The Black Hole
Release year: 1979
Director: Gary Nelson
Screenwriters: Jeb Rosebrook, Gerry Day
Starring: Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Foster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Ernest Borgnine, Tom McLoughlin
Ratings: 2 Oscar nominations: Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects.
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #250, week 14 2019
Near the end of a long mission exploring deep space, the spacecraft USS Palomino discovers a black hole and The Cygnus, a long-lost spaceship near it. Deciding to investigate, the team enters what seems to be an abandoned ship.
Being a Disney produced space flick, The Black Hole is more family friendly that it would have been in the hands of other companies, but otherwise this is obviously oriented towards adults and the Mouse company is only present in the cute robots. The rest is a space opera with great visuals for the time and an even better cast. Forster (Olympus Has Fallen, 2013) is solid as the Captain of USS Palomino and Perkins (Psycho, 1960) good as Dr. Durant. Spicing things up is a great Mimieux (The Time Machine, 1960) bringing an emotional edge to the story while the colourful Borgnine (The Poseidon Adventure, 1972) gives a bit of comic relief. However, the most memorable part is that of Schell (A Bridge Too Far, 1977), the either brilliant or mad captain they encounter on the ship. The special effects still look outstanding and there is an epic feel of the movie hard to grasp with today’s CGI, but that ending! Whether meant to be haunting or surrealistic it simply feels like they ran out of ideas and made this mesh at the end.
The visual effect of the black hole itself was created by forming a whirlpool in a round Plexiglas water tank and adding different colors of paint.
The film takes place in the year 2130.
Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens provided the voices for V.I.N.C.E.N.T and B.O.B.
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Picture copyrights: Disney