The Black Hole (1979)

Interesting subject, of black holes and that sort of thing, which is always in vogue with space watchers. But The Black Hole happens to have nothing to do with the nitty gritty of celestial sink holes, whether they were real or imagined at the time of this film’s release, in 1979.

It was the prospect of seeing the cinematic vision of an indomitable black hole that pulled me into this film. As it builds up to the moment of ‘being there’ in the black hole, it is quietly mind-boggling…

While they are seeking inhabitable life in space, the USS Palomino parks by the Cygnus, a ship situated on the outer rim of a black hole.

Captain of the Cygnus, Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximillian Schell) is deliberately disobeying orders to go back to earth.

The others of the Palomino board and nose around the ship, see numbers of interesting robotic machines in service (some of which graduated to merchandising status), and interact with the not so reliable captain.

In the vein of the temptation offered to Adam and Eve — take of the fruit and you will know just as God does — so Reinhardt has taken up the offer quite unwisely. His goal is to find ultimate knowledge by diving into the black hole while the crew of the USS Palomino scramble to escape this ever-increasing megalomaniac.

Meanwhile, I had been waiting for a cinematic mind bend down a sink hole in outer space. That comes—towards the end. The action heats up when Reinhardt summons his ship into the black hole, climaxing with some explosive and spectacular special effects good for the time. The wait for this was a little hard, but not without good things for those who wait.

Rest of cast: Robert Forster (Captain Dan Holland), Joseph Bottoms (Lieutenant Charles Pizer), Anthony Perkins (Dr Alex Durant), Yvette Mimieux (Dr Kate McCrae) and Ernest Borgnine (journo Harry Booth).

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