The Black Hole is a 1979 science fiction movie directed by Gary Nelson for Walt Disney Productions. 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 (both uncredited). The music for the movie was composed by John Barry. Alan Dean Foster novelized the screenplay.An Earth exploratory ship, the USS Palomino, discovers a black hole with a lost ship, the USS Cygnus, somehow defying its gravity and hovering just outside its event horizon. Setting off to solve the mystery of the Cygnus are: the Palomino's Captain, Dan Holland (Robert Forster); his First Officer, Lieutenant Charlie Pizer (Joseph Bottoms); journalist Harry Booth (Ernest Borgnine); ESP-sensitive scientist Dr. Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux); Dr. Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins), the expedition's civilian leader; and the robot V.I.N.CENT ("Vital Information Necessary CENTralized"). The Palomino attempts a dangerous fly-by of the ship, which is dark and apparently derelict. As they come within close range of it, the buffeting they experience due to the black hole's gravity suddenly ceases. They bring more instruments to bear on the ship, but do not realize the gravity-free zone is artificial and limited; slipping outside it, they are almost drawn into the hole.As the crew repairs the Palomino, they discover that the Cygnus is not only functional but inhabited by a crew of faceless robots and their human commander, Dr. Hans Reinhardt, who intends to take the Cygnus into the black hole to see what awaits him on the other side. However, they discover something more sinister behind Reinhardt's preparations, and they must race against time to escape before their own ship becomes mere collateral damage in the quest of an apparent madman.The movie contains very clear homages in style and plot to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it's possible they originally intended to create a similar "proverbial good science fiction film". The success of Star Wars meant that assorted cute robots were crammed in, making the tone direly schizophrenic. (The shooting gallery scene is a particularly obvious addition.)Many consider this film to be Disney's biggest flop (which lead to countless jokes about the company's money being tossed into the eponymous hole), and that it represents everything that was wrong with Ron Miller's leadership of the company. In actual fact it made $35m on a budget of $20m, so it did earn a slight profit for the company; nonetheless, not very many people regard the film as one of Disney's finer moments. Indeed, along with one other movie that was released the same year, it was the first ever Disney movie to be given a PG rating; something that ultimately would lead to the creation of Disney's separate non-Disney branded label, Touchstone Pictures in 1984 (with the PG-rated Splash as its first release).The film is currently in development for a remake by TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. This film even gets a Shout Out in Legacy as a poster in Sam's room.
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