The Day the Earth Stood Still

( 32 )

Overview

All of Washington, D.C., is thrown into a panic when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Out steps Klaatu Michael Rennie, in a role intended for Claude Rains, a handsome and soft-spoken interplanetary traveler, whose "bodyguard" is Gort Lock Martin, a huge robot who spews forth laser-like death rays when danger threatens. After being wounded by an overzealous soldier, Klaatu announces that he has a message of the gravest importance for all humankind, which he will deliver only when all the ...
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Overview

All of Washington, D.C., is thrown into a panic when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Out steps Klaatu Michael Rennie, in a role intended for Claude Rains, a handsome and soft-spoken interplanetary traveler, whose "bodyguard" is Gort Lock Martin, a huge robot who spews forth laser-like death rays when danger threatens. After being wounded by an overzealous soldier, Klaatu announces that he has a message of the gravest importance for all humankind, which he will deliver only when all the leaders of all nations will agree to meet with him. World politics being what they are in 1951, Klaatu's demands are turned down and he is ordered to remain in the hospital, where his wounds are being tended. Klaatu escapes, taking refuge in a boarding house, where he poses as one "Mr. Carpenter" one of the film's many parallels between Klaatu and Christ. There the benign alien gains the confidence of a lovely widow Patricia Neal and her son, Bobby Billy Gray, neither of whom tumble to his other-worldly origins, and seeks out the gentleman whom Bobby regards as "the smartest man in the world" -- an Einstein-like scientist, Dr. Barnhardt Sam Jaffe. The next day, at precisely 12 o'clock, Klaatu arranges for the world to "stand still" -- he shuts down all electrical power in the world, with the exception of essentials like hospitals and planes in flight. Directed by Robert Wise, who edited Citizen Kane 1941 and The Magnificent Ambersons 1942 for director Orson Welles before going on to direct such major 1960s musicals as West Side Story 1961 and The Sound of Music 1965, The Day the Earth Stood Still was based on the story Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Blu-ray exclusives: Interactive Theremin - Create your own score and Gort Command! interactive game; Commentary by director Robert Wise and Nicholas Meyer (director, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan); All-new commentary by film and music historians John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg and Nick Redman; Isolated score track; All-new featurettes: The Mysterious, Melodious Theremin; Main Title Live Performance by Peter Pringle; The Making of the Day the Earth Stood Still; Decond "Klaatu Barada Nikto"; Science Fiction as Metaphor; A Brief History of Flying Saucers; The Astounding Harry Bates; Edmund North: The Man Who Made the Earth Stand Still; Race to Oblivion documentary short; Farwell to the Master: A reading by Jamieson K. Price of the original Harry Bates short story; Fox Movietonews (1951); Trailers, interactive pressbook and still galleries
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
At a time when science fiction on film had yet to work itself out of its bug-eyed monsters period, The Day the Earth Stood Still was a dramatic step forward for the genre. Intelligently written and directed, well-crafted, and boasting a top-notch cast in good form, it was a class act all the way, as well as one of the first Hollywood films to take the idea of extraterrestrial visitors seriously (if not as a practical reality, at least as an interesting metaphor). Klaatu, as played by Michael Rennie, was that rare alien invader who wanted to save us from ourselves, and Rennie gives the character an intelligence, compassion, and strength that make him seem a lot more human than many of the earthlings he encounters, while Sam Jaffe, Patricia Neal, and Billy Gray manage to prove that not all the Earth people are violent, brain-dead slobs. Director Robert Wise and his crew create an admirable sense of tension and awestruck wonder in the wake of Klaatu's arrival (many later films with higher budgets failed to capture the magic of the spaceship landing in Washington, D.C., or the towering mystery of Klaatu's robot assistant Gort), and, at a time when Cold War paranoia was at its height, The Day the Earth Stood Still carried a strong pro-disarmament message that was quite brave for its day. The film's message remains pertinent today, and, as entertainment, its intelligence, warmth, and solid filmcraft make it an enduring classic of its kind.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/2/2008
  • UPC: 024543554660
  • Original Release: 1951
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Special Edition
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:32:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 32,131

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Rennie Klaatu
Patricia Neal Helen Benson
Hugh Marlowe Tom Stevens
Sam Jaffe Dr. Barnhardt
Billy Gray Bobby Benson
Frances Bavier Mrs. Barley
Lock Martin Gort
Drew Pearson Himself
H.V. Kaltenborn Himself
Bobby Gray
Harry Harvey Taxi Driver
Marshall Bradford Newscaster
Stuart Whitman
Frank Conroy Harley
Carleton Young Colonel
Fay Roope Major General
Edith Evanson Mrs. Crockett
Robert Osterloh Major White
Tyler McVey Brady
James Seay Government Man
John Brown Mr. Bradley
Marjorie Crossland Hilda
House Peters Jr. MP Captain
Rush Williams MP Sergeant
Olan Soule Mr. Krull
Gil Herman Government Agent
James Craven Businessman
Harry Lauter Platoon Leader
Wheaton Chambers Jeweler
Dorothy Neumann Barnhardt's Secretary
George Lynn Col. Ryder
Freeman Lusk Gen. Cutler
John Burton British Radio MC
Technical Credits
Robert Wise Director
Julian Blaustein Producer
Claude E. Carpenter Set Decoration/Design
Addison Hehr Art Director
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer
Arthur L. Kirbach Sound/Sound Designer
Harry M. Leonard Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Edmund H. North Screenwriter
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
William H. Reynolds Editor
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Leo Tover Cinematographer
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Darryl F. Zanuck Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Please watch this one and not the awful Keanu remake (which ruin

    Please watch this one and not the awful Keanu remake (which ruined the whole idea). Maybe the Biblical Carpenter will be pleased.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    GREAT PLOT MICHEAL RENNIE GREAT ACTING

    ONE OF THE BEST SCI FI MOVIES MADE.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie

    This is one of the best SciFi movies ever made. The idea is excellent, acting was great, special effects were good at that time. It was just a really good movie and I do recommend it. The remake probably sucked major butt, with Keanu Reeves' terrible acting. Watch the old one on cable and save a few bucks, it'll be worth it.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A classic that will never lose it's luster

    One of the greatest sci fi movies ever made. A tremendous movie for it's day. The new one starring Keanu Reeves, regardless of how good it is, will never measure up to the original.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    As a Sci Fi buff, this is a classic!!! The message Klatu delivered was poignant, and can easily compared to what is transpiring with current world affairs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    No, this is not a movie about aliens!

    Suprisingly, and refreshingly this film avoids all the UFO cliches in exchange for something more important. America's massive hysteria over UFO's is deflated and asked to be replaced with a much more reasonable scenario. The outcome is a movie that is compelling and engrossing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SUCH A CLASSIC

    My father forced me to watch this film when I was younger, and now even in my 20's I still thank him for it. Even when I was a child the graphics were outdated but it forces you to pay attention to the story. If possible have your children watch this film because to this day it still gives me a warm feeling to say to my father with a wink, "Gort, klaatu barrada nikto"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A sci-fi gem!!!

    Awsome, superior to a lot of other sci-fi films. Not as good as Forbidden Planet, but sooooooooo close.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    50's Inconsistencies Aside

    I always found it strange that the military left just two boneheaded men to guard the ship and Gort. Then, when they get knocked out by Gort, guess what? STILL, only two are left to guard the most incredible event in human history. Alas, such was the state of 50's Scif-fi. Does this make it a bad movie? Not really. It gave new sensibilities to the way we looked at fantastic fiction and Sci-Fi. Still, the end result remains one of fascism, albeit for alturistic reasons. This theme has been sung many tunes over the years, but this film remains a cornerstone in forming a more enlightened, yet controversial esthetic. It truly is a classic. Klaatu Barada Nikto!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A TRUE Classic!

    Performance by all actors was terrific! Clearly a Cold War film. I'm in my fifties and, unfortunately, the next youngest generation has NO idea what I mean by, 'Klatu, barrada, nicto!' I find that amusing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It is a fake--read the story

    This movie was the prototypical 50's film. BUT the ending was ''unsuitable'' for a U.S. audience of the time. The studio then changed the ending to the OPPOSITE of the author's story. Why it continues to be a ''classic'' is a mystery. Maybe in the ''extra material'' they explain, but that doesn't save it. I read the story when it first came out (a long time ago), and when I saw the movie I was shocked to see what they had done. Love it at your own risk, because the author wrote a powerful story that was butchered for ''commercial'' reasons.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best sci fi ever

    This has to be one of the best sci-fi movies ever. I've always loved this movie. I've got it on VHS, and I've watched it so many times, I ''swear'' it's going to wear out....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Thinking Person's Sci Fi

    A true original in Sci Fi: good acting for the time, great story with intellect, and an alien that is a mix of ''Father Knows Best'' with ''It's a Wonderful Life''. While it was filmed in the formative years of Sci Fi with its limitations, it truly is one of my favorite movies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Sci Fi film

    This is the best Sci Fi film ever made...other films may have more modern special effects...but this film is solid with a great cast and just the right amount of effects. Worth the watch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE Classic Scf-Fi Movie

    I first saw this movie back in the 60's and have watched it repeatedly since then and have yet to tire of it. It is truly a movie to see over and over again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Day Sci-Fi began

    First of the really good ones, with good acting and a serious moral to the story. A true Must Have for all collectors of ''The Essentials''.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews