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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

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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.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Edmund H. North (screen play), Harry Bates (based on a story by)
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Popularity
3,607 ( 642)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Lock Martin ... Gort
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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:

The screen has never conceived a creature like this! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Hindi | Russian

Release Date:

25 December 1951 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Journey to the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original short story on which the screenplay is loosely based, the robot, Gort, was the master. Klaatu was merely one of a series of doubles, or maybe clones, that died after a short time. See more »

Goofs

When Bobby is doing his math homework, Klaatu looks over his shoulder and says: "All you have to remember is, first find the common denominator, then divide." Division of fractions doesn't require a common denominator. In fact, the original script says "subtract". (However, Klaatu's method could work. e.g. To divide 1/3 by 1/4 find the common denominator and re-express as 4/12 divided by 3/12. Then simply divide the 4 by 3 to get the answer: 1 and 1/3. Ten out of ten for alien mathematics!) 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 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best sci-fi movies ever!
12 November 2008 | by Smells_Like_CheeseSee all my reviews

I remember several years ago in my film appreciation class, we were learning about the 50's, our professor had mentioned how many sci-fi films were made with Russian villain undertones as well as the cold war. We watched some of The Day the Earth Stood Still and this film just jumped at me, it was so different than any other film I had seen. I thought it was going to be so cheesy and lame since it was a 50's film, but after watching a little bit of it, I didn't realize the strong message it held. I remember in Terminator 2 there was a line that I still hold true to this day "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves", that maybe it's not all technology that will destroy us, but we are our own worst enemies. The Day the Earth Stood was before The Terminator, just like Metropolis was before this film, but these are the best stories and it's like watching a history lesson on film about the time and feel of the 50's.

An alien spaceship has landed in Washington, D.C., but it's not what you think with the "take us to your leader" type of thing, rather a human like alien comes out offering input on what is going on in the universe, but he is immediately attacked by the humans and taken hostage. His name is Klaatu, he tries to explain several times that he's not here to hurt anyone, but the humans don't trust him. He escapes and goes to a family, since no one knows what he looks like, they think that he's a regular man who just needs a place to stay. He stays with a family and they show him around, they think he's a little strange but very polite and nice, but when they learn of his true identity, he tells them of what his intentions are to mearly warn Planet Earth of it's impending doom.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a true classic, I know there are a lot of young people who complain about the ending, how it's so anti-climatic, but I feel that it's a perfect film and I am so ticked off that it's being re-made. But I guess we will have to see what the film will be like, who knows? It might be good... yeah, right, sorry, was just trying to be nice. But I highly recommend you watch this movie, it's a true classic that has a strong message, has great actors, and fun effects. It's fun to watch these films, I wonder if they realized while making this film back in 1951 that they were acting out their own culture and history.

10/10


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