I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I must post this.
November 11, 2018 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Douglas Rain, the versatile Canadian actor most famous as the voice of the computer HAL-9000, has died at age 90.
posted by New Frontier (57 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by SageLeVoid at 7:52 PM on November 11, 2018


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posted by Songdog at 7:55 PM on November 11, 2018 [35 favorites]



posted by tclark at 7:56 PM on November 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


" My instructor was Mr. Langley... and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you..
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2018 [9 favorites]


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posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:02 PM on November 11, 2018


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 8:09 PM on November 11, 2018


A founder of the Stratford Festival, and a player there for 45 years. Well done, and thank you, sir!
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:32 PM on November 11, 2018 [8 favorites]


Canadian!? It's no wonder Hal began apologetically.

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posted by standardasparagus at 8:39 PM on November 11, 2018 [7 favorites]


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posted by evilDoug at 8:40 PM on November 11, 2018


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posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:42 PM on November 11, 2018


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posted by cookie-k at 8:48 PM on November 11, 2018


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posted by thereemix at 8:51 PM on November 11, 2018


2001 has been a favorite of mine since high school, but in spite of that (or maybe because of that) I had never watched the sequel 2010 until a few nights ago, while burning through my remaining Filmstruck queue. I found a lot of the choices made in that movie to be fairly underwhelming, but damned if Douglas Rain didn't show me a side of HAL that Kubrick's film only hinted at. He gave two of the finest performances ever committed to film, using only the sound of his voice.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:52 PM on November 11, 2018 [17 favorites]


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posted by Silverstone at 9:09 PM on November 11, 2018


His voice for Hal was somehow flat and artificially empathic at the same time. Great casting, great performance. I love that he apparently concentrated on the theatre and actively turned down requests to reprise or spoof his most famous part. Hat tip to you Douglas Rain, RIP.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:19 PM on November 11, 2018 [8 favorites]


Amazing that he was at least the third choice for HAL's voice, 2001 would have been such a different movie without him.
posted by octothorpe at 9:25 PM on November 11, 2018


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I mock that movie quite a bit, but in reality it's one of the most influential of my life, and probably led me to my career of arguing with computers for a living.

I can't imagine HAL with any other voice.
posted by mmoncur at 9:35 PM on November 11, 2018 [5 favorites]


One of the greats. We had a previously about Douglas Rain not too long ago.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:46 PM on November 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


Amazing that he was at least the third choice for HAL's voice, 2001 would have been such a different movie without him.

This is also illustrative that Kubrick, despite being a supremely gifted director, tended to be more miss than hit on casting, and when he did hit big, it was usually accidental/incidental (cf. Rain, Pickens, and Ermey).
posted by tclark at 9:52 PM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


"Open the mausoleum doors, Hal..."
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:54 PM on November 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


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posted by northtwilight at 10:08 PM on November 11, 2018


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posted by Kattullus at 10:10 PM on November 11, 2018


What a great life!

He was really perfectly cast. Kinda warm, not really menacing which made HAL so Very Menacing. The way his gears spin and he pauses when Chandra is explaining that he will be destroyed in 2010. Hell, the way Chandra and Bowman tiptoe around the delicate “psyche” of the solar system’s most sophisticated software program and his voice just gave the perfect “life” to something that we think should be lifeless.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:39 PM on November 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


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posted by Samizdata at 11:17 PM on November 11, 2018


I'm a... fraid.

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posted by benzenedream at 11:20 PM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hope this works...
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posted by Samizdata at 11:22 PM on November 11, 2018 [5 favorites]


Daisy.... daisy....


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posted by DreamerFi at 11:49 PM on November 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


🌼🌼
posted by flabdablet at 1:14 AM on November 12, 2018 [9 favorites]


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posted by kinnakeet at 1:24 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by faceplantingcheetah at 1:30 AM on November 12, 2018


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Part of the source material that helped 2001 become a movie was the National Film Board of Canada film Universe, which was narrated by Rain.
posted by myopicman at 1:33 AM on November 12, 2018 [8 favorites]



posted by Gelatin at 2:14 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


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posted by hal9k at 2:21 AM on November 12, 2018


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I love that he apparently concentrated on the theatre and actively turned down requests to reprise or spoof his most famous part.

There is some uncertainty as to whether his original recordings were used in this year's Hallmark Christmas ornament. This YT unboxing video will let you judge for yourself.
posted by fairmettle at 2:28 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:50 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:58 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by Faintdreams at 4:07 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by valkane at 5:21 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by filtergik at 5:22 AM on November 12, 2018


Douglas Rain reprised his role as Hal 9000 for The Merv Griffin Show - The Special Edition on SCTV. That's not an impression, that's really him.
posted by jabah at 6:32 AM on November 12, 2018 [6 favorites]


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posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:32 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by condour75 at 6:44 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by French Fry at 6:49 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by blurker at 7:52 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by lazaruslong at 7:57 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by Splunge at 7:59 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by MovableBookLady at 8:44 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by radwolf76 at 8:45 AM on November 12, 2018


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:11 AM on November 12, 2018


One of the most recognizable voices of my generation, for relatively so little screen time, it’s just astounding how much influence those minutes have had on popular culture. Such was the talent of Kubrick and his choices, even when semi-random or accidental.

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posted by dbiedny at 10:03 AM on November 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love that he apparently concentrated on the theatre and actively turned down requests to reprise or spoof his most famous part.

He was not beyond spoof. He just wanted it to be a good one.
posted by sonascope at 11:49 AM on November 12, 2018 [3 favorites]


That line was one of the first .au files I kept around.

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posted by zengargoyle at 12:05 PM on November 12, 2018


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posted by Canageek at 4:46 PM on November 12, 2018


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posted by theappleonatree at 7:20 PM on November 12, 2018


I mentioned to a friend of mine the remarkable fact that Douglas Rain and Keir Dullea never met. He, ever the quick wit, responded "Now I'm imagining Dullea going to meet Rain but being frustrated in the attempt by the latter's obstinate refusal to open the door."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:20 AM on November 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Rain wasn't even involved with the film until after principal photography had wrapped. Nigel Davenport spoke the lines on set and then later Martin Balsam re-recorded them and then Rain recorded them remotely in Canada.

Thinking about HAL with a different voice is kind of like thinking about Darth Vader without James Earl Jones. Come to think of it, I wonder if Kubrick ever considered Jones for HAL? He was in the cast of Dr. Strangelove so it's not that far-fetched an idea.
posted by octothorpe at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


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