The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Critic Consensus: Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.
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Critic Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Stood Still may at first look like goofy, outdated science fiction, but its timeless warnings about violence, nuclear confrontation and the difficulties of policing the planet have made it an enduring cultural classic.
Like most of Robert Wise's work, this slickly constructed 1951 science fiction film settles squarely in the middle of its genre, better than some and worse than others.
Edmund H North's intelligent script and Wise's smooth direction are serious without being solemn, while Bernard Herrmann's effectively alien-sounding score reinforces the atmosphere of strangeness and potential menace.
Yes kids, media was idiotic and hysterical long before the likes of Glenn Beck were around.
Audience Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still
An intelligent and challenging science-fiction classic that makes elegant allusions to Jesus Christ's life (even in the character's alias, Carpenter) and speaks directly to the audience in the end defending the importance of non-aggression in a time dominated by fear.
An interplanetary traveler visits Earth to dissuade humans' violence and paranoia.
As science fiction classics go, this one is up there among the best. Yes, it's moralistic, and its main character gets a little preachy at the end, but most good science fiction uses an extraordinary event to comment upon the ordinary, and The Day the Earth Stood Still's comment resonates today.
The performances are a little choppy and over-rehearsed. Michael Rennie sounds like he's reading his lines out of a phone book, and Patricia Neal went to damsel school and graduated with high honors. But all of it is tempered by that classic movie pace and a strong story.
Overall, science fiction when done well looks like this.
A surprisingly mature 50's sci-fi movie. Manages to get across its social messages without coming across as preachy. The cast does a great job with the material given to them, Michael Rennie is fabulous as Klaatu. The visuals are very good for the time and the film also contains some really gripping suspense scenes. A very touching sci-fi tale that still holds up to this day.
The Day the Earth Stood Still Quotes
|Klaatu:||I am leaving soon, and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all or no one is secure. Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them. We of the other planets have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets and for the complete elimination of aggression. The test of any such higher authority is, of course, the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots. Their function is to patrol the planets?in space ships like this one?and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression, we have given them absolute power over us; this power can not be revoked. At the first sign of violence, they act automatically against the aggressor. The penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk. The result is that we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war?free to pursue more pro?table enterprises. Now, we do not pretend to have achieved perfection, but we do have a system, and it works. I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet. But if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer; the decision rests with you.|
|Klaatu:||We have come to visit you in peace, with good will.|
|Klaatu:||I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.|
|Helen Benson:||Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!|
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