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The Black Hole [DVD] (1979)


Price: £4.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
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Product details

  • Actors: Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux
  • Directors: Gary Nelson
  • Writers: Bob Barbash, Gerry Day, Jeb Rosebrook, Richard H. Landau
  • Producers: Ron Miller
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios HE
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Jun. 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000094P3Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,274 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Deep in space, a research craft encounters a near-deserted spaceship perched on the edge of a black hole, a dense patch of matter which is one of the Universe's great mysteries. On board the ship is a long-lost scientist who has a desire to see what lies on the other side of the black hole - and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Anthony Perkins, Joseph Bottoms, Ernest Borgnine, Maximilian Schell and Yvette Mimieux star in Disney's attempt to rival the success of 'Star Wars'.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
In the late 70s and early 80s, Disney's rather unhelpful corporate motto changed from `What would Walt do?' to 'Star Wars should have been a Disney film.' Unfortunately, rather than embracing pictures that went against the tide, they interpreted it as jumping on the sci-fi bandwagon and spending a then-huge $17m on The Black Hole. The script famously went through years of rewrites (there was no black hole at all in the original drafts) and it's tempting to guess that most of the interesting ideas it may have started with fell by the wayside in the process. Disney's biggest problem was their own hype, pitching their first PG-rated film as a groundbreaking 2001-style adult epic rather than the Flash Gordon Goes 20,000 Leagues Under Space serial style shoot `em up aimed at kids that it really is. Much was made of the finale, so secret that multiple versions were reputedly shot and none of the cast allowed to see the script's last pages, only for the black hole ultimately revealed to be little more than a live-action version of Fantasia's vision of Night on Bald Mountain before throwing our cardboard heroes out the other side in a rushed and underwhelming anticlimax.

The human element isn't exactly well developed, with Robert Forster, Yvette Mimieux, Ernest Borgnine and Joseph Bottoms playing stock cardboard characters while Maximilian Schell hams it up as the mad scientist and Anthony Perkins goes through his large stockpile of mannerisms and ticks as his star-struck wannabe apprentice in a competition to see who can chew up the most scenery (Max wins by a mile thanks to great egomaniacal dialogue like "It is time de vorld forgot about ids failures und learned about my successes!").
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful By D. I. Shipley VINE VOICE on 4 Dec. 2005
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 May 2014
Format: DVD
Disney's trip into outer space may not carry much substance on the page, but it's an ambitious venture that's not without entertainment merits. Plot finds a spaceship crew going forth into a Black Hole and encountering a despot who was long since thought off as dead. The money spent is there on the screen to enjoy in 1979 terms, with the special effects and set designs really making time spent with the movie a solid experience. Unfortunately the writing is lazy, coming off as a collage of sci-fi classics that had previously enthralled the various generations of genre lovers. The cast assembled are reliable sorts - Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Yvette Mimieux, Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster - but they are usurped by the fun robots who, whilst once again showing the film to be a lazy rip-off, are good company to be in and offset the confusing attempt by the makers to create a thought provoking family movie! 6/10
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
"The Black Hole" came out in a period when science fiction was making a big comeback. "Star Wars: A New Hope" had come out a year or two before, "2001: A Space Odyssey" was already a classic, and the same year brought us "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and the classic "Alien."

And in some ways, "The Black Hole" fits in seamlessly with those other movies -- the sets and matte visuals are absolutely stunning, giving the movie a real sense of epic emptiness, and director Gary Nelson clearly was attempting to create a sense of depth that most live-action Disney movies lack ("Like looking into Dante's Inferno!"). But it also has a hefty dose of cheez, with wise-cracking psychic robots and bloodless disembowelings.

While returning to Earth, the USS Palomino spots a massive black hole with a starship orbiting it. It turns out to the the USS Cygnus, presumed lost twenty years ago -- and of particular interest because Dr. McCrae's (Yvette Mimieux) father was on board, and the legendary Dr. Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell) was leading the expedition. Fortunately the Cygnus is in some kind of gravity-nullifying field, so they manage to dock and get on board the massive ship.

Dr. Reinhardt turns out to be very much alive, but reports that the crew is all dead. Yup, all dead... and DEFINITELY not those robots who look just like masked, robed humans. Their resident robot V.I.N.C.E.N.T. (Roddy McDowall) soon discovers that the more typical robots aren't very nice either, but that's probably the least interesting part of the movie.

While wining and dining them, Reinhardt reveals that his plan is to somehow pilot the Cygnus THROUGH the black hole, to parts unknown. Dr.
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