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      The Day the Earth Stood Still

      G Released Sep 18, 1951 1h 32m Sci-Fi List Top 5 Freshest Giant Movie Robots Top 5 Freshest Giant Movie Robots 2:07 View more videos
      95% Tomatometer 59 Reviews 87% Audience Score 25,000+ Ratings When a UFO lands in Washington, D.C., bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael Rennie) has come on behalf of alien life who have been watching Cold War-era nuclear proliferation on Earth. But it is Klaatu's soft-spoken robot Gort that presents a more immediate threat to onlookers. A single mother (Patricia Neal) and her son teach the world about peace and tolerance in this moral fable, ousting the tanks and soldiers that greet the alien's arrival. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Sep 19 Buy Now

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      The Day the Earth Stood Still

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      Critics Consensus

      Socially minded yet entertaining, The Day the Earth Stood Still imparts its moral of peace and understanding without didacticism.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Steven D. Greydanus Decent Films More thoughtful and restrained than most sci-fi of the period, The Day the Earth Stood Still has aged better than almost all of its peers. Rated: A- Dec 12, 2008 Full Review Bill Weber Slant Magazine Iconic from the get-go. Rated: 3.5/4 Dec 2, 2008 Full Review Michael Booth Denver Post The Day the Earth Stood Still may at first look like goofy, outdated science fiction, but its timeless warnings about violence, nuclear confrontation and the difficulties of policing the planet have made it an enduring cultural classic. Oct 5, 2007 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand It's as much Christ parable as science fiction film... yet its message is delivered less like a sermon than a threat. Sep 8, 2023 Full Review Anton Bitel Projected Figures While Robert Wise’s sci-fi allegorises the dangers of global aggression in the Cold War, it presents itself as updated Christian parable. Jun 25, 2023 Full Review Mark R. Leeper Mark Leeper's Reviews THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a sentimental favorite among Fifties science fiction films. It is certainly good but not nearly as good as its reputation would make it. Rated: 6/10 Feb 14, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      John S The consensus is that this movie "isn't" didactic? I disagree. Klaatu came from a society on a planet ruled by robots they created to govern themselves, that could turn them into dust for having a violent moment. That's carrot and stick and the lesson is mandatory. (Though it really shouldn't be that hard to not be violent.) Maybe it IS a utopian society. Anyhow... Very enjoyable film. I do enjoy a morality tale through a sci-fi lens. I'm rewatching this for the first time in decades thinking we humans haven't learned a damned thing. A movie made in 1951 could still be a great education to many in 2024. This movie. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/21/24 Full Review Steve D It may look dated but the story isn't. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 04/04/24 Full Review Matthew B The 1950s was a decade in cinema that included a lot of stories about hostile alien visitations. Imagine this one. A flying saucer lands on the grass just outside the White House, causing frightened locals to run for cover. An alien steps out who cannot be easily killed by bullets. Accompanying him is a menacing robot that is impervious to damage, and which vaporises the army's weaponry. This alien comes with a threat to destroy the world, but he soon escapes the custody of the army. Cut to scenes of a frightened woman ushering her child into the house. This alien talks about levelling New York or sinking the Rock of Gibraltar as a show of power, before finally paralysing the planet with his superior technology. The people of Earth resist, and the alien finally returns to his flying saucer and leaves the planet. Here are the ingredients of an exciting alien invasion movie, but doubtless you will balk at the idea that I am accurately describing The Day the Earth Stood Still. We all know this is about a well-meaning, Christ-like alien who brings a message of peace. While movies such as The Thing from Another World upset some sci-fi fans by setting in motion a wave of monster movies, The Day the Earth Stood Still was one of the ground-breaking sci-fi stories of the 1950s that showed contact with a friendly alien. Actually neither description is accurate, and yet the film arguably contains elements from both of the summaries I just gave. Klaatu is not a malevolent alien with evil intentions towards the Earth, but the prevailing mood of the film is one of fear, reflected in the haunting and eerie music score provided by Bernard Herrmann. At the helm was an experienced and professional director, Robert Wise. Wise tries to make the story as realistic and believable as possible. He tells the story in the cinema vérité style that would become common in sci-fi films of this decade. Wise included scenes showing military experts considering the threat, journalists and newsreaders describing the story, and politicians thinking about what to do next. By way of contrast, the film also includes ordinary people discussing what they are hearing on the news, and giving their impressions. Klaatu's role in arriving on Earth is not to negotiate peace or decide the planet's future, but to warn us against a risk that he cannot prevent. Inter-planetary peace and harmony has only been achieved with the threat of total annihilation, an argument that sounds curiously similar to that applied to the nuclear deterrent. It is an interesting thought. I would not wish to push it too far and suggest that Klaatu is a threatening or intimidating figure. I doubt many people who have viewed the film would be convinced if I did. Klaatu is a benign and appealing figure, but his message is not a blandly friendly one – he brings a dire warning with him, and it is unclear at the end whether we are mature enough as a species to heed his words. I wrote a longer appreciation of The Day the Earth Stood Still on my blog page if you would like to read more of my thoughts: https://themoviescreenscene.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/the-day-the-earth-stood-still-1951/ Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/23/23 Full Review Hugo D Excellent movie, yes it's dated, it was filmed in 1951. It's filled with 1950's paranoia about the commie threat. But the story and it's message was way ahead of it's time. The sound effect/ alien sounding soundtrack and use of shadows were awesome. The characters of Klaatu and his giant 8 ft tall robot Gort are great. To me one of the best SF stories ever made. Not just for the 50's. But until Star Wars A New Hope came out in 1977. It was best on many levels. A very strong Anti-War movie with a great ending. Not your typical alien invasion movie at all. Hollywood really dropped the ball with the horrible remake. Once CGI was pretty perfected by 1991. With the release of Terminator II Judgement day. They should of raced to remake this version with Christopher Reeve aka Superman as Klaatu. George Lucas, Spielberg or Cameron should jumped on that as their next big block buster for 1994 or 95. The message of the movie still stands up to today. Klaatu Barada Nikto! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 07/31/23 Full Review Joey O Wow, went into this movie not knowing much but it's now my second favorite classic movie of all time behind War of the worlds and, I'm happy to have a movie to give it some competition. I'm not going to spoil anything, a little slow but aren't all movies from this time? Fantastic film, makes me want to watch it on a projector at a campfire Rated 5 out of 5 stars 07/24/23 Full Review Monsol E May be a bit of a slow watch for modern audiences, but its message about humanity needing to know it's place may be more relevant then ever. Oh and Gort is pretty cool, even if the effects are very limited. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 07/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis When a UFO lands in Washington, D.C., bearing a message for Earth's leaders, all of humanity stands still. Klaatu (Michael Rennie) has come on behalf of alien life who have been watching Cold War-era nuclear proliferation on Earth. But it is Klaatu's soft-spoken robot Gort that presents a more immediate threat to onlookers. A single mother (Patricia Neal) and her son teach the world about peace and tolerance in this moral fable, ousting the tanks and soldiers that greet the alien's arrival.
      Director
      Robert Wise
      Screenwriter
      Harry Bates, Edmund H. North
      Distributor
      CBS/Fox, 20th Century Fox, Fox
      Production Co
      20th Century Fox
      Rating
      G
      Genre
      Sci-Fi
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Sep 18, 1951, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 18, 2012
      Runtime
      1h 32m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
      Aspect Ratio
      35mm, Flat (1.37:1)
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