IMDb > The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still
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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 40 | slideshow) Videos (see all 7)
The Day the Earth Stood Still -- Watch the trailer for the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still.
The Day the Earth Stood Still -- Doctors discuss the mystery of the extremely health alien as they light up cigarettes.
The Day the Earth Stood Still -- Klaatu knows if he is killed, Gort will destroy the world so he tells Helen the words that will keep that from happening.
The Day the Earth Stood Still -- After a soldier shoots Klaatu, the giant robot Gort appears and attacks, turning tanks to slag with a strange ray.
The Day the Earth Stood Still -- A strange craft lands in Washington DC and a visitor steps out and offers peace and good will.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   55,956 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Edmund H. North (screen play)
Harry Bates (based on a story by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Day the Earth Stood Still on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 September 1951 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A robot and a man . . . hold the world spellbound with new and startling powers from another planet! See more »
Plot:
An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration… See more (371 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Rennie ... Klaatu

Patricia Neal ... Helen Benson

Hugh Marlowe ... Tom Stevens

Sam Jaffe ... Professor Jacob Barnhardt
Billy Gray ... Bobby Benson

Frances Bavier ... Mrs. Barley
Lock Martin ... Gort
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patrick Aherne ... General at Pentagon (uncredited)
Oscar Blanke ... Peddler (uncredited)
Marshall Bradford ... Chief of Staff (uncredited)
John Brown ... George Barley (uncredited)
John Burton ... British Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Michael Capanna ... Sentry (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Mr. Bleeker (uncredited)
Jean Charney ... Mother (uncredited)
Beulah Christian ... Secretary (uncredited)
John Close ... Captain (uncredited)
Louise Colombet ... French Woman (uncredited)
James Conaty ... General at Pentagon (uncredited)
Frank Conroy ... Mr. Harley (uncredited)
Eric Corrie ... British Soldier (uncredited)
John Costello ... Cockney (uncredited)
James Craven ... Businessman (uncredited)
Marjorie Crossland ... Hilda (uncredited)
Jack Daly ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Elmer Davis ... Himself - Commentator (uncredited)
Lawrence Dobkin ... Army Physician (uncredited)
Jim Doyle ... Medical Corps Major (uncredited)
Roy Engel ... Government Man (uncredited)
Charles Evans ... Major General (uncredited)
Edith Evanson ... Mrs. Crockett (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Extra in Office Building Corridor (uncredited)
Michael Ferris ... British Soldier (uncredited)
Elizabeth Flournoy ... Emma - Jewelry Clerk (uncredited)
Grady Galloway ... American Radar Operator (uncredited)
Bill Gentry ... Sentry (uncredited)
Paul Gerrits ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Glenn Hardy ... Interviewer (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Scientific Delegate (uncredited)
Harry Harvey ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Gabriel Heatter ... Himself - Commentator (uncredited)
Gil Herman ... Government Agent (uncredited)
John Hiestand ... TV Announcer on Truck (uncredited)
H.V. Kaltenborn ... Himself - Commentator (uncredited)
Hassan Khayyam ... Indian Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Harry Lauter ... Platoon Leader (uncredited)
Freeman Lusk ... General Cutler (uncredited)
George Lynn ... Colonel Ryder (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Brigadier General (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Sentry (uncredited)
Sandee Marriott ... Minor Role (uncredited)

David McMahon ... Air Force Sergeant (uncredited)
Tyler McVey ... Brady (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Military Officer at Pentagon Meeting (uncredited)

Millard Mitchell ... Voice of General (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Government Man (uncredited)
Bruce Morgan ... Government Man (uncredited)
Bill Neff ... Police Officer Behind Desk (uncredited)
Howard Negley ... Colonel (uncredited)
Dorothy Neumann ... Margaret - Secretary (uncredited)
Sammy Ogg ... Sam (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Major White (uncredited)
Gayle Pace ... Captain (uncredited)
Drew Pearson ... Himself - Commentator (uncredited)
Ted Pearson ... Colonel (uncredited)
House Peters Jr. ... Military Police Captain (uncredited)
'Snub' Pollard ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Mike Ragan ... Army Captain (uncredited)
John M. Reed ... Tank Driver (uncredited)
Barry Regan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Fay Roope ... Major General (uncredited)
Pola Russ ... Russian Woman (uncredited)
James Seay ... Government Man (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Government Man (uncredited)
Peter Similuk ... Russian Pilot (uncredited)
Bob Simpson ... Colonel (uncredited)
Marc Snow ... Government Man (uncredited)
Olan Soule ... Mr. Krull (uncredited)
Kim Spalding ... Army Orderly (uncredited)
Murray Steckler ... Soldier (uncredited)
Harmon Stevens ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ... Voice of Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Harlan Warde ... Carlson (uncredited)
Gil Warren ... Government Man (uncredited)

Stuart Whitman ... Sentry (uncredited)

Rush Williams ... Military Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Government Man (uncredited)
Carleton Young ... Colonel in Jeep (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert Wise 
 
Writing credits
Edmund H. North (screen play)

Harry Bates (based on a story by)

Produced by
Julian Blaustein .... producer
 
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
 
Cinematography by
Leo Tover (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
William Reynolds (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Addison Hehr 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Claude E. Carpenter (set decorations) (as Claude Carpenter)
Thomas Little (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Travilla (costumes designed by)
Clinton Sandeen (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Gene Bryant .... unit manager (uncredited)
Darryl F. Zanuck .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Del Ruth .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Stanley Hough .... assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Bert Leeds .... second unit director (uncredited)
Arthur Lueker .... first assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
Arthur von Kirbach .... sound (as Arthur L. Kirbach)
 
Special Effects by
Melbourne A. Arnold .... robot builder (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
L.B. Abbott .... effects team (uncredited)
Lyman Hallowell .... visual effects editor (uncredited)
Ray Kellogg .... effects team (uncredited)
Emil Kosa .... effects team (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Perkins Bailey .... costume designer: Klaatu
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ed Wynigear .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Orven Schanzer .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Bernard Herrmann .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Samuel Hoffman .... musician: theremin (uncredited)
Paul Shure .... musician: theremin (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Samuel Herrick .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Anthony Jowitt .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Steve Pritko .... stand-in: Michael Rennie (uncredited)
Clifford Sales .... double: Billy Gray (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
92 min | Germany:85 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:K-12 | Ireland:G | Italy:T | Netherlands:12 | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:12 (2004) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #15271) (original rating) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:G (re-rating) (1969) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
One scene was cut from the movie before it was released. The original script called for Klaatu to be taken to a police station by the government man who came for him at the boarding house, not directly to Barnhart's home. At the station, men were being dragged in from all over and questioned, and Klaatu becomes upset when he sees how a man was beaten up by a crowd because they thought he was the spaceman. The scene was cut because director Robert Wise realized that the audience was interested in the Klaatu/ Barnhart meeting and the scene at the police station was unnecessary, but on the DVD there are stills from that deleted scene.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The broadcast with Drew Pearson shows the first angle from the side with no microphone shadow. When the angle switches to the front the microphone cast a shadow on his left side.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
American Radar Operator:Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Is this movie based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' about?
See more »
108 out of 152 people found the following review useful.
Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration…, 13 January 2005
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China

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.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Things I learned from watching THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL Timescrew
Language Klaatu uses to communicate with home planet. masonjud-834-705224
Lack of people at landing site. lelysee
Read the Original Short Story (Link) suomi_metal
Klaatu Barada Nikto trainspotted15
The humans are *beep* in this movie captainbible1138-428-348571
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