2001: A Space Odyssey (lost deleted scenes of Stanley Kubrick sci-fi film; 1968)

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2001-Space-Odyssey 68.jpg

Cover of the film.

Status: Lost

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and was inspired by Clarke's 1951 short story "The Sentinel" and other short stories by Clarke, starring Keir Dullea as David Bowman. It originally debuted in the USA on April 3rd, 1968, with the UK premiere on May 15th, 1968. The plot of this film follows mankind's biggest moments of progress, leading up to space travel and the struggle between mankind and machines.

There were about 17 minutes of cuts made to the film by Stanley Kubrick days after its world premiere to tighten the film.[1] According to his brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, Kubrick was adamant that the trims were never to be seen and had the negatives, which he had kept in his garage, burned shortly before his death. This was confirmed by former Kubrick assistant Leon Vitali: "I'll tell you right now, okay, on Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Barry Lyndon, some little parts of 2001, we had thousands of cans of negative outtakes and print, which we had stored in an area at his house where we worked out of, which he personally supervised the loading of it to a truck and then I went down to a big industrial waste lot and burned it. That's what he wanted."[2]

Multiple sources include details of what these scenes pertained to.[3] These cuts seem primarily to alter the pacing of certain scenes rather than removing scenes altogether.

Lost Scenes

  • Some shots from the "Dawn of Man" sequence were removed, and a new scene was inserted where an ape pauses with the bone it is about to use as a tool. The new scene was a low-angle shot of the monolith, done in order to portray and clarify the connection between the man-ape using the tool and the monolith.
  • Some shots of Frank Poole jogging in the centrifuge were removed.
  • An entire sequence of several shots in which Dave Bowman searches for the replacement antenna part in storage was removed.
  • A scene where HAL severs radio communication between the "Discovery" and Poole's pod before killing him was removed. This scene explains a line that stayed in the film in which Bowman addresses HAL on the subject.
  • Some shots of Poole's space walk before he is killed were removed.


On October 10th, 2017, an article came out from BloomsMag that all 17 minutes of the cut footage has been found by Warner Bros. in a salt mine vault in Kansas.[4] As such, these deleted scenes are not "lost" per se, but they are not likely to resurface to the public at the moment.

External Link