A TASTE OF BLUE FOOD
IN STANLEY KUBRICK'S 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
 
--- EDITING A CINEMATIC LANDMARK ---
 
Edition 2 March 2000

 
BY THOMAS E. BROWN AND PHIL VENDY

 
CONTENTS
FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION
INTRODUCTION
STANLEY KUBRICK'S QUEST FOR PERFECTION
STANLEY KUBRICK TIGHTENS UP
THE TRIMS VANISH
ALTERNATIVE SCENES
NON-PRODUCTION SCENES
INVESTIGATING THE LEGEND
CUTS
INSERTS
EDITS
EXTRA SHOTS
OUTSTANDING CLAIMS
CONCLUSION
BOOKS REFERENCED
NOTES
ENDNOTES
 

FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION
 
The interest generated by the first edition of this paper can be judged by the fact that new information was submitted within days of its original appearance, which rendered some of the conclusions it proposed obsolete. To put it another way, within days information was forthcoming which had not been public knowledge for the previous thirty years!

For example, the claims of some early viewers to have memories of Dave finding "blue food" in his hotel suite received at least some support, even if actual evidence is still unobtainable. In the first edition, our conclusion was that no such scenes had been filmed. However, it seems highly likely that Kubrick did in fact try out some shots of the food that Clarke so explicitly describes in the book.

Our difficulty now is that there is no evidence that these shots were ever screened in public, so memories of having seen them may still be false, as we suggested. If any proof does come to light, of early prints of the movie including these scenes, you can be sure that a further revision of this paper will follow soon after.

Which brings us to one of the great advantages of publishing electronically, as opposed to in print. Within the space of a few weeks, this paper has already completed a cycle of "edition 1 - amendments - edition 2". In addition to the changes already indicated, and other information which you will find as you proceed, this new version has been substantially altered in structure. No need to wait for months while an author tries, perhaps unsuccessfully, to persuade the publisher to invest the considerable money needed for a re- issue!

Even if you have already read the first edition, we think you will find this one - expanded from the original 8,600 words to around 10,000 - as interesting and as full of previously- undocumented information as the original, and a new insight into one of the landmark films of the twentieth century.

Phil Vendy, Tom Brown


INTRODUCTION
 
When Stanley Kubrick made hurried changes to 2001: A Space Odyssey, following the less- than- overwhelming reception it received at its première screenings in the USA, he can have had no suspicion of the legend to which his edits would give birth. Ever since those brief hours spent in the basement of the MGM building in New York, rumours have abounded as to what he excised, whether the "trims" still exist, whether different variations on the movie slipped out, and whether there is any prospect of ever seeing the movie, once again, in its original state. With the year 2001 approaching, and the death of Mr. Kubrick in March 1999, these suppositions have received new attention.

Quite apart from what was in the original movie, and subsequently removed, it has become increasingly clear over the years that a whole range of material was filmed or photographed, yet never shown, even in its première form.

Despite the interest, and a steady stream of books written about Kubrick's life and work, there has been no attempt to fully investigate what really did happen to the film. Occasionally we come across tantalising glimpses of shots which most cinema audiences have never seen, and reproductions of scenes which have never appeared in any known version of the film, yet nobody seems to know for sure where they all belong.

Our in- depth examination of the subject, and correlation of first- hand reports of early viewings of the film with information published since 1968, resulted in the first edition of this paper: the first complete record of all known changes to the film that had ever been compiled. For this new edition, we have added even more information about scenes filmed and photographed by Kubrick and his aides, but never screened in any public cinema.

We are pleased to offer, once again, our contribution to the story of 2001: A Space Odyssey and its creator, a man of genius (widely acknowledged) and humanity (seldom conceded, but evident in every frame he ever filmed), who inspired so many of us, and whose like we will not see again.


STANLEY KUBRICK'S QUEST FOR PERFECTION
 
2001: A Space Odyssey premièred on April 2, 19681 after a period of production lasting the better part of four years.

Many scenes filmed, or photographed, during those four years were not included in that première, and have never been included in any publicly- released print of the movie. They reveal Stanley Kubrick's drive for the creation of the most authentic possible view, not only of the future, but of the distant past as well, to a level of detail which audiences could never have suspected. What in other films might have been crude mock- ups were created with faithful accuracy, even when viewed from much too far away to make out the detail they included.

In the mid- 1960s, product placement had not turned the movie business into a lottery for commercial enterprises with deep pockets. Nevertheless, some fifty organisations contributed technical advice2, and a number of them submitted their ideas to Kubrick of what kind of products they might expect to see in a movie of life set in the year 20013. Kubrick spared us the crassness of images littered with sponsors' messages (never mind the quality, see the logo), yet the trademarks were all in there somewhere.

Many of these have appeared in publications at some time or other (all references are included), but the full story has never before been assembled in one place. Setting up scenes such as those described below would have been an expensive business, and show the extraordinary level of Kubrick's commitment to getting his "vision of the future" as authentic as it could possibly be.

So long after the event, and given the flood of futuristic blockbusters since 1968, with the minute detailing and the degree of convincing illusion that are now possible with the aid of computer technology, it is easy to forget how things were at that time. With few exceptions, science- fiction films had previously been low- budget, minority- audience productions, more concerned with creating an illusion of futuristic events using whatever limited resources were available. Kubrick wanted to show us the  real future, and that was not something that could be achieved on a low budget. The results, including those described in this paper but not publicly released, give us a glimpse into the astonishing degree of perfection which he sought.


STANLEY KUBRICK TIGHTENS UP
 
As originally released, the film was approximately 161 minutes long, not including the overture, entr'acte (intermission) and walkout music at the end.

Almost immediately after the première, Kubrick retired to the basement of the MGM building in New York and trimmed the film by approximately 19 minutes. "Trimming commenced at four P.M. on April 5, 1968, and the first session did not end until seven A.M. the next day. Work continued at this pace until the trim was completed three days later."4 Instructions on what was to be cut were sent to the theatres then showing the film5.

Kubrick always denied that the film was shortened due to adverse critical or public reaction6, and dismissed the effects of shortening the film, commenting:
  "...it does take a few runnings to decide how long things should be, especially scenes which do not have narrative advancement as their guideline... I could see places where I could tighten- up, and I took out nineteen minutes. I didn't believe that the trims made a crucial difference, I think it just afffected some marginal people. The people who like it, like it no matter what its length, and the same holds true for the people who hate it7."


THE TRIMS VANISH
 
Today, none of the trims is known to exist, and there is no definitive shot- by- shot indication of what was cut. In correspondence with film restorationist Robert Harris, he advised that the subject was briefly raised when he (Harris) was working on the restoration of "Spartacus"8. Kubrick asked him to determine the status of preservation of 2001: A Space Odyssey at Turner Entertainment, which owned the MGM library at that time. Harris determined that the film was well protected with two sets of black and white protection "seps"9. Turner, however, did not have any of the trimmed material. In fact, Kubrick told Harris he might have the trims in his garage10!

With the director's untimely death11, and with his family's understandable desire to protect his artistic and personal legacy (see the interview with Christiane Kubrick and daughters Katharina and Anya in Sight and Sound12), "restoration" of material which Kubrick himself deleted is unlikely to occur. This is especially true seeing that, in the three decades since the film's release, the director had plenty of time, and plenty of pull, to restore this material if he had wished (assuming that the trimmed material, in fade-prone "Metrocolor", remained in adequate condition to be restored).

Other than vague information in published sources (Norman Kagan13, Vincent LoBrutto14, etc.), there is little shot- by- shot detail available. Piers Bizony includes a number of stills from the trims, as well as pre-première edits, but only briefly discusses the trims themselves15. Michel Ciment16 includes a few shots of the trims. Some of this material is also visible in other sources, such as the illustrated foldout for the 25th Anniversary MGM laser disc box set and the more recent DVD booklet.


ALTERNATIVE SCENES
 
The question is made somewhat more confusing by the existence of certain shots taken as alternative versions of scenes, but which were never used in the film at all. For example, Poole was filmed wearing a helmet on the bridge of Discovery17, because Kubrick initially had doubts over the scientific possibility of a person's survival for even an instant in a vacuum; however, data published at the time indicated that such survival was indeed possible18, which allowed the Emergency Air Lock re- entry sequence to be filmed and for scenes to be shot of the astronauts without their helmets19.

Pre-première edits20 clearly include the elimination of interview scenes, filmed in black and white, with leading thinkers21 on the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe (edited text from which appears in Agel22). It is not clear if certain other scenes were deleted before or after the première, including Floyd using the Picturephone to purchase a bushbaby23 for "Squirt" (Vivian Kubrick, then aged 6), and the moon base children's painting class featuring Kubrick's other daughters24.


NON-PRODUCTION SCENES
 
The final twist in the maze that leads us to the eventual "production" release of 2001: A Space Odyssey is the considerable amount of material that was (probably) never intended for public consumption - the director's "homework", if you like, or the equivalent of an artist's sketchbook. Some of this material has only come to light in the few weeks prior to publication of this paper, so you are reading the most up- to- date account that can be recorded at this time (in the certainty that further material is as yet "undiscovered").


INVESTIGATING THE LEGEND
 
In an attempt to get to the bottom of what happened, we have spoken to and corresponded with a number of people who claim to have seen the film during its brief "pre- trim" period. The most convincing of these was a very detailed personal correspondence with Art Haupf who saw the film on April 3, 1968. The other major first- hand source on the trims is a letter by Jon E. Davison to "Movie Mailbag" of the New York Times dated April 28, 1968.

Any comment based on a one- time seeing of a film (particularly by those who are remembering such viewings 30 years or more on) is likely to have errors, or be downright wrong, such as claims to have seen the film "uncut in the original 3 camera Cinerama" (a process which had already been defunct for several years before 2001: A Space Odyssey was shot). Various published sources, including LoBrutto25, claim that about 30 individual cuts were involved, but they are still only based on second- hand information.

All in all, we believe the following is an accurate summary of the trims, changes, alternative and unused scenes which, together with the "standard" print, make up the full story of 2001: A Space Odyssey.


CUTS
 
Waterhole attack
A scene or scenes from the "Dawn of Man". Although at least one person claimed that this involved the death of the leopard, this appears to be based on the novel26, and not the film itself. Mr. Haupt recalls a deletion from the second attack at the water hole (with Moonwatcher's group carrying their bone weapons). According to Mr. Haupt, the scene started with the group sneaking up behind the ridge. Today, the scene starts in mid- attack, with Moonwatcher advancing on the other tribe. Mr. Haupt's recollection is supported by the sudden nature of the cut at this point, which is unlike most of the other transitions in the "Dawn of Man" sequence.
Bushbaby
Purchase of a bushbaby (possibly a pre- première cut, as indicated above).
Souvenir shop
Baxter refers to a scene cut from the Hilton Hotel sequence, a "souvenir shop selling chunks of moon rock", but he gives no reference for this and we have not been able to corroborate its existence with any other sources27.
Moonbase tour
A tour of the moon base, including a children's painting class (also possibly a pre- première cut).
Life on Discovery
An extension to Poole's exercise session, or a montage of life on Discovery, including Bowman playing a piano with blue keys28, being awakened by Hal and asked for a breakfast order29, and possibly one of the astronauts "flipping" through virtual pages on his flat screen newspad. Today, the film jumps from Poole jogging to Bowman entering the hub of the centrifuge, reflected in Hal's eye. A sudden jump in the Gayane Ballet Suite score at this point indicates the location of this trim.
Bowman's EVA
The beginning of the Bowman EVA scene, in which he extracts a spare AE-35 from a storage locker30. In the current version the folded back panel for the storage locker can be briefly glimpsed to the upper right of the screen at the very start of the scene. In Ciment31 and in the Laser Disc foldout are tantalizing shots which appear to show the pod entering Discovery after the EVA, but we have never heard that these were in the original cut.
Hal's request
Mr. Davison comments that, after Mission Control reports Hal's apparent mistake in diagnosing the AE-35 failure, the computer asks for the message to be repeated.
Poole's EVA
Immediately after the intermission, the entire preparation for Poole's EVA, which was an exact repeat of Bowman's preparation. This is the longest deletion, Kubrick had come to believe it was redundant32. Several stills of this sequence have been published (Bizony33, also a number of shots in the MGM laser disc fold out, and a shot of Poole in the Discovery storage locker in the film's original program).

Piers Bizony has an interesting (unpublished) observation on this scene, which may well explain why Kubrick removed it. We know that the AE-35 unit had been replaced during Bowman's EVA, and that the "old" unit was lying on the Discovery's workbench where Dave and Frank had tested it. So what is Frank actually rummaging around for in the storage area?

The slipper
The last cut is well described by quoting directly from the letter received from Art Haupt:
  "The slipper. This is probably the most lamentable "little" trim. When Bowman is wandering around the "Room at the End" in his space suit he picks up a velvet slipper at the foot of the bed. I distinctly remember a big close- up of the slipper in his hand. It was (as was intended) a shock to see something so familiar and real after the visual barrage of the preceding light show."
 
Although this is the only source we have read for this trim, it does fit in with the fact that you can briefly glimpse the "smoking jacket" outfit on the bed and what appear to be the slippers on the floor at the foot of the bed, just as he enters the bathroom at the end of this scene.
 

INSERTS
 
The monolith
A brief clip of the monolith immediately before the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" discovery of the bone tool was added to make the causal connection between the discovery and the monolith clearer34.
Title cards
In the original cut, only the "Dawn of Man" and "Intermission" title cards were included in the body of the film. Two additional title cards - "Jupiter Mission -18 Months Later" and "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" - were subsequently added to better orient the audience to time and place. These titles help create a classic 3 act structure to the film, and ironically, but appropriately, make the Earth to Moon sequence, which starts with the brilliant bone / spacecraft cut, part of the "Dawn of Man".

For consistency's sake, it might be argued that an additional title card belongs here, but of course the dramatic transformation of the bone followed not long afterwards by the first words spoken in the film ("Here you are, sir...") leaves the audience in little doubt as to where and when it has been transported.


EDITS
 
Poole's murder
Mr. Davison suggests that the Poole murder was re- cut. He mentions: "the computer turning off the pod's radio before killing Gary Lockwood (thus puzzling the audience when Dullea asks Hal if he has been able to establish radio contact yet)." Also mentioned by Bizony35. Other sources, suggesting a re- editing of scenes showing Poole crushed and bleeding to death in the pod's arms, do not seem believable. The dramatic cutting short of the astronaut's breathing and the fact that we do not even see the violent event are much more consistent with Kubrick's intentions (Walker et al36).
 

EXTRA SHOTS
 
The chess alternative
The chess scene between Hal and Frank was also filmed using the more futuristic- looking game of "Pentominos"37. Given Kubrick's own background as a chess player, and his instinct for what would best convey the effect he wanted (in this case, the relationship between Hal and the humans, with that unmistakable edge of all not being quite what it seems underneath the veneer of rather forced social interaction, which would become such a key element later on), it is not difficult to see why the Pentominos were dropped (figuratively speaking, of course, and that is if they were ever intended for consideration in the final cut).

The only prints of the Pentominos scene that we are aware of appear in Agel38 (a black and white reproduction, as are all those in Agel's book, but interesting in showing side- by- side views of Frank with chess and with Pentominos), and on the box lid (in colour) of Parker Brothers Pentominos game, of which a few were produced at the time (although we believe that the game was never mass- marketed). Interestingly, the other picture used on the game box lid is taken from the excised preparation scene for Bowman's EVA described above, which suggests that Parker Brothers, perhaps hoping to cash in on the movie / game tie- in, got it wrong on all counts!

The American Express card
We see Heywood Floyd insert some kind of access card to activate the Bell Picturephone. What we do not see is that the card is, in appearance, an authentic American Express card, complete with Heywood Floyd's name and signature, and an expiry date (January 2002)39.
Playboy
An obscure shot from the movie set shows a fully space- suited figure looking very incongruous in the middle of the orbiting Hilton Hotel lounge40, clutching a conspicuous copy of "Playboy"41.
Between flights
Another orbiting Hilton shot shows a group of waiting Russian space- crew (not the Leonard Rossiter / Margaret Tyzack group), with a conspicuous copy of the Italian journal "L'Europeo". This group can be seen in the movie at the far end of the visible lounge section, but there are at least two shots not used in the movie showing the group in close- up. One, reproduced by Gene D. Phillips42, manages to fit the Bell Picturephone, a sign for Howard Johnson's Earthlight Room (which was also cut from the movie, according to John Baxter43), the journal and an Aeroflot flight bag all in a single shot (product placement is alive and well!); the other is a colour illustration in Walker44 which we have never seen anywhere else.
The wristwatch
Gary Lockwood as Frank Poole appeared in a number of publicity shots, one of which shows him clearly wearing a futuristic- looking wristwatch45.
City of Light
Agel's book contains a number of unique behind- the- scenes shots, including an image produced with Douglas Trumbull's "slit- scan" machine (used to create the abstract images in the "Stargate" sequence). He captions it "City of Light"46, which describes the effect quite well.
Aliens
Kubrick experimented with a few shots of alien life forms, before (to our eternal gratitude!) finally convincing himself that his film could do without falling into the same trap as most other science- fiction movies (by making unnecessarily explicit that which belongs within the scope of the viewer's own perception). Carl Sagan advised Kubrick that "any explicit representation of an advanced extraterrestrial being was bound to have at least an element of falseness about it and that the best solution would be to suggest rather than explicitly to display the extraterrestrials"47.

2001: A Space Odyssey is essentially a story about humans and their occasional epochal encounters with alien artefacts, not about the aliens themselves, and its lasting influence has much to do with its power to engage the imagination, as distinct from the adrenalin, of its audience. Shots of "space creatures" would certainly have changed the emphasis of the film and diluted its speculative qualities. However, Jerome Agel's illustrations once more give us some idea of what might have been48. They are reminiscent of the dancing flame images often used in gas utility company advertisements.

The apartment
Dave's "cosmic hotel suite" was modelled on real- life interiors. Kubrick, or at least crews working on his behalf, filmed inside at least one location. Although we have not come across any shots, we believe that some do in fact exist. References have been made to such "props" as an authentic- looking telephone, where the handset was of one piece with the main body!

One fascinating question has been raised by various people: namely, what decisions did Kubrick make with regard to the artwork in the apartment? There is no question that he would have considered it as meticulously as he did everything else, but we know of no published reference to this. It would be interesting to identify the pieces used, and what they signify.

Blue food
Perhaps the most tantalising of all claims about 2001: A Space Odyssey is the sighting of Dave opening packs of "blue food" in his cosmic apartment. Previously considered to be nothing other than a case of ailing memory or confusion between the movie and the book, we now have it on the highest authority that this scene was indeed staged.

Arthur C. Clarke characteristically used the blue food to illustrate a point that few other writers could have achieved with anything like the same elegance and subtlety: namely, that the "aliens", able to construct an entire environment for Dave's comfort out of the intercepted thoughts and images broadcast into space from planet Earth, had no idea what was contained in those boxes of food (though it has to be said that this failure on their part is very unlikely, given their accuracy in all other details).

However, as indicated earlier, there is no evidence that "blue food" ever appeared in any shots actually used by Kubrick, so it is still open to debate whether it was possible for anyone to have known about or seen it.


OUTSTANDING CLAIMS
 
We would like to conclude this article by addressing persistent reports made over the years regarding features of 2001: A Space Odyssey which are "remembered" from early viewings, but which have no basis in available evidence.

Some such claims are referred to earlier in this paper: the viewing of the film in the obsolete 3-camera Cinerama process, the killing of the leopard and the physical mauling of Frank's body in the arms of the spacepod.

Other elusive sightings include variations on known scenes, such as:

  • the docking scene between the Orion spacecraft and the Space Station
  • dialogues between characters
  • scenes from the "Stargate" sequence
  • the closing credits and music.
In the light of what is revealed in this article, a case could be made for maintaining that such variations were possible, especially as at least one source, referring to the docking scene, saw the film early in its New York première run (see endnotes #1 and #4 below). However, we have been unable to identify enough consistent sources to confirm these claims. The timing and sequencing of scenes in such a complex film, recalled so long afterwards, could easily be confused and explain these probably false impressions.

The main case outstanding from edition 1 of this paper, for which no further evidence has come to light, is the lightshow, or patterns, claimed to have been seen on or inside the Dawn of Man monolith. This effect is clearly described in the book as the monolith performs its function of implanting the instinct for aggression in Moonwatcher's tribe49, but at the risk (or in the hopes!) of provoking someone into providing proof to the contrary, there is no evidence that Kubrick ever filmed it.

People who claim to have seen it may be adamant that their memories are correct, but we have to suggest that confusion between the film and the book in those early days may well have left "hybrid" impressions of this scene as witnessed in the cinema and as conjured up by Arthur C. Clarke's words, or else Peter Hyams' all- singing, all- dancing monolith from his 1984 film of 2010 is being confused with Kubrick's severely inactive version.

Nevertheless, it has been surprising to discover that other claims, previously considered unlikely, have in fact turned out to be true. So who knows?

A minor, if surprising, instance of a more recent "change" to the film is to be found on the DVD version. A small piece of dialogue between Hal and Dave has been altered, or cut.

Last, and quite possibly least, is the famous line: "...my God - it's full of stars!". These were the last words uttered by Dave in the novel50, and were mercilessly laboured in 2010 as one of many none- too- subtle attempts to make sure we understood that the two films were supposedly connected. Many viewers of both films remain unconvinced that the connection was particularly helpful. Stanley Kubrick was content for Dave to "sign off" with the words "Sing it for me", and the line was never said in any known version of 2001.


CONCLUSION
 
It can be argued that the "lost" scenes of 2001 "don't mean anything" (as Mr. Davison quotes a callous projectionist as saying at the time of the première), and perhaps Kubrick was right that they didn't make a "crucial difference". Still, it is unfortunate that this material will probably never see the light of day. As Bizony51 comments, the current version of the film is definitely the "Director's Cut" (a term too often used by current film makers who want to make a special "throw in the kitchen sink" video edition of some popular blockbuster) and Kubrick never expressed interest in restoring it, but it is too bad that this could not be made available for supplementary viewing.

As far as we know, all information currently available about this subject is included in this article. However, it is almost certain that further previously- unpublished scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey will come to light. We have it on good authority that the National Film Archive of the British Film Institute in London has "a number of other 'production' shots - photos of furniture, sets, models etc." Other material is undoubtedly still in other archives and private hands. We expect, therefore, that the quest for the complete story of 2001: A Space Odyssey will continue for quite some time to come.

In closing, let us quote again from Gene D. Phillips52:
  "In summary, the final version of 2001, which neither shows nor explains too much, enables the moviegoer to participate more fully in creating for himself (sic) the experience which constitutes the film."

2001: A Space Odyssey has influenced the careers and the desire for knowledge of many people over the years. Its infuence will continue long as there is an audience for this speculative masterpiece. We might, had history unfolded differently, have been living right now in the future portrayed so meticulously, so inspiringly beautifully, by the great Stanley Kubrick.

March 2000


BOOKS REFERENCED
Agel, Jerome: The Making of Kubrick's 2001, The New American Library, Inc., New York, 1970
Baxter, John: Stanley Kubrick: A Biography, HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 1997
Bizony, Piers: 2001: Filming the Future (1st Edition), Aurum Press Limited, London, 1994
Climent, Michel: Kubrick, Holt, Rinehart and Wilson, New York, 1984
Clarke, Arthur C.: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hutchinson, London, 1968
Dyson, Freeman: Disturbing the Universe, Harper & Row, New York, 1979
Howard, James: Stanley Kubrick Companion, B.T. Batsford, London, 1999
Kagan, Norman: The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick, Holt, Rinehart and Wilson, New York, 1991
LoBrutto, VIncent: Stanley Kubrick: A Biography, Penguin Books USA Inc., New York, 1997
Phillips, Gene D.: Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey, Film Fan Monthly, New York, 1975
Walker, Alexander: Stanley Kubrick: Director - A Visual Analysis (revised and expanded edition, with Sybil Taylor, Ulrich Ruchti,), W. W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 1999
 

NOTES
Scenes described in this paper but not included in the final version of the film are not based on the authors' personal viewings. Both of us (independently) first saw the film at the Casino Cinerama in London in 1968 after the trims were already in place.

More details of many of the items referred to in this paper can be seen elsewhere in "The Underview", which is at http://www.underview.com/home.htm.

Tom Brown's work on Widescreen Cinema is featured here.

If you have any information or evidence relating to this subject which is not covered in this paper, we would be most grateful to hear about it, particularly if you saw the movie in the period concerned and have verifiable memories of variations in what is described here.


ENDNOTES
In some cases, the sources quoted below are not the only such sources for the material or illustrations referred to.
1
2001: A Space Odyssey - April 1968 - the world première season schedule
2, Uptown Theatre, Washington D.C.: World Première
4, Los Angeles Warner Hollywood Theatre
4, New York Loew's Capitol
10, Boston Cinerama Theatre
10, Chicago Cinestage Theatre
10, Detroit Summit Theatre
10, Houston Windsor Cinerama Theatre
10, San Francisco Orpheum Theatre
11, Johannesburg Royal Cinema Theatre
11, London Casino Theatre
11, Osaka O. S. Gekijo
11, Sydney Plaza Theatre
11, Tokyo Theatre
2
Jerome Agel, The Making of Kubrick's 2001, The New American Library, Inc., New York, 1970,, pp.321-324.
3
Several of these items were illustrated with drawings in the May 1966 issue of Esquire magazine (i.e., nearly two years before the film premièred). They include early, but clearly recognisable, sketches of two items familiar from the movie: Bell Telephone's "Picturephone"; and the galley- style food dispenser, by Whirlpool, seen on board the spaceship Discovery.

Two proposals not seen in the film were a "smart ring" by American Express, which was intended to work very much like a modern- day card- swipe reader; and a voice- activated writing machine by Parker Pens (Parker also made the famous "floating pen" seen in the Orion spacecraft). From the annotations to the sketch of the "smart ring", it is probable that it was "designed" to enable access to the Picturephone - in the film, we see Heywood Floyd use what looks like some form of charge or credit card instead (see endnote #40 below).

The final item in this section of Esquire magazine was an attaché case by Honeywell containing a complete minaturised (for that period) personal communications kit. We know from Agel again that in a production scene "Heywood Floyd opens a suitcase containing a telephone, television screen, tabulator, computer print-out." (Jerome Agel, op. cit., p. 298). The monitor screen appears to be exactly that - the glass screen from a CRT device - rather than the flat screen devices used by Dave and Frank, which would no doubt have made the case more compact and somewhat lighter for Floyd to carry. People who remember the immediate predecessors of portable computers (the "luggables") will know the feeling.

So far as we have been able to ascertain, none of these items was ever produced commercially, though Parker at least did issue press releases for their items.

The magazine also includes a nice picture of the Hamilton wristwatch (see endnote #46 below), and, perhaps most importantly, colour reproductions of several wonderful paintings done early in production by Kubrick's artwork team. So far as we know, these have never been printed anywhere else.

4
Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.170.
5
As the schedule in endnote #1 above shows, Mr. Kubrick made his edits during the short interval following the initial showings of the movie in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and New York. This schedule had, of course, been arranged in advance, though whether the director had planned the interval with possible changes in mind is not known.

Regarding: "instructions on what was to be cut were sent to the theatres then showing the film." At the time, these were the Warner Hollywood Theatre in Los Angeles and Loew's Capitol in New York. We also know that the Cinerama Theatre in Boston, at least, had to open using a temporary edited copy, as revealed in the review which appeared in "The Harvard Crimson":
  "2001, as it is being shown in Boston now, is in a transitional stage, the theater currently exhibiting a splice-ridden rough- cut while awaiting new prints from the M-G-M labs." (Tim Hunter, Stephen Kaplan, Peter Jaszi, reprinted in Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.216.)

That being the case in Boston, it can safely be assumed that the other U.S. theatres, due to open on the same day, and the five international locations scheduled for the following day, were in the same situation.

Tom:
  "Of course, any editing made by projectionists on instructions may have been faulty and different variants may have existed in the theatres initially showing the original version... Certainly the film had been edited before the première in London at the Casino (where I first saw it). Even so, I have a memory (perhaps false) of seeing the apes sneaking up behind the hill with their bone weapons the first time I saw the movie..." (see "Cuts - Waterhole Attack" above).

Phil:
  I also saw the movie for the first time on its première run at the London Casino, independently of Tom, and it was then (probably some weeks after its opening performance) in its edited state (hence I never saw any of the trims). However, the schedule shown in endnote #1 above, and the high probability of the première theatres not having the reprint ready for opening night, does give room for conjecture that the claims by a number of people to have seen variations on the final version may in fact be correct, even if the specifics are a little hazy after thirty years.

6
"I remember the impatience expressed during the intermission by some of my colleagues," wrote Gene D. Phillips, who attended the press preview on the night before the première. They considered the movie "overlong and hard to follow", and "had never given the picture a chance".

Phillips also reminds us that this was not the first time that Kubrick trimmed a film after witnessing the reactions of its première audiences, having previously cut both Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove.

Gene D. Phillips, Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey, Film Fan Monthly, New York, 1975, p.148.

This information does support the director's claim, to the effect that the edits to 2001: A Space Odyssey were in line with his normal approach to film- making and not a "panic gesture", and also suggests that the interval early in the première schedule may have been planned.

7
Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.170.
8
"Spartacus", released 1960, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Kirk Douglas.
9
Colours in some types of movie film fade at different rates. This makes color correction processing very difficult, so for long- term protection the film may be transferred through red, green and blue filters onto black and white "seps" (separations), which do not fade. The transfer process is reversed, from black and white to colour film, to reconstruct the original. Naturally, this has to be done with great precision to exacting technical specifications, and is not a cheap process. Trims removed from 2001: A Space Odyssey would not have been protected in this way, so even if they still exist they may well have deteriorated beyond recovery.

The advent in recent years of computerized digital processing means that it may theoretically become possible to restore such "lost" scenes even without good copies to work from. The question then becomes one of adherence to the stated wishes of Mr. Kubrick and his family. As indicated in this paper, the director himself was clear that the "final" version of the film was the one he intended people to see and accept.

The "existence of two entire sets of seps", as reported by Robert Harris, made 2001: A Space Odyssey "the most protected film in the MGM library short of Gone With The Wind."

Incidentally, Kubrick exploited the possibilities of colour adjustment using "seps" to create some of the spectacular "alien landscape" effects in the Stargate sequence (Vincent LoBrutto, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography, Penguin Books USA Inc., New York, 1997, p. 290).

10
No further reference to this possibility has been found, so unless a search of Kubrick's effects turns up the trims we must assume that he was mistaken. Of course, it may have been a facetious remark in keeping with Kubrick's "wickedly dry sense of humour" (Piers Bizony, 2001: Filming the Future, Aurum Press Limited, London, 1994, p.134). Jerome Agel also remarks on Kubrick being "well known for tongue- in- cheek" (Jerome Agel, op.cit., p.10).
11
Stanley Kubrick died at his home in Hertfordshire, England, on 7 March 1999. Apart from referring to "natural causes", his family has not released information about the circumstances of the director's death.
12
"At Home with the Kubricks", Sight and Sound Vol. 9 #9 (September 1999), pp.12-18.
13
Norman Kagan, The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick, Holt, Rinehart and Wilson, New York, 1991, p.147.
14
Vincent LoBrutto, op. cit., pp.310-311.
15
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.16.
16
Michel Ciment, Kubrick, Holt, Rinehart and Wilson, New York, 1984.
17
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.107; Michel Ciment, op. cit., p.23; Gene D. Phillips, op. cit., p.146.
18
Arthur C. Clarke wrote a short article about this issue, which was printed in one of the single- sheet programs handed out at some performances. Concerning the exposure of a human body to the vacuum of outer space, as shown in Dave's emergency airlock entry scene, Clarke reported:

  "This sequence... is firmly based on some of the latest scientific researches in the field of space medicine (which show that) animals can survive in a vacuum for relatively long periods - up to two minutes. If they are repressurized before the end of this time they survive without any permanent damage... it seems likely that men can survive at least equally as well."

19
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.54; Michel Ciment, op. cit., p.23.
20
Apart from the changes he made after the première, Kubrick had been editing the film almost literally to the last minute beforehand. He sailed across the Atlantic to New York on the Queen Elizabeth and had editing facilities on board. It is possible that the film started the voyage including some scenes which were removed by the time Kubrick landed, although it is known that most of the pre- première changes referred to in these notes had been made prior to the journey.
21
Physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson: "was one of the scientists... invited to be interviewed on camera". His book Disturbing the Universe, Harper & Row, New York, 1979, contains a chapter describing his observations and thoughts during and after his meeting with Stanley Kubrick (chapter 17, "A Distant Mirror", pp.187-193).

"A few months later," writes Dyson, "I received an apologetic note informing me that the film of our interview had been left on the cutting room floor."

Dyson intersperses his words with some delightfully droll remarks concerning such unusual subjects as Stanley Kubrick and roast lamb, and the problems of sharing an interview with a real- life 1960s-vintage computer which has little in common with Hal. His is an often- overlooked but most entertaining commentary on the rarely- reported experience of working with Mr. Kubrick.

22
Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.27ff.
23
Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.98.
24
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.70.
25
Vincent LoBrutto, op. cit., pp.310-311.
26
Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hutchinson, London, 1968, 4: The Leopard
27
As in other cases cited in this paper, there is an overlap here with what Clarke describes in the novel. He refers to "a souvenir shop selling photographs and slides of lunar and planetary landscapes...". Arthur C. Clarke, op. cit., 8: Orbital Rendezvous.

If this was filmed, we have not seen any reproductions.

28
The interior fittings of the Discovery "centrifuge" included "a recreation room complete with... electronic piano", writes Vincent LoBrutto, op. cit., p.292.

"We had a Ping-Pong table and a piano and a shower in the Discovery," said Kubrick, "but in the end they didn't seem worth putting into the film." Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.303.

29
Before the recording of Douglas Rain's voice speaking for Hal, Stanley Kubrick himself would sometimes feed the actors with their prompts. Thus the example cited in LoBrutto: "Good morning, what do you want for breakfast?"; and Agel: "Some bacon and eggs would be fine". Vincent LoBrutto, op. cit., p.296; Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.69.
30
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.46, Michel Ciment, op. cit., p.98.
31
Michel Ciment, op. cit., p.76. Details on the front of the spacepod show that this reproduction is reversed, left to right.
32
An interesting comment on the excision of this scene appears in Agel: "This laborious preparation may appear initially repetitive until Poole's computer- controlled pod turns on him and murders him in space, thus justifying the prior duplication by undercutting it with a terrifyingly different conclusion" (our emphasis). Tim Hunter, Stephen Kaplan, Peter Jaszi, "The Harvard Crimson", reprinted in Jerome Agel, op. cit., pp.216-217.
33
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.2.
34
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.16. "Audiences were having trouble working out the connection between the mysterious black slab and the apeman Moonwatcher's sudden interest in bones," writes Bizony.
35
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.16. Bizony refers to this particular cut as "the only really significant" one of those made by Kubrick.
36
Alexander Walker, Sybil Taylor, Ulrich Ruchti, Stanley Kubrick: Director - A Visual Analysis (revised and expanded edition), W. W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 1999, p.188.
37
Pentominos were designed by Parker Brothers, makers of Monopoly, at Kubrick's request. Vincent LoBrutto, op. cit., p. 296.
38
Jerome Agel, op. cit., p. 121.
39
James Howard, Stanley Kubrick Companion, B.T. Batsford, London, 1999, p.115.
40
The only place where we have seen this reproduced is in the inner display of the Japanese release of the soundtrack LP, MGM ref. MMF 1010.
41
Stanley Kubrick granted "Playboy" magazine a lengthy personal interview, which was published in the September 1968 issue and has since become, in the light of Kubrick's later withdrawal from such access, one of the most valuable sources of first- hand information existing on his thinking and philosophy during this period. The interview was reprinted by Agel (op. cit., pp.328-354).
42
Gene D. Phillips, op. cit., p.137.
43
John Baxter, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography, HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 1997, p.214.
44
Alexander Walker, Sybil Taylor, Ulrich Ruchti, op. cit., p.225.
45
American watchmaker Hamilton briefly put this wristwatch into production. However, copyright issues meant they were unable to exploit the movie connection fully, and the watch was given the model name "Odyssee 2001". It also lacked the futuristic digital display panel seen in Gary Lockwood's picture. Even so, collectors are willing to pay considerable sums of money for the examples that still occasionally appear for sale.

A good picture of the watch, complete with the digital displays, can be seen in the issue of Esquire magazine described in endnote #3 above.

46
Jerome Agel, op. cit., p.157.
47
Vincent LoBrutto, op. cit., p.265.
48
Jerome Agel, op. cit., pp.151-153.
49
Arthur C. Clarke, op. cit., 2: The New Rock, 44: Reception
50
Arthur C. Clarke, op. cit., 39: Into The Eye
51
Piers Bizony, op. cit., p.16.
52
Gene D. Phillips, op. cit., p.152.
 
This paper is an original imprint of The Underview.
Extracts are subject to accepted "fair use" practices.
Quotes must be attributed to this source.
The permission of both authors is required for any commercial use,
including reproduction in any commercial publication.

Copyright © 2000 Tom Brown, Phil Vendy

 
Return to top