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Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

When a UFO lands in Washington, D.C., bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael Rennie) has come on behalf of alien life who have been watching Cold War-era nuclear proliferation on Earth. But it is Klaatu's soft-spoken robot Gort that presents a more immediate threat to onlookers. A single mother (Patricia Neal) and her son teach the world about peace and tolerance in this moral fable, ousting the tanks and soldiers that greet the alien's arrival.

Cast & Crew

Michael Rennie
Klaatu, Carpenter
Patricia Neal
Helen Benson
Hugh Marlowe
Tom Stevens
Sam Jaffe
Prof. Jacob Barnhardt
Billy Gray
Bobby Benson
Frank Conroy
Mr. Harley
Carleton Young
Colonel in Jeep
Bernard Herrmann
Original Music
Leo Tover
Cinematographer
Addison Hehr
Art Direction
Lyle R. Wheeler
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still

Critic Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (3)

  • More thoughtful and restrained than most sci-fi of the period, The Day the Earth Stood Still has aged better than almost all of its peers.

    December 12, 2008 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Iconic from the get-go.

    December 2, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still may at first look like goofy, outdated science fiction, but its timeless warnings about violence, nuclear confrontation and the difficulties of policing the planet have made it an enduring cultural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.

    October 5, 2007 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    June 4, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Cast, although secondary to the story, works well.

    June 4, 2007 | Full Review…
  • This is a superbly crafted, landmark film which invested a much-derided -- and frequently ludicrous -- genre with a welcome degree of dignity and respectability.

    March 4, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still

  • Dec 06, 2015
    A very good film, classic and clearly influential in its scope and maturity. Reasonably thought-provoking sci-fi that gains incredibly by Robert Wise's sure-handed direction.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2014
    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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2013
    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 <i>The Day the Earth Stood Still's</i> 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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2012
    For such an old movie, this was actually extremely well done and very entertaining with a great message: End violence or we will end you!
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer

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