by Philip T. Hartung)
  • Daily Cinema no.9515 (1 May 1968) pp.5-10
  • Daily Cinema no.9516 (3 May) 1968 p.9
  • Dreamwatch no.44 pp.57-62
  • Empire no.1 (June/July 1989) p.99 – illustrated review
  • Empire no.85 July 1996 pp.44, 128 – letter (about HAL/IBM from Molly Byrne in Dublin, Ireland); illustrated review (by Caroline Westbrook)
  • Empire no.102 December 1997 p.150- illustrated article (by Ian Freer)
  • Empire April 1998 p.50- illustrated interview with Keir Dullea (by Ian Freer)
  • Empire February 1998 Sci-Fi Supplement pp.10-11- illustrated article by Adam Smith
  • Empire no.106 (April 1998) p.50- illustrated interview with Keir Dullea (Where are they now? by Ian Freer)
  • Empire no.142 (April 2001) pp.59; 104-109- illustrated review (by Angie Errigo); article (The future is now by Adam Smith)
  • Empire no.199 (January 2006) pp.150-151- illustrated article (Decade Death Match: The 60's: Your 10 Best '60s Movies by Rob Fraser)
  • Empire no.201 (March 2006) pp.77-88, 90-101- illustrated article (201 greatest movies of all time)
  • Empire no203 (May 2006) pp.168-169- illustrated article (At Home/All-time 100: Month Seven: Sci-fi and Fantasy by Ian Nathan)
  • Empire no.208 (October 2006) pp.124-128- illustrated interview (Unknown icons: “I was Frank the Bunny!” by Nick De Semlyen)
  • Empire no.225 (March 2008) pp.91-97- illustrated article (40 films that guarantee you sex by Ian Freer & Kim Newman)
  • Empire no.228 (June 2008) pp.94-101- illustrated article (True originals by Simon Crook et al )
  • Empire no.232 (October 2008) pp.124-125- illustrated article (Apocalypse Now reduced! by Simon Crook)
  • Empire no.242 (August 2009) pp.89-113- illustrated article (1001 greatest movie moments)
  • Empire Special Sci-Fi June 2003 whole issue; p.34- illustrated articles (The ten most influential sci-fi films ever made by Ian freer et al; Classic scene)
  • Enclitic Special 1982 p.172-180 – article (Narrative Overture and Closure in 2001: A Space Odyssey by Robert Burgoyne)
  • Esquire May 1966 p.117 – note (To prepare a man for the extraordinary)
  • Extrapolation no.3 (1987) – article (Rendezvous with HAL: 2001/2010 by R. Shelton)
  • Extrapolation no.10 (December 1968) pp 67-68 – article (2001: Odyssey to Byzantium by Morris Beja)
  • Extrapolation no.11 (December 1969) pp 23-24 – article (1001 Interpretations of 2001 by Robert Plank)
  • Extrapolation no.11 (December 1969) pp.6-14 – article (Dream Literature and Science Fiction by Joanna Russ)
  • Fantastic Films vol.1 no.3 (August 1978) pp.6-27 – illustrated interview with Douglas Trumbull (Douglas Trumbull by James Delson)
  • Filmfax no.73 (June/July 1999) pp.28-30, 36, 38 – illustrated article
  • Film Comment vol.5 no.4 (Winter 1969) pp.6-15 – article
  • Film Culture no.48/49 (Winter/Spring) 1970 p.53 – review
  • Film Heritage vol.3 no.4 (Summer 1968) pp.1-20 – article (2001: A new myth)
  • Film Heritage vol.3 no.2 (Winter 1968) pp.31-32 – letter from Don Daniels
  • Film Journal vol.2 no.1 (1972) p.65 – review
  • Filmfacts vol.11 no.7 (May 1968) pp.95-99 – illustrated reprinted reviews
  • Films and Filming vol.14 no.10 July 1968 pp.24-26- illustrated review (by David Austen)
  • Galaxy vol.26 no.6 (July 1968) pp.193-194 – review (by Lester Del Ray)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.200 no.19 (3 April 1968) p.3 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.283 no.13 (15 August 1984) p.9 – note
  • The Humanist November-December 1968 pp.34-34, 28 – article (Return to Méliès: Reflections on the science fiction film by Harry M. Geduld)
  • L'Incroyable Cinema vol.1 no.1 (January 1969) pp.6-17- illustrated article (2001 by Steve Vertlieb)
  • Industrial Design May 1968 pp.34-41 – article (2001: A design preview by Paul Sargent Clark)
  • Infinity no.32 (2021) p.37 – illustrated review (Infinity reviews by AB [Allan Bryce])
  • Interview vol.1 no.8 (1970) p.20
  • Journal of Popular Culture vol.2 no.1 (Summer 1968) pp.167-171 – review (Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey: Asleep and a forgetting by John J. Fritscher)
  • Journal of Popular Culture vol.4 no.4 (Spring 1971) – article (Mythic Patterns in 2001: A Space Odyssey by David G. Hoch)
  • Journal of Popular Film vol.6 no.3 (1978) pp.202-215
  • Journal of Popular Film and Television vol.18 no.3 (Autumn 1990) pp.94-102 – illustrated article
  • Journal of Popular Film and Television vol.25 no.4 (Winter 1998) pp.172-182 – illustrated article
  • Kine Weekly no.3160 (4 May 1968) p.11
  • Kine Weekly no.3051 (24 March 1996) p.17- production note (Here Today)
  • The Listener vol.121 no.3098 (26 January 1989) p.35
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.21 no.3 (1993) pp.209-217 – illustrated article
  • London Magazine vol.8 no.4 (July 1968) pp.68-71 – review (Plans that go wrong by Philip French)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.35 no.413 (June 1968) pp.88-89- review by J.I.
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.238 no.15 (10 April 1968) p.793
  • MovieMaker vol.15 no.76 (Summer 2008) pp.76-80 – illustrated article (“Why doesn't Paula Kael like my movie?” by Ryan Stewart)
  • New York Times Magazine 16 January 1966 p.14 – interview with Stanley Kubrick (Offbeat director in outer space by Hollis Alpert)
  • The New Yorker 24 April 1965 – interview with Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick (Beyond the Stars by Jeremy Bernstein)
  • The New Yorker 12 November 1966 – article (Profiles: How about a little game? by Jeremy Bernstein)
  • The New Yorker 21 September 1968 – book review (Books: Chain reaction by Jeremy Bernstein)
  • The New Yorker 13 April 1968 pp.150-152 – review (The current cinema: After man by Penelope Gilliatt)
  • Newsday 6 April 1968 p.63 – review (The message of Kubrick by Joseph Gelmis)
  • Newsweek 12 September 1966 – article (Kubrick, further out)
  • Popular Mechanics April 1967 pp.106-109 – article (2001: Backstage magic for a trip to Saturn by R.F. Dempewolff)
  • Positif no.98 (October 1968) – article (L'Odyssee de Stanley Kubrick by Michel Climent)
  • Positif no.99 (November 1968) pp.54-56 – review
  • Positif no.439 (September 1997) pp.82-86- illustrated article
  • Premiere vol.12 no.11 (July 1999) pp.116 – illustrated article (Classic Scene: 2001: A Space Odyssey)
  • Quarterly Review of Film Studies vol.3 no.3 (Summer 1978) pp.297-316-
  • Radio Times 19 December 1981-1 January 1982 p.106 – review (Films by Geoff Brown)
  • Radio Times vol.234 no.3037 (23 January 1982) p.77
  • Radio Times 20 December 1986-2 January 1987 p.27 – review (Films by Geoff Brown)
  • Radio Times 28 January-3 February 1989 p.13 – review (Film previews by Geoff Brown
  • Radio Times 26 July 2008 p.45- illustrated article (Barry Norman's Greatest Hits by Barry Norman)
  • Science Digest May 1968 pp.34-49 – reprint of R.F. Dempewolff's article 2001: Backstage magic for a trip to Saturn from Popular Mechanics)
  • Science Fiction Film and Television vol.2 no.2 (Autumn 2009) pp.225-250- illustrated article (Simians, subjectivity and sociality: 2001: A Space Odyssey and two versions of Planet of the Apes by Sherryl Vint)
  • Screen vol.34 no.2 (Summer 1993) pp.137 – 161- illustrated article
  • Screen International no.123 (28 January 1978) p.18 – illustrated preview
  • Screen International no.144 (24-30 June (1978) p.2 – note (West End openings)
  • Screen International no.147 (15-21 July 1978) p.20 – illustrated note (UK provincial box office: ‘2001' proves a 1978 hit by Chris Brown)
  • Screen International no.156 (16-22 September 1978) p.22 – illustrated note (‘Wild Geese' stays steady by Chris Brown)
  • Screen International no.159 (7-14 October 1978) p.3 – note (‘2001' for BBC)
  • Screen International no.166 (25 November-1 December 1978) p.4 – note (Screen shorts)
  • Sight & Sound vol.35 no.2 (Spring 1966) pp.57-60; 78-83 – article (Two for the sci-fi by David Robinson); article (Putting the magic in it by Roger Hudson)
  • Sight & Sound vol.37 no.3 Summer 1968 pp.153-154- illustrated review by Philip Strick
  • Sight & Sound vol.38 no.4 (Autumn 1969) pp.204-207- article (2001: Out of the Silent Planet by Mel McKee)
  • Sight & Sound vol.40 no.1 (Winter 1970/1971) pp.28-33- illustrated article
  • Sight & Sound vol.4 no.1 (January 1994) pp.18-25- illustrated article, synopsis (2001: A Cold Descent by Mark Crispin Miller)
  • Sight & Sound vol.4 no.2 (February 1994) p.72- letter (2001 Screening by Bill Lawrence)
  • Sight & Sound vol.5 no.5 May 1995 pp.14-19- illustrated article on Doug Trumbull (Escape from Gravity by Janet Abrams)
  • Sight & Sound vol.5 no.8 (August 1995) pp.6-10- illustrated article (Big and Loud by Larry Gross)
  • Sight & Sound vol.12 no.9 (September 2002) p.42- illustrated article (Critics top ten: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Philip Strick)
  • Sight & Sound vol.18 no.4 (April 2008) pp.85-86- DVD review (Reviews: DVDs: Stanley Kubrick Collection by Geoffrey Macnab)
  • Starburst no.34 (1981) pp.28-32
  • Starburst no.268 (December 2000) pp.15; 98 – credits, release date (Things to come: Movie releases: US release dates); illustrated article (It's only a movie! By John Brosnan)
  • Starburst Special no.36 (Summer 1998) pp.48-55- illustrated article (2001 30 Years On by Howard Maxford)
  • Stardock no.2 (April 1969) p.22-30- illustrated article (2001: Before the Rebirth by John Ramsey Campbell)
  • Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) pp.24-27 – illustrated article (Two Thousand and One a Space Odyssey: An appreciation by Colin Graham)
  • Take One vol.1 no.11 (May-June 1968) pp.18-22; 29 – interview with Wally Gentleman (Take One talks to Wally Gentleman); review (by John Hofsess)
  • Today's Cinema no.9816 (23 June 1970) p.8 – note (General releases)
  • Today's Cinema no.9818 (30 June 1970) p.15 – note (General releases)
  • Trumpet no.9 (1969) p.37 – article (Notes on 2001: A Space Odyssey by Richard Hodgens)
  • Variety 3 April 1968 p.6
  • Die Welt 27 April 1968 – review (by Hans Sahl)
  • Weltwunder der Kinematographie vol. 1/1994 (March 1994) pp.4-9 – 25th anniversary of 2001 special issue; review (2001: Eine strukturalistische Odyssee. Ansaetze zur medienvergleichenden Kritik by Bernhard Kempen); article (Versuch ueber einen raetselhaften Film by Joachim Polzer); article (Die Geschichte des 70-mm-Breitwand-Films by Hans-Joachim Heuel)


  • 100 Cult Films by Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik pp.6-9 – illustrated review by EM [Ernest Mathijs]
  • 2001: Filming the Future by Piers Bizony
  • 2001: l'odysée de l'espace: un film de Stanley Kubrick; dossier sur le film et le réalisateur; découpage intégral et dialogues anglais
  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.144 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.279-280 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick by Norman Kagan pp.145-166; 203 – illustrated chapter; credits
  • The Complete Index to British Sound Film Since 1928 by Alan Goble p.1 – credits
  • Critical Insights: Stanley Kubrick by Peter J. Bailey (ed.) pp.x, xii, 4, 7, 22, 28, 38; 49, 50; 57; 58; 59; 66; 71; 72; 75; 91; 158; 159; 165; 166; 167; 168; 169; 173; 174; 204; 206; 209; 222; 226; 249; 254; 257; 260
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.136
  • The Encyclopedia of Epic Films by Constantine Santas, James M. Wilson, Maria Colavito, Djoymi Baker pp.504-507
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.472-473 – illustrated credits, review (by D.G.B. [Douglas G. Baldwin])
  • Encyklopedie fantastického filmu by Ivan Adamovič et al pp.15-16 – credits, review (by sc [Stanislav Čermák])
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.4, 9, 94-95, 108-109, 110-122, 133, 138, 142, 145, 153, 155, 163-164
  • Film Review 1969-70 by F. Maurice Speed (ed.) p.220 – credits, review
  • Film Review 1974-75 by F. Maurice Speed (ed.) – illustrated article (Novel into film by Gordon Gow)
  • HAL's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality edited by David G. Stork
  • Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s pp.46, 57, 58, 62, 67, 69
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.12 – credits, review
  • Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death by James Marriott & Kim Newman p.229
  • I Lost it at the Movies by Pauline Kael p.184
  • Kubrick's 2001: A Triple Allegory by Leonard F. Wheat
  • The Liverpool Companion to World Science Fiction Film by Sonja Fritsche (ed.) pp.89-103 – article (Invaders, Launchpads, and Hybrids: The Importance of Transmediality in British Science Fiction Film in the 1950s by Derek Johnston)
  • Looking for a New England: Action, Time, Vision: Music, Film and TV 1975-1986 by Simon Matthews pp.8, 43
  • The Lost Worlds of 2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Making of Kubrick's 2001 by Jerome Agel (ed.)
  • Movies of the 60s by Jürgen Müller pp.556-563 – illustrated review (by NM [Nils Meyer])
  • by Walt Lee p.509
  • Sci-fi Chronicles by Guy Haley (ed.) pp.65; 124; 136-141
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.499-501 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Science Fiction in the Cinema by John Baxter
  • SF: The Other Side of Realism edited by Thomas D. Clareson pp 263-271
  • Silver Screen Saucers: Sorting Fact from Fantasy in Hollywood's UFO Movies by Robbie Graham pp.72, 110, 129, 216-218 
  • Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Benson
  • Spectacular! The Story of Epic Films by John Cary, edited by John Kobal p.160 – credits
  • Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey by Gene D. Phillips pp.128-152; 185-186 – illustrated chapter; credits
  • The Stanley Kubrick Companion by James Howard pp.99-116 – illustrated credits, chapter
  • Stanley Kubrick Directs by Alexander Walker pp.222-267; 303 – illustrated chapter; credits
  • Stanley Kubrick: New York Jewish Intellectual by Nathan Abrams pp.9, 42, 118-141, 142, 149, 150, 151, 158, 164, 170, 171, 212, 214, 217, 219, 223, 245, 249, 267
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction no.2 by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss (eds.) – article (Apeman, Superman; or, 2001's Answer to the World Riddle by Leon E. Stover; review by Ed Emshwiller; review by Samuel R. Delaney; review by Lester del Rey)
  • Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema by Philip Hayward (ed) pp.137, 213,  190
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.222
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.119  – illustrated credits, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.18
  • A World on Film by Stanley Kauffmann p.17
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction No. 2 by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss (eds) – reprint of Lester Del Rey's review from Galaxy

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide May 2019 p.26 – illustrated listing
  • British National Film Catalogue vol.6 (1968) – credits