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cinemaspeak59

The Day the Earth Stood Still - 1951

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The Day the Earth Stood Still resonates 65 years after its release.  It looks splendid, one of the best science fiction pictures ever made.   The visual effects may be technically primitive; but artistically they’re timeless.  The sound effects also deserve praise; in particular, the deafening ringing Gort employs to revive Klaatu.

 

The eerie score, and nourish lighting, mirror the undercurrent of menace that lurks in Klaatu:  He’s peaceful, and kind, but no push-over, with little patience in human nature’s flaws, the dark side genetically induced to war and violence. Nor does Klaatu take an ideological side in the escalating Cold War.  This in itself is a political statement.  Klaatu remains one of cinema’s most allegorically fascinating characters.

 

True to form, humanity responds militarily to the alien invasion.  Even after the seemingly omnipotent robot Gort disintegrates weapons pointed at it, and the shut down of all electrical power for as long as the aliens damn well please, we persist in our delusional superiority, that if we capture Klaatu everything will return to normal.

 

Humanity needed a comeuppance.  The Day the Earth Stood Still provided it.  Kudos to director Robert Wise, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished genre film makers.

 

 

 

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The Day the Earth Stood Still resonates 65 years after its release.  It looks splendid, one of the best science fiction pictures ever made.   The visual effects may be technically primitive; but artistically they’re timeless.  The sound effects also deserve praise; in particular, the deafening ringing Gort employs to revive Klaatu.

 

The eerie score, and nourish lighting, mirror the undercurrent of menace that lurks in Klaatu:  He’s peaceful, and kind, but no push-over, with little patience in human nature’s flaws, the dark side genetically induced to war and violence. Nor does Klaatu take an ideological side in the escalating Cold War.  This in itself is a political statement.  Klaatu remains one of cinema’s most allegorically fascinating characters.

 

True to form, humanity responds militarily to the alien invasion.  Even after the seemingly omnipotent robot Gort disintegrates weapons pointed at it, and the shut down of all electrical power for as long as the aliens damn well please, we persist in our delusional superiority, that if we capture Klaatu everything will return to normal.

 

Humanity needed a comeuppance.  The Day the Earth Stood Still provided it.  Kudos to director Robert Wise, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished genre film makers.

I like the fact that a lot of the film is seen from the viewpoint of Bobby Benson (the role that Billy Gray plays).

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As much as I enjoy the score, the B&W photography and lighting is right up there.  Even without a great story, this would be a real classic!!

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I know a lot of critics argue that 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was the film that legitimized Science Fiction film, but I believe Day The Earth Stood Still did it first. What do you think?

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I know a lot of critics argue that 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was the film that legitimized Science Fiction film, but I believe Day The Earth Stood Still did it first. What do you think?

I agree, "The Day The Earth Stood Still" got there first - it is still as powerful as ever!

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I know a lot of critics argue that 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was the film that legitimized Science Fiction film, but I believe Day The Earth Stood Still did it first. What do you think?

I don't like sci-fi films that take place in outer space, so I can't agree with anyone who thinks 2001 is, anything but a boring movie.  THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is another is a long-line of superb films directed by my favorite director, Robert Wise.  He could direct any genre, and did so, splendidly.  In my list of favorite sci-fi films, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED is first, but THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a solid second!

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I don't like sci-fi films that take place in outer space, so I can't agree with anyone who thinks 2001 is, anything but a boring movie.  THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is another is a long-line of superb films directed by my favorite director, Robert Wise.  He could direct any genre, and did so, splendidly.  In my list of favorite sci-fi films, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED is first, but THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a solid second!

Both of these films are always a watchable treat.

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There is an interesting, but very brief, scene in this film, where Michael Rennie is helping Billy Gray with his homework. Rennie says "first you find a common denominator, and then you divide." I used to show this clip to my students, and ask them if they ever divided fractions by finding a common denominator. None of them had ever heard of this method, because they were taught the mindless "invert and multiply" procedure. So I showed them how this method worked, and it actually gave them a better understanding of division of fractions.

 

We can learn so much from aliens.

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There are only 4 Sci-Fi movies that are the all time greats and they are The Day The Earth Stood Still, 20 Million Miles To Earth, Phantom From Outer Space and Fiend Without A Face.  Check them out and let me know what you think.... :)

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I know a lot of critics argue that 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was the film that legitimized Science Fiction film, but I believe Day The Earth Stood Still did it first. What do you think?

It's a very serious film

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