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 »
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 <email@example.com>
The first actor to whom the role of Klaatu was actually offered was Claude Rains, who wanted to accept it but had to decline because of a prior commitment on Broadway. See more »
In the shots from behind of Gort carrying first Helen, and later Klaatu, into the spaceship, the people being carried are clearly either small adults or adolescent children dressed to resemble Helen and Klaatu, in order to give the illusion of greater size to Gort. The small size of their limbs, and the differences in their relative heights and appearance from the close-up shots of Gort carrying the actual Helen and Klaatu, make this obvious. See more »
Interesting In Itself & As A Reflection of Its Era
Interesting both in itself and as a reflection of its era, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" may seem unspectacular now to those who are used to the extravagant science fiction pictures of the present time, but it deserves its place as a cinema classic. The story is worthwhile in itself, and as soon as you set aside any preconceptions about what science fiction should involve, it also builds up some pretty good drama and suspense. Its perspective is also interesting to see as a reflection of the concerns of its era, which have such obvious similarities with those of the present.
The story itself sometimes moves rather slowly, and the focus is really more on the reactions to Klaatu's arrival than on the action itself. As Klaatu, Michael Rennie stays pretty low-key, as does the rest of the cast much of the time. Although there are times when the movie might lack some energy as a result, in general it probably works better that way than it would have if there were too much forced emphasis on the urgency of Klaatu's mission, which is more than able to speak for itself. The ideas behind the story are fairly simple, but they are, of course, just as significant now (or in practically any other era) as they were in the 1950's.
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