This fast-paced, futuristic sci-fi adventure set at a time during which humankind has greatly advanced technologies that can enable space travel. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well).
Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be.
Did you know?
Originally, Stanley Kubrick had Stuart Freeborn create a primitive but more human-like makeup for the actors playing early man, but he couldn't find a way to photograph them in full length without getting an X-rating from the MPAA, since they had to be naked. So Kubrick went with the hairy monkey model instead. With the exception of two baby chimpanzees, all were played by humans in costume. Freeborn and his wife Kathleen Freeborn used comic actor Ronnie Corbett as a makeup model, but he did not appear in the final film. Daniel Richter, who plays the ape moon watcher, choreographed most of these scenes. Early viewers of the movie wondered where Kubrick obtained such well-trained apes. It was later joked that "2001" lost the Best Makeup Academy Award to John Chambers for Planet of the Apes (1968) because the judges didn't realize the 2001 apes were really people, but there was no nomination list at all, as the award was not created until 1981--Chambers' award was merely honorary. Read More