MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 356 this week

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Approved  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  28 September 1951 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 59,896 users  
Reviews: 381 user | 159 critic

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on a story by)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 24 May 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 25 Aug 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 01 Mar 2014
 
a list of 23 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

User Polls

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The film adaptation of the H.G.Wells story told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks
Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Whe Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent
Them! (1954)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon
Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert, and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strange.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum
Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humanity has divided into two hostile species.

Director: George Pal
Stars: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux
Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Tonight, first contact will be made! A beautifully-crafted tale of a superior being from Venus who has the power of life and death at his touch. Academy Award-winning actress Patricia ... See full summary »

Director: Burt Balaban
Stars: Patricia Neal, Helmut Dantine, Derek Bond
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Extra-terrestrials flying in high-tech flying saucers contact scientist Dr. Russell Marvin as part of a plan to enslave the inhabitants of Earth.

Director: Fred F. Sears
Stars: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Billy Gray ...
...
Lock Martin ...
Edit

Storyline

An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A robot and a man . . . hold the world spellbound with new and startling powers from another planet! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

28 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El día que paralizaron la Tierra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The phrase "Klaatu barada nikto" has become a popular phrase among sci-fi fans over the years and has been featured in other movies, such as Army of Darkness (1992). See more »

Goofs

As the spaceship races across the world, scenes of successive radio announcers (or people listening to them) are shown, apparently in order of their broadcasts. When the BBC announcer in England is shown delivering his broadcast, the clock behind him reads 8:33 (p.m.). The next shot shows radio commentator H.V. Kaltenborn doing his broadcast from Washington, D.C. The clock behind him reads 3:24. Since Washington is five hours behind London, and assuming the broadcasts were indeed shown in order, Kaltenborn's clock should have read no earlier than 3:33, and probably a minute or more later than that. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
American Radar Operator: Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Elmer Davis, H.V. Kaltenborn, and Drew Pearson identify themselves when they appear on screen. Radio personality Gabriel Heatter is identified by an announcer. See more »

Connections

Featured in Star Trek: Enterprise: Cogenitor (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A science fiction classic that beautifully melds the ordinary and the fantastic
17 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This science fiction classic is more relevant than ever, and I don't mean its silly message about peace. Yes, yes, we're all violent, silly, war-like humans, and we should all throw away our guns and atomic bombs posthaste if we know what's good for us. Thanks, Klaatu. We'll get right on that. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy the chance to watch your story on DVD because we live in an age – yes, of war and cruelty and weapons of mass destruction – but also of Jar Jar Binks and "Alien vs. Predator."

Klaatu (Michael Rennie) is a gentlemanly outer-space alien who comes to earth in his flying saucer to send us Earthlings a very important message. Sadly, we shoot him on arrival and try to imprison him in a hospital room. He escapes, however, and goes out among us to find the basis for our "strange, unreasoning attitudes." He takes a room in a boarding house, where he meets the widowed Mrs. Benson (Patricia Neal) and her young son (Billy Gray). The widow is being romanced by an insurance salesman (Hugh Marlowe), who later displays a lust for glory that endangers Klaatu – and thus the rest of the world. Klaatu is in better hands when he reveals himself to Professor Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe), a brilliant scientist and the best hope for the survival of Earth.

It's funny, but I never think about this movie in terms of that plot outline. To me, this film is composed of small moments about people – especially Mrs. Benson. Mention "The Day the Earth Stood Still" to me, and the first thing I think about is that moment where the strange new boarder tells her that he'd like to spend the day with her son. She hesitates a moment and says in a lowered voice, "Well, that's awfully nice of you to suggest it." It's a tiny moment about her concern for her son, her good manners and her intelligent ability to reply quickly and diplomatically. Patricia Neal, not Gort the robot, makes this movie come alive for me.

The real reason this story is so fresh is because – it's a good story. It's not an excuse to slap us senseless with fast-paced cutting or drown us in great globs of special effects. It has an engaging plot with warm, interesting characters. If we stupidly (and as you know, Klaatu, we humans can be so very stupid) limit ourselves to the New Releases section of the video store, we forget that some sci-fi thrillers put story before special effects.

The trick work in this movie is excellent, though. I think the robot looks silly, but when Gort opens its visor and we hear that unnerving theremin music, we don't care that this supposedly metallic creature bends like Styrofoam at the knees. We know those laser beams eyes are about to scorch everything in their sight.

Michael Rennie makes up for Gort's deficiencies. He gives what easily could have been a humorless, sanctimonious character a quiet, graceful authority. His slightly otherworldly looks add to the illusion; and Neal as Mrs. Benson completes it by reacting to him with obvious respect – even when she fears him.

Under Robert Wise's direction, every shot is strikingly composed and brings out the maximum dramatic potential of the story. The sense of rhythm and pacing is beautifully suspenseful. Bernard Herrmann, with the theremin as one of his instruments, gives the movie both a nervous tension and a sense of wonder. And the story is so perfectly constructed that it even gets away with a big speech for a climax.

What's the heart of this movie? There's a bravura sequence where Billy Gray secretly follows Rennie from the boarding house to his spaceship. It's a simple, wordless scene where the entire team of filmmakers – and that goes double for Herrmann – meld the ordinary and the fantastic. You want a special effect? That's it.


159 of 183 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gort powersroc
Language Klaatu uses to communicate with home planet. masonjud-834-705224
By no means worthy of it's reputation pooshhmao
Things I learned from watching THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL Timescrew
Does anyone else want to strangle that kid? Cosmonican
What was Arthur Clarke thinking? mickeyone
Discuss The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page