New Delhi: Stanley Kubrick’s epic adventure drama 2001: A Space Odyssey completes 48 years of release on Wednesday. Still remembered for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flights and innovative special effects, the film remains the benchmark as far as science fiction movies are concerned. Here are 10 interesting facts about the classic:
1. The film, originally called Journey Beyond the Stars, was partially based on a short story called The Sentinel, written by Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke worked on the original plot to expand it into a movie, co-writing the screenplay with Kubrick.
2. There is no dialogue in the first 25 and last 23 minutes of the film (excluding the end credits). Noted for its minimal verbal sound, there are around 88 dialogue-free minutes in the movie.
3. The film was shot and edited almost entirely in England, using the facilities of financier and distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)’s British subsidiary MGM British and Surrey-based movie studio Shepperton. This was to avail of sound stages larger than those found in the US.
4. The total footage shot is said to be nearly 200 times the final length of the film which was released 16 months behind schedule.
5. Danish architect and designer Arne Emil Jacobsen created the cutlery used by Discovery astronauts in the film. It is sold to the public to this day.
6. English psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd were apparently approached to play the music for the movie. But they turned down the offer owing to prior commitments.
7. 2001 received only one Academy Award, for Best Effects/Special Visual Effects, which upset the technicians who worked on the film.
8. The movie initially received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. Science fiction authors like Ray Bradbury and Lester del Rey felt it lacked humanity. A total of 241 people are said to have walked out of the premiere.
9. Kubrick’s scientific consultant Frederick Ordway revealed that the director had almost all the props of the film destroyed to both preserve the illusion of a classic and to ensure that they didn’t end up being used in other movies.
10. The film has been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the US Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.