Overall, yes, this is much better film than the Branagh remake. However, man, the first half hour or so is poky and weirdly edited, with long shots of literally nothing happening. Then the train leaves the station and things pick up considerably. Hard to believe this material had the same editor as the rest of the film.
I wish I could have been with an audience on this movie's premiere just to see the reaction when the first head exploded. I can only imagine the bedlam that must have erupted.
Strong script, tautly directed. Patrick McGoohan is a joy to watch, as usual (I'm a huge fan of "The Prisoner"). Stephen Lack is a stiff, but sometimes he makes the lack of affect work for him. Other times, he just looks extremely constipated. Painfully, perhaps lethally constipated, especially while he's scanning.
I first saw this as a teenager in the late '70s on a reissue, in a theater with a very large screen (though I can't honestly remember if it was 35MM or 70MM). I had already read the book (and even the "Making of 2001" book), and I loved it. Can't say I always "got" it, but I knew it was an overwhelming work of art.
I've seen it on video numerous times since then, letterboxed but, c'mon, you need…