Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Le Trou Noir

Ah, I love this movie. Wish I could see it again on the big screen. Also read what Peter and Al and Paul think about it.

The set up is great. This is one of those movies that sets up its premise, then gets on with it. We have a space craft on an exploration voyage, and it encounters a black hole. With a space ship in orbit around it. What? How? They get aboard to find Dr Hans Crazypants and his wild ideas. Because he wants to go into the black hole and was just waiting for someone to come along and watch him. And here they are! Although they start finding out his secrets, so we can’t have that. Can they get away in time?

This has some fantastic models in here. The ships, the robots… I wish I had a Maximillian toy, that is so brutal and amazing and a brilliant design. This does mean there is a fair amount of green screen, but I did occasionally look for strings, but couldn’t see any. Okay, the meteors are kinda silly (and come out of nowhere!), but the rest of it is great.

Then there’s that ending. What is up with Reinhardt? Is he in hell? And the ‘heroes’ make it through, although in the novelisation they end up as a joined consciousness that roams the universe, which I like.

And then there’s the cast. Maximillian Schell is great as Dr Crazypants, and Robert Forster is able to go toe-to-toe with him. The others are less well serviced, with Ernest Borgnine’s character being rather limp and Anthony Perkins one-note. And Yvette Mimieux gets the Lone Female role, although her character has an interesting trait of being able to use ESP with Vincent. Can’t say I’ve seen telepathic connection with machines a common thing.

I’ll leave with one last thing. The amazing score by John Barry. The opening has a lovely majestic and ethereal feeling to it, while also maintaining an undertone of menace. Just listen to this:



Al said...

I'm a fan of Yvette Mimieux, mainly because of The Time Machine. I was surprised but pleased to see her in The Black Hole, rather than a younger, less experienced actress as might have been expected for a token female role.

Jet Simian said...

Hey, I saw strings occasionally - no Ultron on this Disney screen, alas!

The 45" read-along booklet provides a further interpretation (or rather, glossing over) of the post-BH scene, with new dialogue! Essentially the Captain reveals the new universe as being one for them to explore and let's get to it. I hadn't heard of Alan Dean Foster's version, but that's pretty cool in itself. I wish they'd made more of the ESP angle - from both the Palomino crew's side and maybe (if that fan theory is correct) Reinhardt and Maximillian's.

My friend Derek had that Maximillian toy - he was cool but a little static. Boy, the shredding of Perkins got to me, it really did.

Glad to know a fellow fan, and I agree that a clean-up big screen re-release would be a wonderful thing indeed!

evildicemonkey said...

This is my first memory. Coming home on the bus from the hospital (no idea why) and the TV being turned on and The Black Hole playing.