Day the Earth Stood Still

Directed By: Robert Wise Starring: Michael Rennie

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Always a Favorite!

by La Dawn on 1/15/2009

This is a classic sci-fi film from the 50's... one that is still enjoyed even though it it is black and white!Michael Rennie does a superb acting job as well as the co-stars, Sam Jaffe, Patricia Neal and the young boy whose name escapes me now. And, of course, we can't exclude Gort, the towering giant robot made of inpenetrable steel! Will always be a favorite of mine and my children,and now my grandchildren! A MUST for the sci-fi fan. Read More

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Product Overview

The Day the Earth Stood Still depicts the arrival of an alien dignitary, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), who has come to earth with his deadly robot, Gort (Lock Martin), to deliver the message that earthlings must stop warring among themselves--or else. After being shot at by military guards, Klaatu is brought to a Washington, D.C. hospital, where he begs a sympathetic but frank Major White (Robert Osterloh) to gather all the world's leaders so he can tell them more specifically what he has come to warn them about. Losing patience, Klaatu slips into the human world, adapting a false identity and living at a boarding house where he meets a smart woman with a conscience and her inquisitive son. Both mother and son soon find themselves embroiled in the complex mystery of Klaatu, his message and the government's witch hunt for the alien.

Specifications

Studio Foxvideo
SKU 209085061
UPC 024543553212
UPC 14 00024543553212
Format DVD
Release Date 9/11/2012
Rating NR
Keywords
Aliens
Classic
Essential Cinema
Justice
Politics
Recommended
Robots/Cyborgs
Science-Fiction
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Beginning with a documentary style that immediately hooks the viewer, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, based on the Harry Bates short story "Farewell to the Master," becomes as much a human interest story as it does a sci-fi B-movie classic. The film soberly depicts the arrival of an alien dignitary, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), who has come to earth with his deadly robot, Gort (Lock Martin), to deliver the message that earthlings must stop warring among themselves--or else. After being shot at by ignorant, panicky military guards, Klaatu is brought to a Washington, D.C., hospital, where he begs a sympathetic but frank Major White (Robert Osterloh) to gather all the world's leaders so he can tell them more specifically what he has come 250 million miles to warn them about. Losing patience, Klaatu slips into the human world, adapting a false identity and living at a boarding house where he meets a smart woman with a conscience, Helen Benson (Patricia Neal), and her inquisitive son, Bobby (Billy Gray). Both mother and son soon find themselves embroiled in the complex mystery of Klaatu, his message, and the government's witch hunt for the alien. Made during the cold war--when Americans were obsessed with the destructive capabilities of the atomic bomb--THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, thanks to its beautiful pacing, excellent dialogue, and haunting score by Bernard Herrmann, is still a treat for contemporary audiences.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "Klaatu Barada Nikto"--Alien (Michael Rennie) to his robot guard, Gort (Lock Martin)
Reviews
Entertainment Weekly Rating: B 07/28/1995 p.71,"...Today's sci-fi filmmakers could learn a thing or two from an old black-and-white gem that has the here and now written all over it..." 04/11/2003 p.61
USA Today "...One of the classiest sci-fi staples ever..." 07/28/1995 p.14D
Uncut "Outstanding for its religious symbolism, overt anti-war message, and one of the coolest robots in cinema history..." 05/01/2005 p.139
Directors
Robert Wise
Actors
Michael Rennie
Cast & Crew
Billy Gray - Star
Michael Rennie - Star
Tyler McVey - Star
Hugh Marlowe - Star
Frank Conroy - Star
Frances Bavier - Star
Drew Pearson - Star
Sam Jaffe - Star
Edith Evanson - Star
Patricia Neal - Star
Lock Martin - Star
Edmund H. North - Screenwriter
Bernard Herrmann - Composer
Leo Tover - Director of Photography
Julian C. Blaustein - Producer
Addison Hehr - Production Designer
Lyle Wheeler - Production Designer
William H. Reynolds - Editor
Robert Wise - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1951
Catalog ID 2255321
UPC 00024543553212
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 92 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Awards
Golden Globe (1952) Bernard Herrmann, Nominee, Best Motion Picture Score,The Day the Earth Stood Still, Winner, Best Film Promoting International Understanding
Reviews
ReviewSource The Onion A.V. Club
Review In the foreground of the original poster for 1951's science-fiction favorite The Day The Earth Stood Still, a menacing robot disintegrates an army while clutching a screaming, scantily clad woman. In the background, a massive, almost simian hand grips the planet Earth like a softball. The images are in line with the fantasy pulp magazines of the late '40s, and seem to set the film up as an epic interstellar battle between good and evil. Then the movie starts, and out comes a slow, talky story ostensibly about the need for a strong United Nations. There's some bait-and-switch going on, but the sucker job serves a purpose: The Day The Earth Stood Still is actually about misperceptions...Adapting a Harry Bates short story for their Cold War purposes, producer Julian Blaustein, screenwriter Edmund North, and director Robert Wise developed a semi-realistic fantasy about an alien visitor (Michael Rennie) who comes to warn Earth's leaders to cease warmongering, lest an interstellar peacekeeping organization be forced to put down the Earthling menace...As the movie idles toward a heavy-handed finale, the lack of gooey, It Came From Outer Space-style monster attacks is missed, but the pointed Christian allegory (Rennie's character goes by the name "Carpenter" while on Earth) and the careful pacing create the intended "thinking man's sci-fi" effect even today.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Noel Murray
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review Oscar-winning director Robert Wise (The Sound of Music), who died on September 15, 2005, at the age of 91, was arguably more of a talented craftsman than a genuine artist...Based on Harry Bates' short story "Farewell to the Master," The Day the Earth Stood Still is often seen as a religious allegory, with Klaatu as the Christ-like figure. It's also sharply critical of Cold War-era politics and the "shoot first, ask questions later" tactics of the military. Given that 20th Century Fox's head honcho Darryl F. Zanuck was a staunch conservative and unabashed "hawk," the film's negative portrayal of the American military is especially surprising. Yet it was Zanuck who greenlit the film and plucked Rennie from the London stage to play the aristocratic alien spreading the gospel of disarmament--or else...While The Day the Earth Stood Still is strikingly somber and literate, at least by the drive-in standards of most '50s-era sci-fi flicks, it's also a good, old-fashioned popcorn film that's greatly enhanced by Bernard Herrmann's classic theremin score. And then there's hulking robot Gort, who's become part of the pop culture pantheon, due largely to the following line of dialogue: "Klaatu borada nikto" (Translation: "Don't blow us to kingdom come"). Admittedly, The Day the Earth Stood Still is often didactic, and the production values look hokey, but otherwise it holds up incredibly well.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Tim Knight
ReviewRating 8
Features
DVD, Special Edition, Aspect Ratio 1.33:1, English, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Rennie,Michael
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Angie Errigo, Empire ...a superbly crafted, landmark film which invested a much-derided -- and frequently ludicrous -- genre with a welcome degree of dignity and respectability.
Michael Booth, Denver Post ...its timeless warnings about violence, nuclear confrontation and the difficulties of policing the planet have made it an enduring cultural classic.
Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium A first-rate science fiction classic.
Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan Absolutely among the top 5 sci-fi films ever. Keep going, Gort!
TV Guide Superb performances...restrained direction...just as relevant today as it was the day it was released.

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Always a Favorite! by La Dawn on Jan 15, 2009

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