The Day the Earth Stood Still Reviews

  • May 16, 2021

    "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." ... WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! A classic piece of sci-fi that demonstrated that the alien invasion premise could be much more than your typical monster-movie threat. There's no armada or violent renegade to terrorize small-town America, instead the world instead finds itself captivated by mania of their own creation surrounding the arrival of Rennie's nonviolent Klaatu, who is there not so much to threaten or save as to inform - "continue in your petty squabbles, and face annihilation". The people react with wild speculation and fear in spite of his words, as the thought of potential extinction alone nearly dooms the planet in a shared frenzy of knee-jerk reactions. Though knowledgeable and wise, Klaatu is not omnipotent and is not on Earth with the express purpose of saving humanity, but instead points out clear flaws and clarifies that if these are not addressed, his own civilization will strike first to prevent humanity's foolishness from endangering others; if he were to offer a perfect solution to humanity's problems held back only by paranoia, the film would not be nearly as interesting. Everyone is trying to create a secure future, but it's the strategies to do so that cause conflict. Neat, clean aesthetic, not too busy or overproduced. Solid piece of early midcentury science fiction that has aged well in its premise. (3.5/5)

    "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." ... WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! A classic piece of sci-fi that demonstrated that the alien invasion premise could be much more than your typical monster-movie threat. There's no armada or violent renegade to terrorize small-town America, instead the world instead finds itself captivated by mania of their own creation surrounding the arrival of Rennie's nonviolent Klaatu, who is there not so much to threaten or save as to inform - "continue in your petty squabbles, and face annihilation". The people react with wild speculation and fear in spite of his words, as the thought of potential extinction alone nearly dooms the planet in a shared frenzy of knee-jerk reactions. Though knowledgeable and wise, Klaatu is not omnipotent and is not on Earth with the express purpose of saving humanity, but instead points out clear flaws and clarifies that if these are not addressed, his own civilization will strike first to prevent humanity's foolishness from endangering others; if he were to offer a perfect solution to humanity's problems held back only by paranoia, the film would not be nearly as interesting. Everyone is trying to create a secure future, but it's the strategies to do so that cause conflict. Neat, clean aesthetic, not too busy or overproduced. Solid piece of early midcentury science fiction that has aged well in its premise. (3.5/5)

  • Mar 22, 2021

    One of the best of all the sci-fi movies of all time

    One of the best of all the sci-fi movies of all time

  • Jan 24, 2021

    Offering new and innovative ideas with the classic alien stories before it, this science fiction classic still holds up today as it did back in 1951. What I believe to best part of the movie is how despite telling an epic story with big themes and ideas, its contained setting and everyday characters make it seem more believable than most other sci-fi films.

    Offering new and innovative ideas with the classic alien stories before it, this science fiction classic still holds up today as it did back in 1951. What I believe to best part of the movie is how despite telling an epic story with big themes and ideas, its contained setting and everyday characters make it seem more believable than most other sci-fi films.

  • Dec 17, 2020

    I really dug this early sci-fi film that explores the fear of "the other" in a cleverly sophisticated way, and is unfortunately a theme that is still extremely relevant today. The score and sound design stood out most here and form the epitome of the type of sounds and music I hear in my mind when someone says "old sci-fi".

    I really dug this early sci-fi film that explores the fear of "the other" in a cleverly sophisticated way, and is unfortunately a theme that is still extremely relevant today. The score and sound design stood out most here and form the epitome of the type of sounds and music I hear in my mind when someone says "old sci-fi".

  • Oct 16, 2020

    Made in 1951 and directed by Robert Wise, this is and will continue to be (for any fans with brains) one of the greatest Science Fiction movies ever made. An alien, Klattu, lands with his Robot (who is much more than that) in DC, where he is wounded. Escaping the hospital, he explores American society and isn't too pleased by what he sees. No, this isn't action packed, it is a thinking fan's movie. But it is brilliant and can be watched again and again.

    Made in 1951 and directed by Robert Wise, this is and will continue to be (for any fans with brains) one of the greatest Science Fiction movies ever made. An alien, Klattu, lands with his Robot (who is much more than that) in DC, where he is wounded. Escaping the hospital, he explores American society and isn't too pleased by what he sees. No, this isn't action packed, it is a thinking fan's movie. But it is brilliant and can be watched again and again.

  • Aug 07, 2020

    What does it mean when one of the best Sci-fi movies is one of the earliest sci-fi movies?

    What does it mean when one of the best Sci-fi movies is one of the earliest sci-fi movies?

  • Jun 30, 2020

    Sci-fi gets reshaped forevermore. Robert Wise's sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is an intriguing piece of moral argument centered around an alien's visit to planet Earth. Wise's direction is absorbing with a film noir style and eerie atmosphere. He makes The Day the Earth Stood Still a chilling and thought provoking 92 minutes. William Reynolds' editing is very tight without wasting a scene. Harry Bates' story and Edmund H. North's script is fascinating as space visitor Klaatu comes to warn Earth not to resort to violence or travel to space with nuclear power. The Day the Earth Stood Still preys on America's fear of foreigners, Communists, and nuclear energy in a volatile time for The United States of America in the 1950's. The dialogue is very telling of how fearful people were then and that they needed a warning against their ways. Leo Tover's black and white cinematography is gorgeous with creative use of moody lighting and stark contrasts. Fred Sersen's groundbreaking visual effects look alright still by today's standards, if a bit campy. The Gort suit is all camp, but he's a fun robot to be sure. Bernard Herrmann's score is actually very creepy and haunting with disquieting passages into loud bursts of percussion. Travilla and Perkins Bailey's Gort costume is great and effective. Ben Nye's make-up is classic and makes everyone look nice. Michael Rennie is cool as space visitor Klaatu. He is intelligent and commanding with a clear presence on screen. His natural gravitas and poise makes Klaatu an interesting hero and villain of sorts. Patricia Neal is very fun as Helen Benson with her lovely face and expressive acting. You can tell exactly what her character fears by her facial expressions with her particular acting. Billy Gray is very fun and believable as the young boy Bobby Benson. Hugh Marlowe is very easy to hate and the selfish and demanding boyfriend to Patricia Neal's Helen. Sam Jaffe is thoughtful as the eager Professor Jacob Barnhardt. In all, The Day the Earth Stood Still is elevated by an apt cast and thrilling score. Wise's direction is peerless even for an older picture of his making The Day the Earth Stood Still a science-fiction classic!

    Sci-fi gets reshaped forevermore. Robert Wise's sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is an intriguing piece of moral argument centered around an alien's visit to planet Earth. Wise's direction is absorbing with a film noir style and eerie atmosphere. He makes The Day the Earth Stood Still a chilling and thought provoking 92 minutes. William Reynolds' editing is very tight without wasting a scene. Harry Bates' story and Edmund H. North's script is fascinating as space visitor Klaatu comes to warn Earth not to resort to violence or travel to space with nuclear power. The Day the Earth Stood Still preys on America's fear of foreigners, Communists, and nuclear energy in a volatile time for The United States of America in the 1950's. The dialogue is very telling of how fearful people were then and that they needed a warning against their ways. Leo Tover's black and white cinematography is gorgeous with creative use of moody lighting and stark contrasts. Fred Sersen's groundbreaking visual effects look alright still by today's standards, if a bit campy. The Gort suit is all camp, but he's a fun robot to be sure. Bernard Herrmann's score is actually very creepy and haunting with disquieting passages into loud bursts of percussion. Travilla and Perkins Bailey's Gort costume is great and effective. Ben Nye's make-up is classic and makes everyone look nice. Michael Rennie is cool as space visitor Klaatu. He is intelligent and commanding with a clear presence on screen. His natural gravitas and poise makes Klaatu an interesting hero and villain of sorts. Patricia Neal is very fun as Helen Benson with her lovely face and expressive acting. You can tell exactly what her character fears by her facial expressions with her particular acting. Billy Gray is very fun and believable as the young boy Bobby Benson. Hugh Marlowe is very easy to hate and the selfish and demanding boyfriend to Patricia Neal's Helen. Sam Jaffe is thoughtful as the eager Professor Jacob Barnhardt. In all, The Day the Earth Stood Still is elevated by an apt cast and thrilling score. Wise's direction is peerless even for an older picture of his making The Day the Earth Stood Still a science-fiction classic!

  • May 28, 2020

    Film prodigieux pour l'époque auquel il a été produit, une attention aux détails tous particulière, et pleine de bonnes intentions ( armements nucléaires ).

    Film prodigieux pour l'époque auquel il a été produit, une attention aux détails tous particulière, et pleine de bonnes intentions ( armements nucléaires ).

  • Dec 24, 2019

    A post-war sci-fi thriller that delivers its message of keeping peace through moments of action, and its theme of human paranoia through dated drama.

    A post-war sci-fi thriller that delivers its message of keeping peace through moments of action, and its theme of human paranoia through dated drama.

  • Aug 28, 2019

    Absolutely brilliant movie.

    Absolutely brilliant movie.