Day the Earth Stood Still
Release Date: 1951 (by 20th
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.
Director: Robert Wise.
Composer: Bernard Herrman
Cast: Michael Rennie (Klaatu/Mr. Carpenter); Patricia Neal (Helen Benson); Hugh Marlowe (Tom Stevens); Sam Jaffe (Dr. Barnhardt); Billy Gray (Bobby Benson); Francis Bavier (Mrs. Barley); Lock Martin (Gort); Drew Pearson (himself); Frank Conroy (Harley)
Click here to hear the introductory music RealAudio required (Courtesy of MovieTunes)
A saucer-shaped UFO lands in Washington, D.C. and is promptly surrounded by the military. Klaatu emerges, and in short order, is shot by a trigger-happy soldier. As he lays writhing on the ground, an eight foot tall gleaming metallic robot, Gort, emerges from the spaceship and begins vaporizing the weapons on the scene, until he is stopped by Klaatu. After being taken to Walter Reed Hospital, Klaatu asks for nothing less than a meeting with all of the world's leaders.
He is told by a Presidential aide that such a meeting would be impossible, due to deep political divisions in the world. After escaping from the hospital, Klaatu assumes the identity of an ordinary man, taking residence in a boarding home. He befriends fellow boarder, Mrs. Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) and her son Bobby (Billy Gray) and uses this time to explore. Revealing himself to an Einstein-like scientist, Professor Barnhardt, Klaatu states that he will demonstrate his powers in a non-violent way in order to convince Earth's leaders of the need for a meeting with him.
After stopping virtually all electricity worldwide for a half hour, Klaatu is tracked down by the military and shot dead attempting to escape. At Klaatu's request, Helen Benson locates Gort and repeats a command given to her to stop the robot from using its full destructive powers. After being brought back to life by Gort, Klaatu warns an assembly of scientists that humankind must cease its warlike ways, which would inevitably threaten its planetary neighbors, or face destruction itself. Klaatu further reveals that his home world was a member of an organization of planets that had created a "race of robots" to preserve the peace, entrusted with "absolute power" in matters relating to aggression. With that said, Klaatu and Gort hastily depart, leaving the audience to ponder his words.
Based on the short story "Farewell to the Master", this is a classic film which came out at a time when there was paranoia in the United States over the Cold War.
Links to other Day the Earth Stood Still sites:
Dreamer's The Day The Earth Stood Still - A fantastic site with much information about the film and the story it was based on.
Gort - an excellent site on the film
Alien Saviour - Is Klaatu our saviour?
EarthStation1 - A dedicated page of wavs from the film
The movie is now finally available to buy on DVD!
The following posters are available to order
Internet Movie Database listing for film
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