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The Black Hole (Bilingual)

Maximilian Schell , Anthony Perkins , Gary Nelson    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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The Black Hole (Bilingual) + The Last Starfighter + Flight Of The Navigator (Sous-titres français)
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Product Details

Product Description


Disney's foray into big-budget science fiction, close on the heels of Star Wars, had some of the most impressive special effects to grace theater screens in the 1970s. Graced by handsome production design--most notably a glass and latticework interstellar craft that looks like a battleship crossed with a modern skyscraper--The Black Hole is in many ways the most beautiful science fiction film of its era. Unfortunately, the graceful and gorgeous picture is jarred by dialogue that wouldn't pass muster in a comic book and a silly conclusion that plays like a murky, dime-store knockoff of 2001. Too bad, because the visual realization of the film is a veritable haunted house of futuristic phenomena, from the cloaked zombie-like drones shuffling through corridors to the devilish, crimson robot Maximillian, the strong arm of the mad scientist played by Maximilian Schell (a kind of wild man Captain Nemo with an even more ruthless temperament). Only the way-too-cute robot V.I.N.CENT (voiced by Roddy McDowall), a merchandising gimmick that looks like a Fisher-Price toy, mars the technological landscape. Robert Forster is the quietly authoritative captain of an exploration ship that stumbles across the seemingly derelict ship, and Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimieux, Ernest Borgnine, and Joseph Bottoms fill out his crew. This is one case of a triumph of art direction and special effects over story--it's worth sitting through it to see the magnificent scene of the fireball rolling through the ship's enormous hull alone. The rest is just atmospheric gravy. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

The U.S.S. Cygnus is perched precariously at the edge of a black hole -- the vast, empty nothingness where space and time end. Anything that crosses its border enters a universe of the complete unknown. And so begins a story that only Disney's film magicians could tell. A story of robots and humanoids. Of human genius and madness. And a spectacular descent into nature's ultimate mystery -- The Black Hole.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten, gothic sci fi epic from the 1970s June 23 2004
OK let's get the bad things about the Black Hole out of the way first of all. Some of the dialogue is unbelievably naff. It has an overtly judgemental morality which runs throughout the film from start to finish. Very occasionally the SFX slip, and you see wires holding up robots etc. Some of the scenes are cloying, particularly involving the antics of the overly cute, heroic robots... Also the makers would have done better to remember what effect the vacuum of Space would have on people NOT wearing spacesuits...
Put all that aside though and you are left with a minor sci fi masterpiece. Atmospherically the film is an outright winner - it is just so gothic, from its' sets, robots, and cowled and hooded undead crew. It also boasts one of the very best musical scores by John Barry. Visually it is stunning, Space has seldom looked this good. The blue/black background of space with its' dense clusters of stars looks as good as it did on the day that it was released. Unlike Star Wars and its' visibly dated mattes, this film has more than withstood the test of time.
The film's visual pinnacle though is the giant space ship Cygnus.
A cross between Brighton Pier and The Eiffel Tower, this gothic behemoth is like no other. The scene where its' lights are switched on suddenly and unexpectedly, is one of awe and beauty.
The exploration of the ship, culminating in the arrival in the control tower is stunning. Ditto the firing up of the ship's Frankenstein Lab like reactors and huge engines for its' final journey to the Black Hole. Even in its' death throes, this huge vessel retains a sad dignity.
Acting honours go to Maximilian Schell as an intergalactic Captain Nemo. Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Perkins, Yvette Mimeux, and Robert Forster all provide very able support though.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Classic, but Still A Classic Sept. 20 2007
Sure alot of scenes in this film defy the natural laws of physics and most science nerds will pick it apart as a result. But the bottom line is who really cares? I watched this film as a child and enjoyed it for it's sheer entertainment factor.

The actors all do well despite the wooden script (Maximillion and Yvette give the most note-worthy performances). I blame this primarily on the writers. Apparently, the script had too many hands in it and it shows with inconsistencies throughout the film. And yes, I consider V.I.N.CENT and BOB to be a little on the cheesy side, but I loved them growing up.

The hell sequence at the end was the scene that truly stuck with me. It's creepy to say the least. For those who don't understand the meaning, does it need to be spelled out? The symbolism is that Reinhart's eternal punishment was to be imprisoned in the shell (no pun intended) of Maximillion just as he imprisoned the crew of the Cyngus. Plan and simple. As to what happened to the survivors of the Palomino, I still believe they emerged from the black hole on the other side of the galaxy somewhere. Many have speculated that their survival was because of Kate's ESP.

Anyways, I believe that had the film not been rushed and the script had gotten better treatment, this would've been one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. Even still it's a flawed classic that I will enjoy over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Just Can't Stand V.I.N.C.E.N.T. July 16 2003
When I think of the amount of money that went into making this film, compared to the amount of effort that apparently went into the script, I get weepy. This is exactly the type of film that Disney of the 1970s and 80s should not have been making. The Mouse House has no excuse for going through growing pains cinematically.
Quick plot: The great ship Argo is lost. Earth sends a crew of Anglo stereotypes to look for her, only to find the chief scientist has co-opted the ship, turned the crew into soulless zombies, and plans to prove his theories by throwing the great ship into a black hole.
Now I'll admit most kids didn't know too much about physics at the time, but more of us did than you might think. MAybe that's why we thought the movie was stupid. That, or the inane shooting gallery scene or the robot Stormtroopers or Maximillion, the bot with Cuisinarts for arms (although Anthony Hopkins dies real good from them).
In truth, that's what galls me about this film. They had a chance to get deep and dark here (as they have since), and Hopkins demise was an indicator of somebody's willingness to go there. But the rest of the film just felt like - um - a Disney movie, from the cinematography to the costumes. Eeeeesh.
I'll let my kid watch this as a cautionary tale of what NOT to do when offered a chance to film a science fiction thriller for Disney.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I seem to remember this being better when I was 15 March 15 2003
When I picked up The Black Hole recently, I was very excited. I remembered enjoying this movie very much when it first came out. After watching this movie now with my 11 year old son, I couldn't help but scratch my head and wonder what exactly I liked about it. The special effects, for its time, are very good. The bad robot was creepy and the story, overall, was interesting if not overly predictable.
What bothers me about this movie is the complete lack of originality, except for the last few minutes. Cute little robots, one with a cowboy accent (built in Texas of course), large android-like soldiers (bad of course), all steal (not borrow) from Star Wars. Disney had such a chance to make a unique film, especially with the money they spent, and instead made an overtly derivative film with uninteresting and equally derivative characters.
There are some redeeming qualities - the concept behind the crew of the derelict ship, with their mirrored faces, and who they really are, the fine acting by Schell, but even his role was every old-scientist-gone-mad-on-deserted-planet character from 50's B-movies. The ending (last 5 minutes ONLY) was clever, but HOW they ended up there was just more unbelievable plot turns.
In general I love movies, and give them leniency when I can, but I can't with this one. As far as my 11-year old, in his words "It was OK, I guess." Pretty damning something that lackluster from someone his age.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning visuals and beautiful soundtrack
This 1979 Disney film The Black Hole is notable for its stunning visuals. The story is so-so and the actors are forgettable, except for Maximilian Schell who played Dr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Big Al
5.0 out of 5 stars great classic
What can be said but love it. Its all old school efffects mixed with a bit off the new for that time.
Published 3 months ago by stuart taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Good nostalgia
Not quite as I remember it, but the last time I saw it was in theaters as a kid. Not the 'action movie' of today's standards and a bit dry at times...but overall still very good. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kevinn Ess
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah the memories
I had fond memories of this movie and used to own it on VHS. I had seen online it was available on DVD but could never seem to find a copy. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brent L
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 /1/2 stars for Disney's run at being a 2001 wanna be!
The Black Hole(released Dec/79)is a totally weak scripted,talent laden juggernaut that should have gone into that black hole and never appeared again. Read more
Published on June 30 2011 by Robert Badgley
3.0 out of 5 stars A must for Sci-Fi fans
Put it bluntly, BUY it if you are a TRUE sci-fi guru or wanna be.
The overall acting was crude in some parts, well most parts, but the plot is sound and very intriguing. Read more
Published on May 22 2011 by skhooter
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this film...
I finally bought the DVD to replace my aging VHS tape and got to watch it in WIDESCREEN for the first time ever. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2011 by Robert Bennett
3.0 out of 5 stars What lies beyond The Black Hole?
I can't help it, I'm nostalgic for this movie. Long before I saw it, I had "The story of..." on record. Kids today have no idea what I'm talking about! Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2010 by LeBrain
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, it COULD have been great...
...if but for a few things.

Before I take "The Black Hole" apart, I will say that when I was young, it was a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2010 by Lyndon Unger
3.0 out of 5 stars mild Disney flick
and i do mean mild. this movie reminded me,in a lot of ways,of the
1960's show Lost in Space.the acting was similar,the characters seemed
similar,the special effects... Read more
Published on March 21 2009 by falcon
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