MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 198 this week

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 56,856 users  
Reviews: 373 user | 154 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 29 Jul 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 01 Jul 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 1 week ago
 
a list of 29 titles
created 1 week 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 7.9/10

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 1 win & 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 7.2/10 X  

In an oppressive future, a fireman whose duty is to destroy all books begins to question his task.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack
Capricorn One (1977)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A NASA Mars mission won't work, and its funding is endangered, so they decide to fake it just this once. But then they have to keep the secret...

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vaccaro
I Am Legend (2007)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan
Splice (2009)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use.

Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac
WarGames (1983)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood
Pi (1998)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman
Primer (2004)
Drama | Thriller | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.

Director: Shane Carruth
Stars: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden
Blade Runner (1982)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young
Flatliners (1990)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Medical students bring themselves near death; their experiment begins to go awry.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Nazi hunter in Paraguay discovers a sinister and bizarre plot to rekindle the Third Reich.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, James Mason
Soylent Green (1973)
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
Monsters (2010)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

Director: Gareth Edwards
Stars: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides
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

Plot Keywords:

alien | robot | tank | escape | washington d.c. | See more »

Taglines:

What is this invader from another planet... Can it destroy the Earth? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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

All of the scenes of Helen Benson and Klaatu in the taxi also feature footage from the second unit of Washington, DC as we see background vehicles in the rear and side windows of the taxi. See more »

Goofs

When Gort begins marching down the ship's ramp at the beginning, a shot shows the crowds running away in panic. The shot is clearly a speeded-up film of the crowd, most of whom were plainly walking away from the scene rather leisurely. Also, when the shot switches back to the retreating military men, the crowd can be seen still standing behind them, not having moved at all. 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

Referenced in Futurama: The Day the Earth Stood Stupid (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration…
13 January 2005 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

It's odd to think that fifty years from now there may only be a handful of movies released in 2004 that will be remembered at all. I don't care to venture any guesses as to what they may be, but it's easy to see why The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the ones from 1951 that remains a classic, while so many others sank into obscurity. The movie deals with a theme that was at the forefront of so many peoples' minds in the early 1950s, in America and the rest of the world, and that is the conflicts between many different nations, and more generally the tendency for humans to fight each other. It was released at the time of the Red Scare and so soon after World War II that international tensions were still high. Also odd is that if you switch the last two words in the title, why, it's not very frightening at all!

Okay, that made no sense, but I couldn't resist. My respect for the movie dimmed sharply when I saw that the alien was not only a man, but a good looking man who spoke perfect English, but then won back my respect completely when it took the time to explain that his culture had learned about humans through intercepting radio transmissions over many years. Unlikely, but it's an explanation, which is more than most science fiction films provide. Granted, not much time should be wasted on the science of science fiction, but in this case something had to be said. The alien didn't give may details as to his physical condition, but scientists hypothesized that since he so closely resembles a human, he must have a similar environment to our own on his planet.

Speaking of which, there is one thing about the science that I'm also curious about. At what stage were astronomical studies in the early 1950s? I'm wondering how far into space scientists were looking, because Carpenter, the alien, states with some grandeur that he has traveled 250 million miles to get to earth, which in astronomical terms is a tiny, tiny distance. Considering that the sun is 93 million miles from earth, this would mean that his planet is within our own solar system. And here's another little factoid – Earth makes a complete revolution around the sun every year, as you know. Pluto, on the other hand, takes something like 248 years to revolve around the sun. That has nothing to do with the movie, but is an interesting digression, I should think.

I found the political backdrop to be one of the most interesting things about the movie, and not only because of what the political landscape was like at the time. It was interesting to watch a movie about aliens that so quickly and completely dissolved into a close examination of volatile human relations, and without ever becoming preachy or devolving into peace propaganda (oxymoron intended). I actually think that a large part of what made up for the lack of aliens in this alien movie was the validity that its argument has.

When Carpenter (who they stopped just short of simply naming Jesus) was greeted with the response that a meeting with all of the worlds leaders was impossible because of tensions between nations, he was genuinely surprised and saddened. He gives as his reason for visiting earth the fact that his civilization has noticed satellites being launched around the Earth's atmosphere and, since humans clearly are unable to get along, he was sent here to tell us to join them and live in peace or face our present course and face obliteration. Most importantly, if we chose the latter, they would be there to ensure that we would not export our violence to peaceful civilizations in space. The descending nature with which he speaks is truly revealing, it makes humans look childish because of our constant battling with one another.

This is also where the movie coincides with some of the themes that Jonathan Swift presented in Utopia, his novel upon which several failed civilizations have been attempted. They have created robots, which we seen in the Iron Man, to prevent the rise of violence in their society. The robots have tremendous power, which cannot be revoked, and at the first sign of violence they react swiftly against the aggressor, which results in a peaceful society. I'm also reminded of Gulliver's Travels, also by Jonathan Swift, particularly the section where Gulliver lives among the Houynymns which, interestingly enough, are talking horses with a remarkable ability to live at peace. When at one point Gulliver describes lying, which does not exist to the Houynymns, one of them responds incredulously with something like, "Why on Earth would one say something that isn't so?" Carpenter displays exactly the same shocked surprise when he learns of some of the awful characteristics of human beings, which seems to suggest that before we look for other civilized worlds in the galaxy, maybe we should work a little more on civilizing our own world.

The famous quote that I've quoted in my summary line is one of the many delights that this film presents, and Evil Dead fans will be thrilled to see the origins of those strange words that Ash had such a hard time speaking in Army of Darkness. The genre of science fiction has a much larger than average ratio of bad films to good ones, and I think the best ones are the ones that have a concrete connection to the real world, as The Day the Earth Stood Still obviously does. Given the political atmosphere here in the first month of 2005, it's obvious that humans have not taken much advice from this movie, but then again, as Arnold stated in Terminator 2, "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves."

Scary.


109 of 153 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
What was Arthur Clarke thinking? mickeyone
Klaatu Barada Nikto trainspotted15
Avoid the remake bmandrum
Discuss The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page