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.
Leo Tover - Cinematographer
Sam Jaffe - American Actor
Edith Evanson - Actress/"Rope"
Bernard Herrmann - Film Composer, PSYCHO, CITIZEN KANE
Billy Gray - James Anderson, Jr. (Bud) of TV's "Father Knows Best"
Michael Rennie - British Actor
Addison Hehr - Art Director\1950s-1960s
Lyle Wheeler - Art Director
Lyle R. Wheeler - Art Director
Lyle Reynolds Wheeler - Art Director
William H. Reynolds - Editor, AUTHOR! AUTHOR! (1982)
William Reynolds - Editor, AUTHOR! AUTHOR! (1982)
Hugh Marlowe - American actor
John Marlowe - American actor
Frank Conroy - British Actor, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT (1943)
Frances Bavier - American TV Actress/"Aunt Bee"
Drew Pearson - Journalist/Commentator
Julian C. Blaustein - American Producer
Robert Wise - Oscar winning Director/Producer/Editor, WEST SIDE STORY
Robert Wise Jr. - Oscar winning Director/Producer/Editor, WEST SIDE STORY
Patricia Neal - Oscar winning American actress, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S
Lock Martin - American Actor
Edmund H. North
- Format: DVD
- Run Time: 92
- Color Format: B&W
- UPC: 024543050056
- Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
- Rating: G (MPAA)
- Release Date: July 2012
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1995. Lock Martin, who plays Gort, was discovered at Graumann's Chinese Theater, where he was an usher. The filmmakers needed a tall, strong man, so they hired seven-foot-tall Martin. However, the costume he had to wear was so restraining that he was unable to lift Patricia Neal for an important scene, so wires had to hold her up. The wires are clearly visible in the final cut of the film.
Rating: B - 07/28/1995 Entertainment Weekly, 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 Entertainment Weekly, p.61
"...One of the classiest sci-fi staples ever..." - 07/28/1995 USA Today, p.14D
"Outstanding for its religious symbolism, overt anti-war message, and one of the coolest robots in cinema history..." - 05/01/2005 Uncut, p.139