Movies From the Hat VI #47 – Robert H.’s Pick – The Black Hole (1979)


This is my 3484th Review

Thanks to  Robert H. of  If it happened yesterday it’s history for this recommendation.

“The word “impossible”, Mr. Booth, is only found in the dictionary of fools.”  – Dr. Hans Reinhardt

Number of Times Seen – At least 5 times (Theater in ’79, cable, 5 Nov 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A science ship comes across a long lost vessel that is tethered next to a dangerous Black Hole and must try and investigate what happened to the crew.

My Take on it – This is the first film that I recall seeing in the theater.

I was 5 years old when it came out but have always recalled some of the scary bits that have accompanied me for nearly 40 years.

This is a blatant Star Wars rip-off that no doubt tried to capitalize on the success of that genre early on.

The effects seem extremely poor when comparing them to today’s standards, but it definitely helps move the plot along even better despite it.

This film has a great cast with Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Ernest Borgnine and Maximilian Schell, but the best scenes are dominated by two bickering and humorous androids that slightly resemble R2 and 3PO in their attitudes.  Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens provide the voice work for them and it’s quite refreshing seeing them.

The dialogue is pretty cheesy also, but they still manage to touch upon some great themes that so many explorers have pondered on their way to revolutionary discoveries while dealing with risks and danger along the way.

This films plot is extremely intriguing and I truly wonder how it would be presented if someone chose to make this kind of film now.

Bottom Line – Some what of a Star Wars rip-off that definitely capitalized on the popularity of the genre at the time. Despite some cheesy effects (by today’s standards), this film is actually much better than I recalled. Many of the themes brought forth here are philosophical ones that men have pondered for centuries about the risks and dangers of discovery and they are presented quite well here. Great cast that still succeed in spite of some of the really cheesy dialogue. Wonder what someone could do with this kind of idea now, four decades later. McDowell and Pickens do great voice work as the droids who are somewhat reminiscent of R2 and 3PO. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – To film the special effects, Disney originally wanted to rent the Dykstraflex camera system that was created for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) (the first computer-controlled camera) from Industrial Light & Magic. However, the price and rental terms were unacceptable so Disney created its own version instead. What resulted was Disney’s A.C.E.S. (Automated Camera Effects System), which was radically superior to the Dykstraflex system; the Mattescan system, which enabled the camera to move on a matte painting (that was previously impossible); and a computer-controlled modeling stand. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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5 thoughts on “Movies From the Hat VI #47 – Robert H.’s Pick – The Black Hole (1979)

  1. I remember thinking this was a great film while watching it and didn’t understand why it had such a bad reputation. The ending, though, really killed it for me, as if they just ran out of ideas and tacked on a little drug trip for a conclusion. This might actually be worth a modern remake.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1979 |

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