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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 (124 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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Product Description

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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 film was originally titled SPACE PROBE ONE.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
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
Format:DVD
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What lies beyond The Black Hole? Sept. 9 2010
By LeBrain HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
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!

I think Roddy McDowell is one of the most underrated actors ever, and I could probably listen to him reading his grocery list for two hours and still be entertained. McDowell and the legendary Slim Pickens both voice robots in this movie (shameless R2D2 ripoffs, except they can fly!) and the touch of classic, recognizable voices makes the movie that much easier to swallow.

Having said that, The Black Hole isn't great sci-fi, but it's not bad. The USS Cygnus (great name, if you know what it refers to) has been missing in space for 20 years. However, the exploration vessel Palomino has just stumbled upon it, seemingly derelict. It is also inexplicably hovering in front of a black hole! Impossible! And as Palomino approaches, Cygnus turns on her lights. She is not a derelict after all!

In fact, she is crewed entirely by robots, except for the commander. Dr. Hans Reinhardt (man, I love when mad scientist have German names!) commands this motley crew, a genius who has discovered the secret of gravity. But can he be trusted? Dr. Alex Durant (the wonderful Anthony Perkins) seems to trust him, but certain things do not add up. Why does he have gardens on board the ship, food enough to feed an army? Why do the robots have funerals? The psychic Dr. Kate doesn't trust him. Her father used to be under his command, and the stories just don't sound right.

The starship design in this movie is just stellar, and very unique. All girders and lights, Cygnus is a monstrosity, with depth and foreboding beauty. The smaller Palomino follows similar designs, but is more capsule-shaped.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good nostalgia Oct. 18 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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. It was a gamble for Disney at the time and overall, it holds up pretty well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah the memories Aug. 26 2013
By Brent L TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.

Great movie, and I have to admit some of the effects are still pretty cool even today.

Made back in the day when Disney did not make all its films specifically targetting the under 8 yrs demographic, this movie is a must for lovers of sci fi.

Highly recommended.
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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
Format:DVD
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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Most recent customer reviews
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 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
5.0 out of 5 stars For the SF fan
This one belongs in your collection. The Black Hole is a solid SF film, ranking along those classic thinking SF films like Forbidden Planet (1956) or The Day the Earth Stood Still... Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2007 by Dr. Richard Daystrom
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Sci-Fi film ever!
How can anyone claim this film has any redeeming value? There are so many problems with it that it would be impossible to enumerate in less than a 1,000 words! Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by No longer in OZ!
5.0 out of 5 stars all right, let's get this straight:
Okay, people, let us please understand something. The Black Hole started production before Star Wars was released. Read more
Published on April 27 2004
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