How many different HAL 9000 faceplates are there in "2001: A Space Odyssey"?

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Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
every single HAL faceplate seen in the film, and in behind the scenes photos, has exactly the same proportions.
While looking over those photos I noticed that, and wondered if it's the same prop.

That film had a big budget, right? I suppose they wouldn't have had to skimp like that.

BTW I remember going to the theatre when that film opened- it was the first time I'd seen a line go round an entire city block.
 

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nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That is unknown, though I personally think it's unlikely that there was one single golden prop that got moved around. We do know that there were at least two, since the pod bay scene shows two faceplates simultaneously.

I suspect there were multiple props. Perhaps not one for each and every set, since not all sets existed contemporaneously. They may well have unscrewed the plates and transferred them to another set before striking it, while filming was going on on a third.

Were there lenses for each plate? I suspect not. They were expensive Nikon 8mm lenses, and I doubt there'd be much point in having every set sit there idle with a costly lens. There's one shot of the centrifuge where an empty lens socket is clearly visible in the main HAL console, so it seems plausible that the lenses were unfastened and moved as required. But I bet there were multiple lenses.

But the upshot is - we don't know for certain how many faceplates and lenses were made and used. :)
 

joberg

Master Member
I think you`re right Neil; many face plates were made (unknown number) and maybe one hero lenses and many other similar type of lenses (cheaper) for the other plates (possible).
 

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