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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 28 September 1951 (USA)
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An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

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(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

From Out Of Space... A Warning And An Ultimatum See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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| | |

Release Date:

28 September 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El día que paralizaron la Tierra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening title montage of astro-photographs representing Klaatu's trip to Earth, the last object seen before Earth and Moon come into view is the Eagle Nebula, Messier 16 in the constellation Serpens, and is centered on "The Pillars of Creation", an object that was later captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in an iconic image that became synonymous with the resolving power of this telescope. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Troldspejlet: Episode #40.2 (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Interesting In Itself & As A Reflection of Its Era
15 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

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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