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 »

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The Day the Earth Stood Still -- An alien emissary gives a dramatic demonstration of power when he attempts to warn mankind about the folly of atomic experimentation.
The Day the Earth Stood Still -- Watch the trailer for the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   60,633 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A science fiction classic that beautifully melds the ordinary and the fantastic See more (387 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)
Walter Bacon ... Sightseer at Spaceship (uncredited)
Rama Bai ... Scientific Delegate (uncredited)
Oscar Blank ... Peddler (uncredited)
Marshall Bradford ... Chief of Staff (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Farmer (uncredited)
John Brown ... George Barley (uncredited)
John Burton ... British Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Michael Capanna ... Sentry (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Mr. Bleeker (uncredited)
Spencer Chan ... Scientific Delegate (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)
James Gonzalez ... Military Officer at Pentagon Meeting (uncredited)
Glenn Hardy ... Interviewer (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Scientific Delegate (uncredited)
Harry Harvey ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Al Haskell ... Scientific Delegate (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)
Bert Madrid ... Sightseer at Spaceship (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)
Joseph C. Narcisse ... Scientific Delegate (uncredited)
Bill Neff ... Police Officer Behind Desk (uncredited)
Howard Negley ... Colonel (uncredited)
Dorothy Neumann ... Margaret - Secretary (uncredited)
Anton Northpole ... Scientific Delegate (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)
Bob Reeves ... Operator (uncredited)
Barry Regan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Fay Roope ... Major General (uncredited)
Pola Russ ... Russian Woman (uncredited)
James Seay ... Government Man (uncredited)
Bernard Sell ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Government Man (uncredited)
Peter Similuk ... Russian Pilot (uncredited)
Bob Simpson ... Colonel (uncredited)
Bhogwan Singh ... Scientific Delegate (uncredited)
Reginald Lal Singh ... Scientific Delegate (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)
Glen Walters ... Scientific Delegate (uncredited)
Harlan Warde ... Carlson (uncredited)
Gil Warren ... Government Man (uncredited)
Bill Welsh ... Radio News Caster (uncredited)

Stuart Whitman ... Sentry (uncredited)

Rush Williams ... Military Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Government Man (uncredited)
Carleton Young ... Colonel in Jeep (uncredited)

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 
 
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


Production CompaniesDistributors

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 (MPAA rating: certificate #15271) (original rating) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:G (re-rating) (1969) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
During the early phases of pre-production for The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), 20th Century-Fox studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck suggested Jack Palance for the role of the robot Gort. The role was eventually filled by a much taller non-actor.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Helen is taken into the spaceship and is sitting on the bench her right hand is alternately by her side/behind her back between shots.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
American Radar Operator:Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Was Gort played by a robot or a real actor?
Is 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
162 out of 188 people found the following review useful.
A science fiction classic that beautifully melds the ordinary and the fantastic, 17 March 2005
Author: J. Spurlin from United States

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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