The First Disney Film Without A General Rating! May 2, 2010
TITLE: The Black Hole
GENRE: SciFi, distant future, galactic exploration
CAST: Robert Forster, Maximillian Schell, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine, Joseph Bottoms, Roddy McDowall and Slim Pickens
PLOT: An exploration ship stumbles upon a previous enterprise orbitting a black hole. Seemingly abandoned. It instead has one human left aboard, a brilliant scientist who has learned by studying the black hole, the secret of anti-gravity. He proposes to use that power to take himself into the phenomenon. Things don't workout as he planned as the crew of the newer ship want to leave and he wants them to watch him make history.
RETRUN ON INVESTMENT: 9.2 of 10; Just for being the first Disney film to fail to garner a general rating because of some 'cussing', this is worth the view. There were 150 matte drawings employed to generate the backdrops. Star Wars only had 75! This was accomplished as the last big budget film that didn't rely on computer generated graphics so it displays the pinnacle of brute force cinematographic effects. The sound track (scored by John Barry of James Bond fame) WAS the first digitized sound recording for a motion picture. The acting is as to be expected from such a veteran cast. Did I mention Yvette Mimieux was in this?
DVD BONUS: a "The Making of ..." feature called "Through The Black Hole" hosted by Production Designer Peter Ellenshaw's son (who supervised the aforementioned matte work); and, a three minute version of the trailer.
ADDED NOTES: The broadcast versions of the film ran into trouble because the ending chosen by Disney's execs was a contrasting of heaven and hell, a place referenced a few times in the original. Please do not let the possiblity of hearing hell spoken aloud deter you from seeing the beauty of this film, a little piece of Heaven for us to enjoy. Another inovation of the 'brute' kind here was that to help hide the wires in the floating scenes, the sets were built upside down so the wires (if you see them) rise up from the floor where no one looks for them!