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The Day the Earth Stood Still

August 12, 2010

241. The Day the Earth Stood Still
Directed by Robert Wise
USA, 1951

IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Ally
First viewing

Description:

Klaatu (Michael Rennie) arrives from an unspecified planet to warn Earthlings against their warmongering ways. He gets shot almost immediately, which rather proves his point.

Essential Scene:

Klaatu finds sanctuary at a boarding house, posing as “Mr. Carpenter.” He befriends a young boy named Bobby, who takes him on a tour of Washington D.C.. They visit Arlington National Cemetery, where Bobby’s father is buried.

Klaatu: Did all those people die in wars?
Bobby: Most of ’em. Didn’t you ever hear of the Arlington Cemetery?
Klaatu: No, I’m afraid not.
Bobby: You don’t seem to know much about anything, do you, Mr. Carpenter?
Klaatu: Well, I’ll tell you, Bobby, I’ve been away a long time. Very far away.
Bobby: Is it different where you’ve been? Don’t they have places like this?
Klaatu: Well, they have cemeteries, but not like this one. You see, they don’t have any wars.
Bobby: Gee, that’s a good idea.

Thoughts:

I was immediately engaged by the rousing Bernard Herrmann score, full of spooky theremin and eerie harmonies. But after that initial excitement, I confess I was disappointed. Rather than a great science-fiction story that works as an anti-war metaphor, The Day the Earth Stood Still is an anti-war message with a passable sci-fi story built around it. Worth a watch, but I won’t bother with it a second time.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jim Lawrence permalink
    August 19, 2010 1:43 pm

    Possibly my favourite sci-fi film, definitely the best from the 50s.

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