2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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An astronaut sent on a mission to explore a strange obelisk must contend with an artificial intelligence that has a breakdown.


Genre

Science Fiction

Characters/Groups

Dr. David Bowman - Keir Dullea

Dr. Frank Poole - Gary Lockwood

Dr. Heywood Floyd - William Sylvester

Moonwatcher - Daniel Richter

Dr. Andrei Smyslov - Leonard Rossiter

Elena - Margaret Tyzack

Dr. Ralph Halvorsen - Robert Beatty

Dr. Roy Michaels - Sean Sullivan

Voice of HAL 9000 - Douglas Rain

Mission Controller - Frank Miller

Astronaut - Glenn Beck

Lunar Shuttle Stewardess - Edwina Carroll

Astronaut - Bill Weston

Poole's Father - Alan Gifford

Stewardess - Penny Brahms

Astronaut - Mike Lovell

Aries 1B Lunar Shuttle Captain - Edward Bishop

Poole's Mother - Ann Gillis

Stewardess - Heather Downham

Man Ape - John Ashley

Man Ape - Jimmy Bell

Man Ape - David Charkham

Man Ape - Simon Davis

Man Ape - Jonathan Daw

Man Ape - Peter Delmar

Man Ape - Terry Duggan

Man Ape - David Fleetwood

Man Ape - Danny Grover

Man Ape - Brian Hawley

Man Ape - David Hines

Man Ape - Tony Jackson

Man Ape - John Jordan

Man Ape - Scott MacKee

Man Ape - Laurence Marchant

Man Ape - Darryl Paes

Man Ape - Joe Refalo

Man Ape - Andy Wallace

Man Ape - Bob Wilyman

Man Ape - Richard Woods

Space Station Employee 1 - Maggie London

Space Station Employee 2 - Chela Matthison

Miller - Kevin Scott

Squirt - Vivian Kubrick

Monolith

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

At the dawn of man, a tribe of Man Apes led by Moonwatcher are living near a group of tapirs in the African Savannah. A leopard drops from a cliff and attacks and kills one of the Man Apes. As the tribe is at the watering hole, they are confronted by another tribe of Man Apes and are forced to run away. Moonwatcher wakes up and discovers a Monolith in the center of his camp. The rest of the tribe wakes up and starts hooting around the Monolith. Moonwatcher walks up to the Monolith carefully touches it before becoming comfortable with it and massaging it. The rest of the tribe then also starts to touch the Monolith. Time passes and as Moonwatcher is picking around a tapir skeleton, he stops to think before picking up a bone. He starts to tap the bone on the ground before using it as a tool and destroys other parts of the skeleton. Moonwatcher and his tribe learn to use the bone weapons to kill tapirs. They return to the watering hole and Moonwatcher confronts the leader of the other Man Apes and hits him with a bone tool. Moonwatcher and his tribe retake the watering hole and he throws his bone tool into the air in celebration.

A Pan American shuttle is flying Dr. Heywood Floyd to a space station. During the flight Stewardess 2 grabs a floating pen and puts it back into a sleeping Dr. Floyd's shirt pocket. Dr. Floyd takes an elevator to the main hub along with Space Station Employee 1 who notifies Dr. Floyd when he arrives at his desired level. He then checks in with Space Station Employee 2 who remarks he hasn't been to the station in some time. Dr. Floyd meets with Miller who greets him and tells him when his flight to the moon leaves. Dr. Floyd tells Miller he needs to make a phone call and calls home. His daughter answers the phone and he asks her to take a message for him and tell her mom that he called, after he promises to bring her something for her birthday that he is missing. As Dr. Floyd is walking to his meeting, he sees Elena, who introduces him to Dr. Andrei Smyslov. Dr. Floyd asks how Dr. Gregov is doing. Elena tells him they are all on their way home after a three month mission. Dr. Floyd tells them he is on his way to Clavius and Dr. Smyslov starts questioning him about rumors he heard about a plague outbreak on Clavius, which has stopped communicating. Dr. Floyd tells him he cannot discuss matters and then leaves for his meeting. Dr. Floyd takes a lunar shuttle and is brought food by a Lunar Shuttle Stewardess, who when she sees him asleep brings the tray to a fellow Stewardess. The Lunar Shuttle Stewardess then brings two trays of food to Aries 1B Lunar Shuttle Captain and Astronaut 1. The Aries 1B Lunar Shuttle Captain afterwards goes to meet Dr. Floyd. The lunar shuttle lands on at the Clavius Base on the moon. Dr. Floyd holds a meeting with Dr. Ralph Halvorsen, Dr. Roy Michaels and a group of other lunar personnel. Dr. Floyd tells them a message from Dr. Howell and congratulates them on their discovery. He mentions some of their opposition to the story that their is an epidemic on the base and how close relatives might react, but tells them about the absolute need for secrecy of their discovery. He tells them the purpose of his trip is to gather information and come up with a plan with the council on how and when the news should be given to the public. Dr. Michaels asks how long the cover story will have to be maintained, but Dr. Floyd tells him, he can't give him a solid date. Dr. Floyd, Dr. Halvorsen and Dr. Michaels take a shuttle to the excavation site where a Monolith was found. On their trip, Dr. Michaels shows Dr. Floyd a satellite image of where the Monolith was found and explains how they originally thought it was a magnetic rock, but the evidence proved otherwise. Dr. Halvorsen tells Dr. Floyd the Monolith appears to have been deliberately buried four million years ago. They land at the excavation site and stare at the Monolith. Dr. Floyd walks down to the Monolith and touches it and as a group photograph is about to be taken, a loud ringing occurs.

During the Jupiter Mission eighteen months later, Dr. David Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole are flying the Discovery 1 spacecraft to Jupiter. Dr. Poole watches a program on the BBC about the Jupiter Mission while he eats. The program notes that the mission consists of the HAL 9000 and five men, three of who are in cryogenic sleep. Martin Amor interviews Dr. Bowman and Dr. Poole and asks how things are going. They discuss the hibernation process and then Martin Amor interviews HAL 9000. Martin asks HAL 9000 if he ever lacks confidence and HAL remarks that no 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. Dr. Poole tells Martin that HAL is like a sixth member of the crew and Dr. Bowman tells Martin he believes HAL has genuine emotions at least on the surface. Dr. Poole watches a transmission of Poole's Father and Poole's Mother who wish him Happy Birthday. They tell him they along with Dr. Bowman's parents were interviewed by the news. At the end of the transmission, HAL tells Dr. Poole Happy Birthday. Later Dr. Poole plays chess with HAL and loses. HAL asks Dr. Bowman if he has had second thoughts about the mission and mentions that it heard rumors about something being dug up on the moon. HAL tells Dr. Bowman that he has picked up a fault in the AE35 Unit. Dr. Bowman and Dr. Poole contact Mission Controller and he okays them going to fix the AE35 Unit. Dr. Bowman goes out in a pod and replaces the old AE35 Unit with a new one. He and Dr. Poole discover that nothing was wrong with the old unit, which HAL can't explain. They contact Mission Controller who tells them HAL is in error and they didn't detect any fault in the unit. After the transmission, HAL asks them if they are concerned about the information and HAL blames the problem on human error. HAL then reiterates that no HAL unit has ever made an error. Dr. Bowman asks Dr. Poole if he can help him fix a transmitter problem in one of the pods and and they go inside the pod. They turn off the communication system within the pod and then discuss what they should do about HAL. Dr. Poole tells Dr. Bowman he thinks something is off about HAL and they decide to put the AE35 Unit back in to test if it does in fact break. They then decide if it doesn't break and HAL is malfunctioning then they must disconnect him from the spaceship controls. Dr. Bowman wonders how HAL will take being disconnected. It is then revealed that HAL has been reading Dr. Poole and Dr. Bowman's lips. Dr. Poole takes a pod out to return the original AE35 Unit. As he is working on the unit, HAL takes control of the pod and cuts Dr. Poole's oxygen line and Dr. Poole goes spinning into space. Dr. Bowman gets into another pod and goes after Dr. Poole and HAL tells him he doesn't know what happened. Dr. Bowman retrieves Dr. Poole's body. Meanwhile HAL turns off the life control system to the astronauts in hibernation, killing them. Dr. Bowman returns with Poole's body, but HAL refuses to open the pod bay doors to the spaceship and accuses Dr. Bowman of trying to jeopardize the mission by disconnecting HAL. Dr. Bowman is forced to abandon Dr. Poole's body in order to open the emergency doors. He manages to make it back into the spaceship and systematically turns off HAL's higher functions as HAL pleads with him to stop and tells Dr. Bowman that he is afraid. A prerecorded briefing from Dr. Floyd appears which relays the information about the finding of the Monolith on the moon that relayed a powerful signal to Jupiter.

As Dr. Bowman arrives at Jupiter, another Monolith is floating near Jupiter space. Dr. Bowman takes a pod towards the Monolith and as he nears it, is transported through space and time in a stargate. He wakes up in the pod staring at a richly decorated room. He then watches as an image of himself ages quickly until he dies of old age. Dr. Bowman is then reborn as the Star Child and sent back to Earth.