"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be.
Gary Lockwood....Dr. Frank Poole
William Sylvester....Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Leonard Rossiter....Dr. Andrei Smyslov
Robert Beatty....Dr. Ralph Halvorsen
Sean Sullivan....Dr. Bill Michaels
Douglas Rain....HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller....Mission Controller (voice)
Ed Bishop....Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
Alan Gifford....Poole's Father
Ann Gillis....Poole's Mother
Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.