Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

The Black Hole

The Black Hole is a 1979 science fiction movie directed for Walt Disney Pictures by Gary Nelson. It stars Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and Ernest Borgnine. The voices of the main robot characters in the film are provided by Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens. The music for the movie was composed by John Barry. The plot was derived from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Apparently Disney's answer to Star Wars, at $18 million it was the most expensive picture produced by the company to date and their first to be given a PG rating. It was not well received by critics and did poorly in the box office, although the special effects and matte work were praised.


Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

An Earth exploratory ship, the USS Palomino, discovers a black hole with a lost ship, the USS Cygnus, on its event horizon. To solve the mystery of the Cygnus, Palomino captain Dan Holland (Forster), his first officer Charlie Pizern (Bottoms), journalist Harry Booth (Borgnine), scientist and ESP-sensitive Kate McCrae (Mimieux), Dr. Alex Durant (Perkins), and the robot V.I.N.CENT board the ship where they meet its captain, Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Schell) and his army of robots, headed by the sinister Maximillian.

Reinhardt, a prominent scientist last seen twenty years ago, claims he is the only human aboard the vessel. But the Palomino crew's suspicion are raised as Booth observes one humanoid robot tending an enormous vegetable garden and Holland observes a burial in space being conducted by them. An older version of V.I.N.CENT aboard the Cygnus, Old B.O.B., reveals that the crew of the Cygnus mutinied against Reinhardt when he chose to keep the Cygnus in proximity to the black hole. After killing the ringleaders of the rebellion (particularly Frank McCrae, Kate's father), he used the fully automated robots aboard the ship, particularly Maximillian, to lobotomize the remainder of his crew and make them the humanoid robots on the Cygnus bridge. Durant is killed and McCrae is sent to be lobotomized when they discover this truth. The resulting firefight between the Palomino's crew and the Cygnus robots renders the ship vulnerable to the gravimetric stresses caused by the black hole, which destroys the ship. Holland, Pizer, McCrae, and V.I.N.CENT escape aboard the Cygnus's probe ship, which Reinhardt had preset to enter the black hole itself, believing there was another universe through it. The Palomino survivors find out he was right, and they set off to explore this new reality.