The Day the Earth Stood Still

Film

Science fiction

 

Time Out says

A classic science fiction fable, its ambitious storyline conveying a surprising pacifist message. A flying saucer lands in Washington DC, and the humanoid alien which emerges is immediately shot and wounded by nervous state troopers. A ten-foot tall robot, Gort, emerges and disintegrates guns and tanks, before being deactivated by the wounded alien (Rennie). Rennie later delivers an ultimatum to the world's leaders: stop these senseless wars or face the awesome consequences - demonstrated by a period of one hour in which all the world's power is stopped. The scenes in which the fugitive Rennie learns about life on Earth by living incognito in a boarding-house with a young widow (Neal) and her son (Gray) are particularly effective, and it is telling that it is the widow who prevents Gort from destroying the world by uttering the immortal line, 'Gort! Klaatu barada nikto'. Edmund H North's intelligent script and Wise's smooth direction are serious without being solemn, while Bernard Herrmann's effectively alien-sounding score reinforces the atmosphere of strangeness and potential menace.
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Release details

UK release:

1951

Duration:

92 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Patricia Neal, Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Michael Rennie

Producer:

Julian Blaustein

Art Director:

Addison Hehr, Lyle Wheeler

Music:

Bernard Herrmann

Director:

Robert Wise

Cinematography:

Leo Tover

Screenwriter:

Edmund H North

Editor:

William H Reynolds

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