Where's the Stars, Stanley? A 2001 beef
I recently bought a new copy of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's been a while since I last saw the film but it seems to be edited to bits. What happened to Dave Bowman's famous line 'My God, it's full of stars!' ? If this is an edited version can you tell me where I can buy a proper copy?
-- Andy Struthers, Dumfries, Scotland
The dialog line 'My God, it's full of stars!' is from 2010, not 2001, which is why you didn't hear it. Stanley Kubrick trimmed 2001 and added some titles to it only a few days into its 1968 release, but honest to goodness, 2001 is full length.
Savant remembers dialogue and scenes incorrectly just as everyone else does. Urban myths are fun, but sometimes I think people believe there are conspiracies in film studios dedicated to subtly altering movie history by slowly changing dialog lines here, a longer scene there..... I see an X-Files episode in my future.
Sometimes, however, films on video are altered by accident in the same way that pages get left out of books - simple human error. The 1998 DVD release of 2001 has a particularly unfortunate mistake. Somewhere in the re-recording or mastering process someone did omit a line, just a couple of words, spoken by Hal the computer. Naturally hundreds of Kubrick aficionados caught it, especially when the complete line of dialogue was included in the closed captioning. And 2001 is just the kind of cult film where fans have memorized every line of dialogue.
Mistakes will always happen. And studios might not know what they've done unless someone catches it. So I encourage every question, even if it has a simple answer, as with the 2001 dialog line.
NOTE: The following letter makes Mr. Struthers' question look even less like a goof: There's a good reason to think the 'My God . . . ' dialog line would be in the first 2001 movie.
Glenn, Just in case someone else hasn't pointed it out. . . I read your short article on the "cut" line from 2001 ("My God, it's full of stars"). You are indeed correct that it was never in the film--but it was in the book. That's probably what people are thinking about. As you may recall, the line reappears in 2010 as the last words of David Bowman, recorded by HAL since those words were spoken in the Pod as it approached the monolith. - - Darin
Text © Copyright 1998, 1999 Glenn Erickson
DVD Savant Text © Copyright 2007 Glenn Erickson