The Black Hole

"Fascinating...from a distance."

release year: 1979
genre: science fiction
viewing setting: home DVD 10/28/19 and 11/25/13 and home laserdisc 12/8/97

synopsis: A deep-space exploration craft encounters a gigantic black hole, as well as a mysterious old ship on its edge.

impressions: This is your basic non-G Disney movie - some violence and death, lots of corny lines, but generally fun. First it's a mystery, then a drama, then a conflict, and in the end, a visual bonanza. The ship designs and other special effects are generally superior. This film has a good orchestral-type soundtrack too. The concept of being close to a black hole freaked me out in 1979, and to be quite honest it still freaks me out now. I wanted to scream at the characters in the movie, "Don't go CLOSER to it, you idiots!" But they did.

acting: Maximilian Schell is the antihero-like lost captain who's obsessed with the black hole. Robert Forster is the captain of the ship of good guys, and the crew also includes Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux, Joseph Bottoms, and the likeable robot voiced by Roddy McDowall. The other likeable robot is voiced by Slim Pickens.

final word: Good fun, especially if (like me) you're fascinated with the concept of black holes.

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