Question about the plot to 2001: A Space Odyssey


Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
So after watching the movie, there is part of the plot I don't get, and wondered if anyone can help me.


Basically Bowman and Poole want to have a conversation without the HAL computer knowing it. So they decide to get into the pod, and they tell HAL to rotate the pod. But by doing this, the pod is rotated where HAL can see through the window and read their lips.

Why would they tell HAL to rotate to the pod at all? If they just would have left the pod where it was, HAL would not have seen through the window to their lips. But by them telling HAL to rotate the pod, the window comes into his view. So why tell him to rotate the pod at all, when it means that the window comes into his sight line?

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I knew the answer 50 years ago but I forgot. We can get a seance with Kubrick and Rock Hudson and ask them.
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I'd have to re-watch it to confirm (it's been a while), but my guess is that it's a safety precaution where HAL has to be able to observe Dave and Frank in case anything goes wrong - if they're working inside a pod where the only way to see inside is through the window, then they would have to make sure that HAL can look through the window. They're just not expecting him to be able to read lips so they just cut the comms as part of their repair pretense.

Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
I understand that but they got HAL to rotate the pod so he could see through the window, and it should have occurred to them, that if they didn't want HAL to spy on them, they should have hid themselves too. But maybe it was a safety precaution, so HAL wouldn't get suspicious.

I'm surprised that this issue is the one you chose to focus on Ironpony ( and it's a valid one that I can't answer, maybe it's just a lapse on the part of the screen writer, and you were sharp enough to spot it. )

Because what everyone else asks about this movie is : What in the world does it all mean???? Lol. Especially and specifically, people ask: What EVER does the ending mean???? - an astronaut eating his food with clanking utensils while turning frail and elderly - and then suddenly there s an infant floating thru the universe. Wha'?????

So I m gonna turn the tables on ya, Ironpony b/c I have to assume if all you asked about is why the astronauts didn't outthink a nosy computer- YOU of all people who have ever watched 2001- YOU must know what the ending means.

So please, tell us

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Here's the lead-up and the scene itself. When it ends it goes directly to the word "INTERMISSION". It was all timed to leave the viewer in suspense as to what would happen next. I'm sure the astronauts didn't know about HAL's ability to read lips. Aside from that, my first answer stands.

Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
No I don't know what the ending means but that is fine as I think it was suppose to keep us wrapped up in mystery lol.

But the computer thing bothered me more . Even though the astronauts didn't think HAL could read lips, I thought that maybe the astronauts might think that if HAL saw them, talking behind his back, that he might get suspicious and it therefore in the astronauts best interest to have a conversation where HAL could not see them, and thus not asking him to rotate the pod so he could see them.

Or maybe the astronauts could pretend to be working in the pod while talking, instead of looking at HAL and talking about him which looks suspicious, instead of working.

I thought it might have been better writing if HAL had a camera to see them on, in the pod, rather than then rotating the pod into HALs line of sight deliberately.