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Day the Earth Stood Still, The (1951)


DVD Cover
Four out of Five

Movie

Rating: G
Length: 92 minutes

Video

Standard 1.33:1 B&W Not Anamorphic

Audio

ENGLISH: Stereo
ENGLISH: Mono
FRENCH: Mono
SPANISH: Mono

Captions

English, Spanish

Purchase

Plot

A spaceship lands in Washington D.C. scaring the crap out of everyone. When the pilot of the ship steps off to greet us (with a large ominous robot in tow), one of the many military members that have surrounded the ship proceeds to shoot him. He recovers from his wounds and then sets out to learn more about the human race to see if they are worth saving.

Pros

For a Sci-Fi film it had a strong political message about how we humans treat each other. At the time, the world was still at war and the US/USSR relations were cold at best. The message that we should all just learn how to get along and should we venture into space, violence will not be tolerated. The guy they have playing the alien was believable and I never turn down the opportunity to watch the lovely Patricia Neal.

Cons

This movie is 58 years old, don't expect much in the way of special effects. And why are the military and their leaders always portrayed as idiots? I would seriously hope that we would not only treat visitors to this planet better than in this movie (we basically abduct him after shooting him), but causing them harm should be used as a last resort only. Let's face it, if they have the technology to fly to our planet, they probably have weapons a little more advanced than ours.

Extras

  • Audio Commentary by Robert Wise and Nicolas Meyer
  • "Making the Earth Stand Still" 70-Minute Documentary
  • Movietone Newsreel (1951)
  • Restoration Comparison
  • 5 Still Galleries
  • Shooting Script
  • Theatrical Trailer

Recommendation

This is a no-brainer for Sci-Fi enthusiasts, I would include this with "Forbidden Planet" as the two must-see 1950s Sci-Fi films. It carries with it a very strong message about humanity without being too preachy like many of today's films. And it is interesting to see the difference in today's society with that of 1951.

Director

Robert Wise   [The Andromeda Strain, The Desert Rats, The Haunting (1963), Star Trek: The Motion Picture]

Actors

Frances Bavier - Mrs. Barley
Billy Gray - Bobby Benson
Sam Jaffe - Prof. Jacob Barnhardt
[13 Rue Madeleine, Ben-Hur]
Hugh Marlowe - Tom Stevens
[Twelve O'Clock High]
Lock Martin - Gort
Patricia Neal - Helen Benson
[Breakfast at Tiffany's, In Harm's Way]
Michael Rennie - Klaatu
[The Devil's Brigade]

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