The Day the Earth Stood Still
Though dated in many ways, The Day the Earth Stood Still is still a classic of the science fiction genre, and Fox obviously recognizes that with a wonderful DVD release. The image restoration shines through as this full-frame transfer looks better than ever. Detail is exact, as well are shadows. The black-and-white photography has superb depth and contrast throughout. Only some minor imperfections are evident, but there's never a significant distraction. Unfortunately, the audio is the weakest element of this disc. Both the mono and stereo English Dolby Digital tracks are recorded far too low, though the stereo track does have a slightly wider field. Considering how revered this film is, it's little surprise that it's been given the special-edition treatment, though many of the supplements are taken from the 1995 laserdisc release. The disc is divided over two sides, the first with the film and a fine interview/scene-specific commentary, hosted by director Nicholas Meyer, with Robert Wise, the director of this film. Also on this side, along with the theatrical trailer, is a 1951 newsreel with a short segment on this film. The second side of the disc contains some great material. First up is a 80-minute documentary that covers nearly every part of the production. It includes interviews with Wise, producer Julian Blaustein, actress Patricia Neal, and many others. Another real plus is a comparison between the many restorations this film has had, from 1993, 1995, and 2002; it goes to show you what care went into releasing this definitive DVD edition. Finally, along with a couple of other Fox genre titles, One Million Years B.C. and Journey to the Center of the Earth, is an extensive gallery section. Unlike most galleries though, this one is a real treasure, since it includes the complete script of the film, blueprints, posters, production photos, and much more. This is a fine disc that complements a great film.