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Plot:

Travelling with mind-boggling speed, a gleaming unidentified flying object zooming in from the boundless deep space, penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere, landing smoothly in Cold War-Washington, D.C. Encircled by large yet feeble military forces, the peaceful intergalactic ambassador, Klaatu, emerges from the mysterious vessel accompanied by the silently dangerous robot of incomprehensible power, Gort, only to witness firsthand the earthlings’ hospitality. The sophisticated humanoid declares that he comes in peace; however, he needs to assemble the world’s greatest minds to hear his merciful warning and a definitive ultimatum. Is Klaatu the messenger of humanity’s doom?

Also Known As: A nap, mikor megállt a Föld, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Den dag, jorden stod stille, День, когда остановилась Земля Soviet, O Dia em que a Terra Parou, Ultimátum a la Tierra, Όταν η Γη σταματήσει, Mannen från Mars, De dag waarop de aarde stilstond, El día que paralizaron la tierra, El día que paralizaron la Tierra, El día que se paralizó la tierra, Der Tag, an dem die Erde stillstand West, Flygende, Chikyu no seishi suru hi, Journey to the World, 地球の静止する日, Päivä jolloin maailma seisahtui, Uçan Dairelerin Esrarı, Dzień, w którym zatrzymała się Ziemia, Den, kdy se zastavila Země Czech, Deň, keď sa zastavila Zem, El día que la Tierra se detuvo, El día que la tierra se detuvo, 地球末日記, Ziua în care Pământul s-a oprit, Mission spatiale - Le jour où la terre s'arrêta, Otan i Gi stamatisi..., Farewell to the Master, Uhkavaatimus maalle, Денят, в който земята спря, Der Tag, an dem die Erde stillstand, Le jour où la terre s'arrêta, Дан када је Земља стала, Ultimatum alla Terra, День, коли Земля зупинилась, Ultimatum til Jorden

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  • zahfer-firat
    zahfer firat

    “There must be security for all or no one is secure.”- Klaatu, to the world’s leaders at the conclusion of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Here is the ne plus ultra for sci-fi movies. It does not pander to the child in us like E.T. It does not befuddle with dazzling images like 2001. Though it does present a threat from outer space, it does not take the form of a drooling, acid-for-blood whatsis with razor fangs and a hunger for human flesh. Instead, it proposes that there are indeed humanoid lifeforms in existence off the Earth with, dare I write it, powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men (though Klaatu can’t fly and is in no way bulletproof). THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is intelligent, engrossing and damn scary. Director Robert Wise (yup, he directed WEST SIDE STORY, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and, unfortunately, the first STAR TREK movie), with the invaluable aid of Edmund H. North’s fine script, utilizes a spare, noirish style to deliver a powerful statement about man’s capacity for self-destruction. Only 92 minutes long, the film says volumes without sermonizing about a serious topic. And it does so most entertainingly. It makes the fantastic seem not only plausible but very likely. Bernard Herrmann creates a persistent mood of uneasiness with the vibrating eeriness of his Therimin-driven music. Michael Rennie’s urbane spaceman radiates a barely contained bemusement and contempt for the violence prone humans he faces. In this early role, Patricia Neal displays how gifted she was at conveying subtle emotional shifts. Through the eyes of Billy Gray we see wonder, puzzlement and terror as only a child can experience them but without condescension. Lastly, in all the annals of sci-fi moviedom few can match the unstoppable power of Gort. Klaatu barada nikto….. (And please don’t waste your time with the utter failure that is the 2008 Keanu Reeves remake; just revel in the enduring excellence of the original).

  • ermanis-rudzitis
    ermanis rudzitis

    The Day the Earth Stood Still is often called one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. More truthfully, though, all it has really done is achieved cult status despite notable shortcomings.First and foremost are the storytelling techniques. Classic dramatic techniques such as foreshadowing are virtually absent. Robert Wise’s direction lacks any semblance of suspense. Instead, he uses the same plodding pace that doomed Star Trek – The Motion Picture 28 years later. The cinematography is unimaginative, even by the standards of the ’50s. It often feels like nothing so much as a filmed stage play given the dominance of flat, medium shots. Repetitive scenes like group after group of pensive people clustered about radios weren’t considered good film-making even back then, and it’s downright boring today. Bernard Herrmann’s theremin-laced score was peculiarly devoid of mood.The main characters were thinly drawn, and some — including Bobby and Tom — disappear without a trace before the climax, leaving absolutely no closure. Michael Rennie did a passable job as Klaatu, but Patricia Neal simply could not redeem the cardboard cutout of Helen. Sam Jaffe is straight out of Central Casting as the wild-haired, pipe-smoking, Einsteinoid scientific genius. The military men couldn’t have been any more stereotypical. The generals were all gung ho and the soldiers were too stupid to open fire on Gort when he first started disintegrating artillery and later when he escaped the block of plastic; they were simply cannon fodder. The wardrobe department must have had an easy time on this shoot. Every man is wearing either a suit and tie or a uniform, no matter if he’s supping at home or working for the office. Maybe this was wishful thinking even in that era, that men should be nattily attired at all times. Today, it’s merely preposterous.The story had its share of major blunders. Some were based on outdated science, like the statement that Venus could support humanoid life. Others were just plain silly. Klaatu, having already been shot early in the movie, still tries to run from armed soldiers. He could freeze the Earth in its tracks, but has nothing for remote communication with Gort or his ship, needing instead a flashlight. It was never followed up on that since Klaatu was perfectly human, was there some relation between his race and humanity. And there was far too much exposition — we’re told too much rather than shown.Should this film be remade? Certainly the effects could be improved. War of the Worlds and Forbidden Planet, released two and five years later, respectively, showcased what was the true state of the art for the ’50s. Today’s digital effects could easily add so much more to the story than Fred Sersen’s optical effects of a half century ago, for instance a truly frightening Gort. But effects alone don’t make a good movie, as the 1998 dud Godzilla proved.A new multiracial cast would be an improvement on the sanitized and idealized whitebread cast that the pre-civil rights times necessitated. Not only should minorities be represented — for Klaatu’s warning affects them, too — but so should women in roles greater than homemaker and secretary.The script would have to be rewritten from the ground up, for the main premise is fatally flawed. Klaatu threatens the extinction of mankind — indeed, of all life on Earth, including the innocent animals who have no knowledge of our sins nor power to stop them — if any aggression were visited upon our interplanetary neighbors. The ‘barbaric’ leading societies of Earth had forsworn the use of genocide as a form of warfare decades before this movie was made. Even the thought of targeting unarmed civilians as retribution for aggression is morally repulsive to rational citizens of the modern world. Nuking Serbia for the actions of Slobodan Milosevic is unthinkable. How could a supposedly more advanced “civilization” justify such a sweeping atrocity? The concept of collateral damage is already falling out of favor with the American public. A contemporary script might have Klaatu realizing the error of his ways after being suitably chastised on his apparent lack of humanity, humility and compassion by the female lead. Never mind how our primitive weapons could have threatened their technologically superior civilizations. His single ship had the power to neutralize our entire planet and was impervious to any force the Army could muster. Gort himself was said to be able to singlehandedly reduce Earth to a smoking cinder. Surely at the first sign of attack, either could effortlessly dispose of a few pitiful nuclear missiles. Thereafter, it would have been child’s play to interdict all future spaceflight until the human race matured or capitulated, especially when backed by the might of a fleet of ships and Gorts. All without the loss of a single life, human or otherwise. Compare it with Forbidden Planet, made only six years later. That, too, had the message that man was inherently flawed and could not be trusted with immense power. But it never took the heavyhanded approach of threatening total destruction. It just had a single genius who simply said man was not ready for the tremendous knowledge of the Krell. That is much more accurate and true to life. We aren’t and may never be worthy of such power. But how realistic is it to turn us against each other, trying to keep any rogue nation or terrorists from inciting the wrath of Gort? Couldn’t that run the risk of creating more conflict here on Earth just to protect Klaatu’s people? If a group thinks themselves martyrs and believes they will be elevated to heaven after death anyway, how could you stop them from bringing death upon all of us, short of killing every last one of them?The thinking man’s science fiction movie? Hardly. For now, that honor falls to Contact, starring Jodie Foster, a much deeper look into humanity and the human condition.

  • sandor-kerekes-lajos
    sandor kerekes lajos

    After WWII and the invention of the atomic bomb, people in the 50’s were looking for strong leaders who could command moral authority. Enter General Eisenhower, who would become a two-term U.S. President; “Father Knows Best”, with its stern but loving father figure; and the iron-fisted biblical epic: “The Ten Commandments”.Enter, too, “The Day The Earth Stood Still”, a 1951 sci-fi classic soaked in images of authority … the police, the military, and the tall, stern, Moses-like figure from another world, Klaatu, who lectures us on the folly of nuclear war. It is, I believe, this pacifist message emanating from strength that explains the film’s enduring popularity.Noble as the message is, what about its cinematic vehicle? Visually and musically, the film is appropriately frigid and forbidding. Leo Tover’s noirish B&W lighting and unobtrusive camera work, combined with Bernard Herrmann’s score and the eerie theramin sounds all work in concert to convey a mood of Orwellian severity and other worldly coldness.But the script is disappointing. This is a very talky film, which dilutes its effectiveness as sci-fi. The dialogue seems stodgy, canned, uninspired. Example: “attention zone 5, attention zone 5, yellow cab moving north … man and woman in backseat; get license number and report … deploy all units according to Plan B immediately” (well, at least it was not Plan 9…).This pedestrian script could have been borrowed from most any cops and robbers flick of the 40’s. On the other hand, I guess I can forgive the script’s moratorium on humor, given the seriousness of the message.The film’s science is very dated, thus requiring further tolerance. Klaatu to scientists: “The universe grows smaller every day”; no, actually the physical universe is expanding. “Venus and Mars … are the only two planets capable of sustaining life as we know it”; no, not with their temperature extremes and chemical composition.And the special effects are curiously minimal in the same era that produced the beautifully weird gliding machines from Mars in “War Of The Worlds” (1953), and the lurking terror in “Forbidden Planet” (1956).One solid accomplishment of this film is its accurate portrayal of society in the early 1950’s: the old cars, men’s formal attire (especially those hats), interior decor, antiquated TV sets, and of course the confidence in institutional authority.In summary then, the movie, for me, functions less as a credible sci-fi vehicle than as a fascinating socio-political commentary on American life in the early 1950’s.

  • anto-derezic
    anto derezic

    I think this was the first film that showed when “Saturday Night at the Movies” debuted in the very early 60s. It was a profound experience. It’s still my favorite B&W film and my favorite sci fi movie. Even as an adult, when so much more can be read into it that the fantastic story of a visitor coming to Earth with so much power and wisdom, it remains a marvel to watch. And it’s coming out on DVD soon!

  • ben-joyce-turner
    ben joyce turner

    Many of the old black-and-white science-fiction classics are often remembered for a particularly grand element they have to them. Sometimes, it’s for their groundbreaking special effects, like the original King Kong (1933) or The War of the Worlds (1953). Sometimes it’s because they have a particularly interesting character or villain like Frankenstein (1931) and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). And sometimes it’s because they feature a creature that absolutely frightens or haunts you like Count Orlok in Nosferatu (1922). But there’s only a handful of classics out there that get their recognition because of a moral message they carry. One such example is the original, Japanese version of Godzilla (1954). Another is the 1951 revolutionary classic The Day the Earth Stood Still.This memorable motion picture, recently remade with Keanu Reeves, and based on a story by Harry Bates, tells the fictional tale of an event in history when a flying saucer landed in Washington D.C. Two extra terrestrial beings emerged from its mysterious form. A humanlike messenger named Klaatu (Michael Rennie) and an eight-foot-tall, invulnerable robot called Gort (Lock Martin). These two beings arrive upon the era where mankind had began to strongly develop atomic energy and increase the violent and catastrophic potential of its warfare. The extra terrestrials arrive with a warning for all of mankind. By harnessing such horrible power and using it to create weapons, mankind was creating an intergalactic threat as well as endangering its own existence on Earth. Klaatu’s warning was simple: cut off the production of nuclear weapons and live in peace, or be destroyed as a threat to other worlds in the universe.Like many other popular science-fiction films, The Day the Earth Stood Still features impressive visual effects. Even the robot, Gort, which is nothing more than a man in a flexible costume, looks like a machine made from foreign-world material. The scenes where the UFO lands in Washington D.C. and where a death ray sprays into a tank and dissolves it in a flash of white light still spellbind to this day. But its more notable elements were created by the characters and by the screenwriters.The extra-terrestrial, Klaatu looks remarkably human. He doesn’t have antenna, or three eyes, or tentacles, and his physical form is not a disguise. Oddly enough, this is more convincing than the present standards for aliens, which have to look like animals, particularly invertebrates, to be believable. And because he looks human, Klaatu is more relatable as a being instead of a creature. And he has morals, again, relatable and more compelling a buggy-eyed, other-planet nihilist bent on enslavement and destruction. And besides, they way I see it, if there are other beings out in the world, they wouldn’t be much different than us. Physically or morally.Another noteworthy element is its symbolism, which like Godzilla (1954) stands out against nuclear war and the destruction of the environment. While it does not carry its message as vividly and horrifyingly, director Robert Wise wisely influences this message several times to keep it fresh in our minds. And while a movie cannot change the world, it is comforting to know that there were, and still are good people who realize these nightmarish elements of our world and feel compelled enough to communicate a message to us.The Day the Earth Stood Still has aged a bit since its debut in 1951, but this does in no way, take away from its influence. It has deservedly earned his place in the long list of classics from the age when true motion pictures were made instead of the standard, hackneyed projects that seem to attract audience members today in the 21st century.

  • marco-santos
    marco santos

    I’ll start this review saying that while many people won’t recognize his name, director Robert Wise was probably among the most creative directors of history, and among the most important; with a resume that includes not only this 50s classic, but also The Body Snatcher (1945), West Side Story (1961), The Sound of Music (1965) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979); his legacy is highly influential and surely will last forever.With that said, let’s start with “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, a movie that quickly gained a place among the classics of the Sci-Fi genre. The plot is very simple, but it is the way it is developed what is very moving, thought-provoking and also, quite scary. On a normal day, an alien space ship lands on Washington creating panic, when the mysterious visitor appears, he is suddenly attacked by the army. Surviving the attack, the alien explains that his purposes are pacific, and that he has an important message for the world. The U.S. government, immersed in its international intrigues, wants to have the message for themselves, but the alien, Klaatu(Michael Rennie) won’t give it to them only, as it is a message important for all the creatures on earth.The movie works at many levels, but at its core, it is an anti-war movie. Written in protest against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, it reflects the fears of the society in the 50s and the fear of nuclear holocaust. While Klaatu’s ultimate solution may seem like a bigger threat, it was indeed toned down, since in the source story it was the robot, Gort, who was the real master. It is a powerful message, and it is handled perfectly by Wise, in scenes when Klaatu in disguise, explores human nature guided by a boy.Unlike most of the sci-Fi movies, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” has not dated badly, in fact, its message remains as powerful and valid as the day it was released. The wars, the intrigues and complexities of our society make almost impossible the dream of world peace, and Klaatu’s perfect society seems unreachable for us.The superb work of Robert Wise would not be the same if it wasn’t for his SFX team, who did amazing things with very little. Also, the cast is superb, and while the dialogs may sound corny now, it is a very good script. Sure, it may have its share of plot holes, but the movie carries the message well and the overall product is near perfect.The acting is a bit typical of the 50s, nevertheless, it is worth to mention the superb performances of Michael Rennie as Klaatu, Sam Jaffe as the lead scientist and Billy Gray as the kid, Bobby Benson, who shows Klaatu the human world.The movie makes many points, and has various interpretations, from religious allegory to political critic, the story is timeless indeed. Many words could be written about this movie as it is one classic of cinema history that must be seen at least once in a life time. While we are probably too far from Klaatu’s perfect world, and the fear of a ultimate war is still present, we can hope that one day peace will be achieved.10/10. Magnificent.

  • lisa-svensson
    lisa svensson

    Even though I was around back in 1951 when this film came out, I don’t recall ever seeing even part of it. And, I didn’t really know anything about it when the DVD of the restored film came out recently. But I bought my own copy anyway for two reasons – first it seems like a great addition to my DVD collection and second, it was only $9.99 which is quite a bargain. I watched it today, and I am not disappointed. It is historical, it has a good script with good acting, and it is the kind of movie that you can notice different things each time you view it. The black and white image is superb, with hardly any defects, and it has interesting extras, including a special THX Optimode extra which allows you to adjust your TV for the best B&W picture.some SPOILERS follow, please don’t read any further if you have not seen the movie yet and want to be totally surprised.Klaatu and his robot arrive in a flying saucer and land on the Washington, DC mall. He comes out, announces that he comes in peace, and is promptly shot by a nervous military man. He looks mid-30s, is actually 78 years old, and his wound heals in a day, obviously from an advanced race some 250 million miles away. His planet has been monitoring Earth, they are a peaceful people who built robots to monitor them and destroy any signs of aggression. They sent Klaatu to Earth to warn us, if we don’t solve our multi-nation conflicts, they would destroy Earth. After WW II and the atomic bomb, they have become concerned that an Earth nation would eventually threaten their civilization and peace.Of course there had to be a demonstration that Klaatu and his robot could really do this, so he did this at noon the next day, all over the Earth electricity was “neutralized” for exactly one half hour. Even batteries did not work, so cars and motorcycles or lawnmowers wouldn’t run, no phone, elevators, assembly line, etc. All except planes in the air and hospitals.To appreciate this film you have to realize WW II with the atomic bomb had ended only a few years earlier. The “cold war” was in full swing, with world-wide fear of the spread of Communism. So this was really a film with a message, to make a statement, that our nations need to figure out a way to live in peace or our Earth may be destroyed.It is curious watching the film’s message today, only a month after President Bush gave Saddam Hussein of Iraq essentially the same message that Klaatu gave in the movie – disarm or we’ll destroy you. That’s the most eerie part of this movie.

  • cvetka-horvat
    cvetka horvat

    I heard a lot about this film over the years, but it was not until the remake was to be released, the original got my attention. So, I watched it recently and… it was an amazing experience. The movie never gets boring and might be the best sci-fi film I’ve ever seen! It’s storytelling, acting, scenery and even the effects keep you in your seats! Especially Gort got my attention, what a menacing machine that was! Michael Rennie really shines in this film, along with co-stars Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe and Billy Gray.The remake really pales in comparison to this classic film. Certainly worth your time! Enjoy!

  • rita-sichinava
    rita sichinava

    When a space ship lands in the middle of a playing field in Washington, the military respond with an immediate shut down of the area. The inhabitant of the space ship exits bearing a gift, but is shot by soldiers mistaking it for a weapon. Seconds after the shot a large robot exits and destroys all the weapons. The alien, Klaatu, is taken to a hospital and asks for an audience with all the world leaders. When he is refused, he escapes the hospital and takes a room in a small guest home incognito. The man hunt starts as Klaatu seeks to deliver his message to earth and avert disaster.In a sea of 1950’s sci-fi this film easily stands out as a classic that gave so much to popular culture – the score alone has been aped (or lifted in the Simpson’s case) in many other films. The plot is very different to the others of the period as it is a peaceful message it sends, rather than a `beware the red menace’ message of fear and hate. In fact one character even says she thinks the `alien’ is from earth (ie Russia) only to be hushed! The film lacks action but makes up for it with a solemn mood and genuine thoughtfulness as Klaatu learns more about humans and tries to reconcile what he sees with what he sees in the wider world as a whole.In recent hindsight it is impossible not to look at Klaatu’s warning of `disarm or we’ll remove your threat by destroying you’ in the same light. Isn’t this the same warning and actions that Bush and Blair made recently? I’ll leave you with that thought but I found it difficult to understand Klaatu’s pre-emptive strike, while holding a critical view of Bush’s.That aside the film’s production is very polished. The score is excellent and really gives the film an alien feel to it. The direction makes use of ordinary sets to good effect – the very idea of the space ship landing in Washington is obvious, but to have it land on a baseball field is a clever way to show it striking (sorry – accidental pun) at the heart of ordinary America. The cast do well and mostly rise above the clichés set by the genre. Rennie does good work as Klaatu and Neal is more than just a screamer as Helen. Of course we have to have a wide-eyed all American boy (Bobby, but it could easily be Johnny or Jimmy) to see the whole thing, but he does OK.Overall this is a classic of the genre that has passed on so much to modern audiences. The pacifist message is refreshing when viewed along side so many other of the period which used the aliens to warn against the spread of communism, but the ease with which you now accept Klaatu’s threat of a pre-emptive strike will depend on your political views over the past few months.

  • melita-erzen
    melita erzen

    The Day the Earth Stood Still is directed by Robert Wise and adapted to screenplay by Edmund H. North from the story Farewell to the Master written by Harry Bates. It stars Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray and Frances Bavier. Music is by Bernard Herrmann and cinematography by Leo Tover. Classic sci-fi is right here as director Robert Wise gives a beautifully steady hand to Harry Bate’s short story. Peace for the world or else is the message and I don’t see anything wrong with that because it stands up to relevant scrutiny today and unfortunately many days ahead in the future. Debates about the allegorical worth of the film still persist today, but the core message is not up for argument. Wise shows his influences from the time when he worked with Orson Welles and Val Lewton, where here, aided by Tover’s beautiful photography, he blends the feel of semi-documentary starkness with film noir visuality. Whether it’s scenes of Klaatu (Rennie) trawling the wet night streets, or the interiors of the spaceship and boarding house, the visual imagery by way of low-key lighting compositions is often striking for mood accentuation. All the cast are spot on in their respective performances, with Neal refreshingly given a female role that doesn’t resort to her being token sex appeal or a shrieking harpy. Herrmann’s understated score is dynamite, and pretty much imitated wholesale from this point onwards, and the film is laced with poignant and frightening scenes that keep the viewer firmly glued to the tale unfolding. The demonstration of the visitors power gives the film its title and it’s a glorious slice of celluloid, and in Gort the robot (Lock Martin) we have one of the biggest icons in sci-fi cinema. Once viewed one can never forget The Day The Earth Stood Still, its message, its structured precision and its technical smarts ensure you will remember this film always. One of the most important science fiction movies of all time, a game changer in the critical year for the sci-fi genre. All told it’s magic cinema still standing the test of time. 10/10

  • ene-moor
    ene moor

    I will never forget the first time I saw this movie. It was on television back in the 60’s. I started watching the beginning with my dad, like I usually did before I went to bed. But this movie was so gripping, I couldn’t sleep. I had to see more! So I watched the entire movie from the crack of my bedroom door. I was screaming inside for Patricia O’Neal to say the words, but I couldn’t even voice a whisper or dad would close the door and make me go to bed! I have watched it many times since I always think of the time I first saw it and the feeling I had that I had to make the world a safer place.

  • monica-pacheco
    monica pacheco

    A great Sci Fi flick from 1951 that carries a very deep message. Granted the props are hokie compared to today’s standard, and the space suits pretty amateurish, but the script is excellent, and the theme contemporary. I am not a religious nut, nor do I prescribe to the fundamentalist assault on our civil liberties, but this movie certainly carries a theocratic religious message which should be universally accepted. War and fighting among earth’s nations will surely cause havoc among the planets of the universe and man must stop its mad race to destruction or leaders of the universe will do it for you.Michael Rennie plays the role of a messenger from another world who gently, and with humbleness, attempts to convince the scientists of the world they must become active to carry the message to the world leaders of impending doom unless they change world policy on armament and war. The character portrayed by Rennie is tall, gentle, intelligent, soothing, yet firm. Who does he represent? Why Christ of course.His speech, nature, demeanor, and message are all symbolic of a greater power coming back to earth to warn the people what might befall them unless they change their mad march toward destruction. This character is named appropriately, Mr. “Carpenter” (get the message) and even gets killed by soldiers bent on destroying this evil force from outer space. Mr Carpenter will even rise from the dead with assistance from his beloved robot assistant. A great movie that will only get more popular with age. Certainly one of the best Sci Fi classics of all times.

  • mtro-catalina-vargas
    mtro catalina vargas

    OK. Maybe that’s dramatic, but it’s true. I’m not nearly as old as this film and the first time I saw it, I was a young child and impressionable as only young children are. I can honestly say that every alien encounter I’ve experienced through movies, t.v. shows and literature has been measured against The Day The Earth Stood Still, and most have come up short. I credit the film’s depiction of human/alien interactions with my present-day feelings about how people should treat each other – within communities and groups and how we often fail in our dealings with outsiders. I think the movie made the young girl I was think about issues that would otherwise have gone unexamined for many years to come, and in those years I would have become a different person. The effect was deeply profound, and remains so even 30 years after my first screening. That said, it is still entertaining, a joy to revisit. There are no expensive, hi-tech special effects that look great in teasers, but do nothing for the plot. It’s very straight forward, honest, pure. It’s emotional and intellectual instead of the typical shoot-em-up space battle films that are today’s norm. And while I enjoy a good explosion now and then, the change of pace is refreshing.

  • reinhilde-schuler-b-a
    reinhilde schuler b a

    I just saw this yesterday for the first time and boy do I feel stupid! Its not my fault though, its rarely on television, but was it worth the wait!The plot is fairly simple and direct. Visitor from another planet has come to warn us that we are aggressive, paranoid and dangerous to ourselves and the other planets if we continue with atomic bombs. Klaatu does not care if we kill each other, but cannot tolerate what atomic bombs can do to the other planets. Naturally he is not welcomed with open arms, but in our defense, he was not exactly invited. The most disturbing part is that this movie is more timely than ever right now. When Klaatu mentions, ‘levelling New York’, I got a chill. One or two moments were slightly puzzling – why does Klaatu allow himself to be interviewed on television, when he knows he is being tracked down? Why is he being pursued at the end so vigorously when he was scheduled to address the world? And why did Patricia Neal have to be brought onto the spaceship at the end? It seems to serve no purpose.No matter, this is still a great movie that I would be thrilled to see again. 9/10.

  • margot-voisin-torres
    margot voisin torres

    THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (4 outta 5 stars) Wow… a classic science fiction movie that I had never seen until now! Sure, some of the acting and stuff may look a little hokey to jaded modern audiences… but this movie is still extremely well-done… like a movie-length episode of “The Twilight Zone” (one of the better ones). A spaceship lands in Washington and a traveler steps forth… before he even has a chance to get a word out, the US Army takes a shot at him… causing his robot companion to destroy some military hardware. The alien, Klaatu (Michael Rennie) tries to reason with the US government but, of course, gets nowhere. So he escapes and travels among humankind to try and get a handle on why people are so suspicious and untrusting. He gets a room in a boarding house and makes friends with a pretty widow (Patricia Neal) and her young son. Mankind has just come upon the means of using atomic energy as a weapon and Klaatu is here to make sure that humans won’t pose a threat to other worlds… or else! Well-written, suspenseful and thought-provoking… even today! (Amazing how so little has changed in 54 years.)

  • ruza-simic
    ruza simic

    It’s odd to think that fifty years from now there may only be a handful of movies released in 2004 that will be remembered at all. I don’t care to venture any guesses as to what they may be, but it’s easy to see why The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the ones from 1951 that remains a classic, while so many others sank into obscurity. The movie deals with a theme that was at the forefront of so many peoples’ minds in the early 1950s, in America and the rest of the world, and that is the conflicts between many different nations, and more generally the tendency for humans to fight each other. It was released at the time of the Red Scare and so soon after World War II that international tensions were still high. Also odd is that if you switch the last two words in the title, why, it’s not very frightening at all!Okay, that made no sense, but I couldn’t resist. My respect for the movie dimmed sharply when I saw that the alien was not only a man, but a good looking man who spoke perfect English, but then won back my respect completely when it took the time to explain that his culture had learned about humans through intercepting radio transmissions over many years. Unlikely, but it’s an explanation, which is more than most science fiction films provide. Granted, not much time should be wasted on the science of science fiction, but in this case something had to be said. The alien didn’t give may details as to his physical condition, but scientists hypothesized that since he so closely resembles a human, he must have a similar environment to our own on his planet.Speaking of which, there is one thing about the science that I’m also curious about. At what stage were astronomical studies in the early 1950s? I’m wondering how far into space scientists were looking, because Carpenter, the alien, states with some grandeur that he has traveled 250 million miles to get to earth, which in astronomical terms is a tiny, tiny distance. Considering that the sun is 93 million miles from earth, this would mean that his planet is within our own solar system. And here’s another little factoid – Earth makes a complete revolution around the sun every year, as you know. Pluto, on the other hand, takes something like 248 years to revolve around the sun. That has nothing to do with the movie, but is an interesting digression, I should think.I found the political backdrop to be one of the most interesting things about the movie, and not only because of what the political landscape was like at the time. It was interesting to watch a movie about aliens that so quickly and completely dissolved into a close examination of volatile human relations, and without ever becoming preachy or devolving into peace propaganda (oxymoron intended). I actually think that a large part of what made up for the lack of aliens in this alien movie was the validity that its argument has.When Carpenter (who they stopped just short of simply naming Jesus) was greeted with the response that a meeting with all of the worlds leaders was impossible because of tensions between nations, he was genuinely surprised and saddened. He gives as his reason for visiting earth the fact that his civilization has noticed satellites being launched around the Earth’s atmosphere and, since humans clearly are unable to get along, he was sent here to tell us to join them and live in peace or face our present course and face obliteration. Most importantly, if we chose the latter, they would be there to ensure that we would not export our violence to peaceful civilizations in space. The descending nature with which he speaks is truly revealing, it makes humans look childish because of our constant battling with one another.This is also where the movie coincides with some of the themes that Jonathan Swift presented in Utopia, his novel upon which several failed civilizations have been attempted. They have created robots, which we seen in the Iron Man, to prevent the rise of violence in their society. The robots have tremendous power, which cannot be revoked, and at the first sign of violence they react swiftly against the aggressor, which results in a peaceful society. I’m also reminded of Gulliver’s Travels, also by Jonathan Swift, particularly the section where Gulliver lives among the Houynymns which, interestingly enough, are talking horses with a remarkable ability to live at peace. When at one point Gulliver describes lying, which does not exist to the Houynymns, one of them responds incredulously with something like, “Why on Earth would one say something that isn’t so?” Carpenter displays exactly the same shocked surprise when he learns of some of the awful characteristics of human beings, which seems to suggest that before we look for other civilized worlds in the galaxy, maybe we should work a little more on civilizing our own world.The famous quote that I’ve quoted in my summary line is one of the many delights that this film presents, and Evil Dead fans will be thrilled to see the origins of those strange words that Ash had such a hard time speaking in Army of Darkness. The genre of science fiction has a much larger than average ratio of bad films to good ones, and I think the best ones are the ones that have a concrete connection to the real world, as The Day the Earth Stood Still obviously does. Given the political atmosphere here in the first month of 2005, it’s obvious that humans have not taken much advice from this movie, but then again, as Arnold stated in Terminator 2, “It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves.”Scary.

  • skujins-helena
    skujins helena

    A flying saucer lands in Washington, and a man, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), brings the preoccupation of other planets with the use of atomic energy and development of spacecraft by people on Earth planet. Further, he brings a message and also a threaten against the danger Earth could cause to other planets: the planet could be destroyed if the people does not live in peace. Any menace to other planets would cause the destruction of the entire planet. This classic is one of the best science-fiction movies I have ever seen. The story is very simple, but the message is wonderful. When this film was made, World War II had finished six years ago only, there was the Cold War and the paranoia of the Americans at that time was against the communists. The special effects are excellent for a 1951 movie. In Brazil, this classic movie was not released on VHS or DVD. It is a shame! I have a VHS, having a version dubbed in Portuguese, full of commercial and with a terrible quality of image that I recorded from TV many years ago. Yesterday I watched this video again, and it is really an outstanding movie. My vote is ten.Title (Brazil): ‘O Dia Em Que a Terra Parou’ (‘The Day Which the Earth Stopped’)Obs: 01 March 2006 – Fox do Brasil finally released this DVD in 2005. After so many years, I was able to see one of my favorite sci-fi in the original language and restored image.

  • briedis-osvalds
    briedis osvalds

    The cast, story,and directing all combine to make this one of the best all time science fiction movies ever made. Seamless entertainment and a hold-your-breath climax will keep you on the edge of you seat until the last moment. A benevolent space man comes to earth to deliver the message,”learn to live together or else…” What can the consequences possibly be? This is a must-see and is suitable for all ages. Don’t forget what to say to prevent the annihilation of earth.

  • marcos-diego-larranaga-pereira
    marcos diego larranaga pereira

    Interesting both in itself and as a reflection of its era, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” may seem unspectacular now to those who are used to the extravagant science fiction pictures of the present time, but it deserves its place as a cinema classic. The story is worthwhile in itself, and as soon as you set aside any preconceptions about what science fiction should involve, it also builds up some pretty good drama and suspense. Its perspective is also interesting to see as a reflection of the concerns of its era, which have such obvious similarities with those of the present.The story itself sometimes moves rather slowly, and the focus is really more on the reactions to Klaatu’s arrival than on the action itself. As Klaatu, Michael Rennie stays pretty low-key, as does the rest of the cast much of the time. Although there are times when the movie might lack some energy as a result, in general it probably works better that way than it would have if there were too much forced emphasis on the urgency of Klaatu’s mission, which is more than able to speak for itself. The ideas behind the story are fairly simple, but they are, of course, just as significant now (or in practically any other era) as they were in the 1950’s.

  • lynne-davies
    lynne davies

    This was one of the first sci-fi movies I ever saw and one by which I gage all others. Before there was ‘Star Wars’ there was ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’. It brought together all that later sci-fi movies strive for. A solid story, believable characters and, for the day, great special FX. It was an examination of society at the time and the racial prejudice that permeated all levels of life. It studies mans fear of the unknown and the violent reaction it produces even today, and how the love of one person can change the course of events for the better. It’s a movie that can still stand on its own even by today’s standards and should never be remade.But that’s just my opinion.

  • gerard-aubert-brunet
    gerard aubert brunet

    I remember several years ago in my film appreciation class, we were learning about the 50’s, our professor had mentioned how many sci-fi films were made with Russian villain undertones as well as the cold war. We watched some of The Day the Earth Stood Still and this film just jumped at me, it was so different than any other film I had seen. I thought it was going to be so cheesy and lame since it was a 50’s film, but after watching a little bit of it, I didn’t realize the strong message it held. I remember in Terminator 2 there was a line that I still hold true to this day “It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves”, that maybe it’s not all technology that will destroy us, but we are our own worst enemies. The Day the Earth Stood was before The Terminator, just like Metropolis was before this film, but these are the best stories and it’s like watching a history lesson on film about the time and feel of the 50’s.An alien spaceship has landed in Washington, D.C., but it’s not what you think with the “take us to your leader” type of thing, rather a human like alien comes out offering input on what is going on in the universe, but he is immediately attacked by the humans and taken hostage. His name is Klaatu, he tries to explain several times that he’s not here to hurt anyone, but the humans don’t trust him. He escapes and goes to a family, since no one knows what he looks like, they think that he’s a regular man who just needs a place to stay. He stays with a family and they show him around, they think he’s a little strange but very polite and nice, but when they learn of his true identity, he tells them of what his intentions are to mearly warn Planet Earth of it’s impending doom.The Day the Earth Stood Still is a true classic, I know there are a lot of young people who complain about the ending, how it’s so anti-climatic, but I feel that it’s a perfect film and I am so ticked off that it’s being re-made. But I guess we will have to see what the film will be like, who knows? It might be good… yeah, right, sorry, was just trying to be nice. But I highly recommend you watch this movie, it’s a true classic that has a strong message, has great actors, and fun effects. It’s fun to watch these films, I wonder if they realized while making this film back in 1951 that they were acting out their own culture and history.10/10

  • manon-de-la-masse
    manon de la masse

    When I first saw this movie (on television circa 1957)I was just a young child four years of age. I remember sitting on my father’s lap and watched the whole thing through my fingers as I held my hands over my eyes for protection (yeah…right!). Gort and Klaatu were magnificent space travelers…and with a message of peace during a time that the Soviets and U.S. were deep into the ‘cold war’. Very timely! Very scary! It spooked me then and I still get a chill watching the movie today. But, it’s one of the classics that will live on forever! It’s message is as meaningful today as it was back in the 50’s. Maybe we should all watch it again and take notes………

  • timoteo-serra
    timoteo serra

    This science fiction classic is more relevant than ever, and I don’t mean its silly message about peace. Yes, yes, we’re all violent, silly, war-like humans, and we should all throw away our guns and atomic bombs posthaste if we know what’s good for us. Thanks, Klaatu. We’ll get right on that. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy the chance to watch your story on DVD because we live in an age – yes, of war and cruelty and weapons of mass destruction – but also of Jar Jar Binks and “Alien vs. Predator.”Klaatu (Michael Rennie) is a gentlemanly outer-space alien who comes to earth in his flying saucer to send us Earthlings a very important message. Sadly, we shoot him on arrival and try to imprison him in a hospital room. He escapes, however, and goes out among us to find the basis for our “strange, unreasoning attitudes.” He takes a room in a boarding house, where he meets the widowed Mrs. Benson (Patricia Neal) and her young son (Billy Gray). The widow is being romanced by an insurance salesman (Hugh Marlowe), who later displays a lust for glory that endangers Klaatu – and thus the rest of the world. Klaatu is in better hands when he reveals himself to Professor Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe), a brilliant scientist and the best hope for the survival of Earth.It’s funny, but I never think about this movie in terms of that plot outline. To me, this film is composed of small moments about people – especially Mrs. Benson. Mention “The Day the Earth Stood Still” to me, and the first thing I think about is that moment where the strange new boarder tells her that he’d like to spend the day with her son. She hesitates a moment and says in a lowered voice, “Well, that’s awfully nice of you to suggest it.” It’s a tiny moment about her concern for her son, her good manners and her intelligent ability to reply quickly and diplomatically. Patricia Neal, not Gort the robot, makes this movie come alive for me.The real reason this story is so fresh is because – it’s a good story. It’s not an excuse to slap us senseless with fast-paced cutting or drown us in great globs of special effects. It has an engaging plot with warm, interesting characters. If we stupidly (and as you know, Klaatu, we humans can be so very stupid) limit ourselves to the New Releases section of the video store, we forget that some sci-fi thrillers put story before special effects.The trick work in this movie is excellent, though. I think the robot looks silly, but when Gort opens its visor and we hear that unnerving theremin music, we don’t care that this supposedly metallic creature bends like Styrofoam at the knees. We know those laser beams eyes are about to scorch everything in their sight.Michael Rennie makes up for Gort’s deficiencies. He gives what easily could have been a humorless, sanctimonious character a quiet, graceful authority. His slightly otherworldly looks add to the illusion; and Neal as Mrs. Benson completes it by reacting to him with obvious respect – even when she fears him.Under Robert Wise’s direction, every shot is strikingly composed and brings out the maximum dramatic potential of the story. The sense of rhythm and pacing is beautifully suspenseful. Bernard Herrmann, with the theremin as one of his instruments, gives the movie both a nervous tension and a sense of wonder. And the story is so perfectly constructed that it even gets away with a big speech for a climax.What’s the heart of this movie? There’s a bravura sequence where Billy Gray secretly follows Rennie from the boarding house to his spaceship. It’s a simple, wordless scene where the entire team of filmmakers – and that goes double for Herrmann – meld the ordinary and the fantastic. You want a special effect? That’s it.

  • kumaarii-ddaar
    kumaarii ddaar

    THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is such a basic Science Fiction story that many first-time viewers have been stunned by the reverence in which it is held. An alien arrives on earth, is misunderstood and is nearly killed, passes a warning to mankind to not carry the weapons of potential nuclear war into space, or face annihilation, then leaves. The FX are minimal, there are no ‘space battles’ or ‘monsters’, even the score, by the legendary composer Bernard Herrmann, is simple, lacking the bombast of later ‘epics’. Yet in it’s very simplicity, director Robert Wise has created a tale more timeless and relevant than many other ‘message’-driven SF blockbusters that followed.Based on Harry Bates’ short story, “Farewell to the Master”, which paints a far less friendly view of our galactic community (Gort, the enforcer robot, is revealed to be the true ‘Master’ of the story, not Klaatu, thus revealing that machines are controlling the Universe), 20th Century Fox and director Wise quickly butted heads on how the film should be presented. Fox envisioned Spencer Tracy as Klaatu, believing that the legendary star’s well-established persona would make the SF elements more ‘understandable’ to audiences. Wise scoffed at the notion, arguing that no one would ever believe Tracy was an alien, and searched until he found relative newcomer Michael Rennie, a gaunt, sensitive British actor, whom he felt best suited the Christ-like quality Klaatu had to possess (even the name Klaatu adopted to mingle with humans was ‘Carpenter’). For earth’s greatest scientist (a thinly-disguised Albert Einstein), Wise cast screen veteran Sam Jaffe, which also brought a howl from the studio, as the actor was being investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee, in the midst of their infamous ‘witch hunt’ and blacklisting of Hollywood’s supposed Communist sympathizers. Jaffe proved a perfect choice, however, displaying many of the qualities he would later bring to ‘Dr. Zorba’ on “Ben Casey”. Rounding out the cast were popular actress Patricia Neal (still recovering from her failed relationship with Gary Cooper), Hugh Marlowe (fresh from the success of ALL ABOUT EVE), and Billy Gray (who would go on to great success in “Father Knows Best”). The true casting coup, however, was finding 7-foot Hollywood doorman Lock Martin to portray the robot, Gort. Encased in foam rubber ‘armor’ and ‘lifts’, to bring his height to nearly eight feet (he actually wore two different outfits, as the seam was impossible to hide, and would always have to be on the opposite side to the camera), Martin, who, Wise acknowledged, was not a physically strong man, would occasionally faint from heat exhaustion (if you watch him carefully, during the film, you can actually see moments when he would start to tilt over). The scene where he carries Neal on board the spacecraft was a major achievement for the easily tired giant, and the actress, who was afraid, justifiably, that she might be dropped!The filming was, by and large, an enjoyable experience for the cast and crew (although Patricia Neal, in later interviews, said that it was nearly impossible for her to say the film’s famous ‘tag’ phrase, “Klaatu Barrada Nikto”, without breaking into giggles). Everyone knew the end result would be special; Michael Rennie, ten years later, would call the role the most “important” of his career (NBC would even bring him in to host the network premiere of the film, on “Saturday Night at the Movies”).With it’s anti-war stand, the film was the direct counterpart of the year’s other ‘classic’ SF production, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, the first of Hollywood’s ‘alien invasion’ films. In THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, ‘Mankind’ is the true monster, toying with nuclear weapons, constantly fighting, and willing to kill a peaceful emissary, without allowing him to deliver his message or offer his gifts to the world. “Man must grow up, or be destroyed” was a powerful message, in 1951, particularly when Wise panned his camera over Arlington Cemetery, with it’s thousands of headstones, as Klaatu/Carpenter viewed, sadly, the end result of our fixation with warfare.The message is even more relevant, today, which is why THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL remains a classic.