Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. United Kingdom/USA, 1968. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Stanley Kubrick Productions. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, based on the story The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke. Cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth. Produced by Stanley Kubrick. Music by Patrick Moore. Production Design by Ernest Archer, Harry Lange, Anthony Masters. Costume Design by Hardy Amies. Film Editing by Ray Lovejoy. Academy Awards 1968.
Despite its long running time and some very slow scenes (don’t watch it if you’re the slightest bit sleepy) this Stanley Kubrick classic is never less than breathtaking every step of the way. The main plot surrounds NASA investigating a strange signal being transmitted between an ancient monolith on Earth and something on Jupiter. Astronaut Keir Dullea is on a spaceship bound for the giant planet with a supercomputer named HAL on board who has plans of his own. Kubrick’s theme study on the dangers of technology and subsequent dehumanization can be appreciated without reading into its subtext, if so desired, but don’t let this perfect film pass you by: this was the first time space-related science-fiction became a film genre worth taking seriously, and it’s still far ahead of many films made since its first release.