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The Day the Earth Stood Still
Michael Rennie and Hugh Marl




Overview -
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.

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More About The Day the Earth Stood Still

 
 
 

Overview

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.

Main Cast & Crew

Robert Wise - Director
Michael Rennie
Patricia Neal
Hugh Marlowe
Sam Jaffe
Billy Gray
Frances Bavier
Lock Martin
Drew Pearson
Frank Conroy
Carleton Young

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 92
  • Color Format: B&W
  • UPC: 024543050056
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Rating: G (MPAA)
  • Release Date: March 2003

Related Categories:
Movies > Science-Fiction/Fantasy

Related Keywords:
Aliens
Classic
Justice
Politics
Science-Fiction
Robots/Cyborgs
Recommended
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Notes:
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.

Reviews:
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

 

BAM Customer Reviews