So how did Disney fare with its first PG-rated film?

The Black Hole

Cast & Crew

Directed by Gary Nelson
Story by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Barbash, and Richard H. Landau

Maximilian Schell as Dr. Hans Reinhardt
Anthony Perkins as Dr. Alex Durant
Robert Forster as Capt. Dan Holland
Joseph Bottoms as Lt. Charles Pizer
Yvette Mimieux as Dr. Kate McCrae
Ernest Borgnine as Harry Booth
Roddy McDowall as V.I.N.CENT. (Vital Information Necessary CENTralized) (voice)
Slim Pickens as Bob (voice)

Full IMDB Listing

Original Theatrical Release

December 20, 1979

DVD Release

August 3, 2004

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DVD Features

  • Available subtitles: French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French, Spanish
  • Making-of featurette
  • Extended trailer


The crew of spaceship Palimino stumbles across the "lost" ship Cygnus. Crewed entirely by robots save for one, the brilliant, but unhinged Dr. Reinhardt. His plan is to unlock the mysteries of the black hole.


Some things get better with age. Not so with this movie. The pacing is too slow, and the characters are thin, save for the villain.

High Point

  • The revelation about the crew’s fate. Still creepy.
  • Schell makes for a good, almost Nemo-like villain.

Low Points

  • Make the bad theme music stop, Mommy!
  • What’s with the robot racism, V.I.N.CENT? Where’s the love for your fellow bot? At any rate, it’s gets old really fast.
  • Atmospheric decompression has never been done so poorly.
  • Fly through a black hole? Beg yer pardon?

The Scores

Originality: Well, it was a fairly unique, but with elements borrowed heavily from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.4

Effects: Some excellent effect, arguably some of the finest of its time. 6

Story: Lifted from other work and very poorly paced. 3

Acting: Schell’s good and creepy, but everyone else is uneven. And I can’t seperate Anthony Perkins from Norman Bates. 3

Emotional Response: For younger audiences, this should give some thrills and chills, but the pacing may lose their attention. 4

Extras: Not a lot of extras, but the making-of was thorough and well done. 4

Overall: If you need a nostalgia fix, go get it. 4

Total: 28 out of 42


Additional Notes and Comments

If you’re interested in what’s in TheAngryMob’s review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.