The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

DVD - 2002
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"A spaceship lands in Washington, D.C., capturing the attention of the world. But the alien emissary it brings refuses to reveal his mission to any single government, leaving the military, the politicians, and millions of ordinary people to wait in fear. Soon their distrust turns to calls for violence. But one young woman and her son befriend him-- and soon realize that they may be all that stands between the human race and total destruction"--Container.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, Calif. : Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment, [2002]
Edition: Full frame.
Copyright Date: ©2002
Branch Call Number: DAY
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 92 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.

Opinion

From Library Staff

The original (1951)

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librarymovieguy Nov 27, 2013

What I love about the 1951 original is what the director (Robert Wise) DIDN'T do. He did not attempt any special effects that were beyond the cinematic capabilities of the day. In their place, he used alternate ways to communicate. For example, to let you know that the ultra-fast object approachi... Read More »


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t
Truthxtruth
Sep 11, 2017

A timeless message for us all, a must see!

plotline Jun 05, 2017

Peerless

"There must be security for all or no one is secure."- Klaatu, to the world's leaders at the conclusion of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.

Here is the ne plus ultra for sci-fi movies. It does not pander to the child in us like E.T. It does not befuddle with dazzling images like 2001. Though it does present a threat from outer space, it does not take the form of a drooling, acid-for-blood whatsis with razor fangs and a taste for human flesh. Instead, it proposes that there are indeed humanoid lifeforms in existence off the Earth with, dare I write it, powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men (though Klaatu can't fly and is in no way bulletproof).

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is intelligent, engrossing and damn scary. Director Robert Wise (yup, he directed WEST SIDE STORY, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and, unfortunately, the first STAR TREK movie), with the invaluable aid of Edmund H. North's fine script, utilizes a spare, noirish style to deliver a powerful statement about man's capacity for self-destruction. Only 92 minutes long, the film says volumes without sermonizing about a serious topic. And it does so most entertainingly. It makes the fantastic seem not only plausible but very likely.

Bernard Herrmann creates a persistent mood of uneasiness with the vibrating eeriness of his Therimin-driven music. Michael Rennie's urbane spaceman radiates a barely contained bemusement and contempt for the violence prone humans he faces. In this early role, Patricia Neal displays how gifted she was at conveying subtle emotional shifts. Through the eyes of Billy Gray we see wonder, puzzlement and terror as only a child can experience them but without condescension.

Lastly, in all the annals of sci-fi moviedom few can match the unstoppable power of Gort. Klaatu barada nikto..... (And please don't waste your time with the utter failure that is the 2008 Keanu Reeves remake; just revel in the enduring excellence of the original).

3/25/16

f
flyfisher88
May 20, 2017

I saw the original when I was a boy and even then I knew it was a classic. The remake was about as awful as it gets. Michael Rennie was a great actor and played the spaceman part to a tee. Do not get the original version mixed up with "the Reeves" version. The latest version stinks

d
dAP_016
May 01, 2017

This film was ok.
We watched it in order to make a comparison to the 1951 version; you should check that out if you haven't already.
We liked the original version much more.

d
Derringer
Feb 09, 2016

Travelling at warp-speed (that's 4000 mph.) and taking a 5-month, 250 million mile journey to get here, The Day The Earth Stood Still's story has Klaatu, the very distinguished and cool-headed alien, arriving in Washington, DC in order to deliver his dire, top-priority message to all of us naughty-naughty Earthlings.

After being observed for many years by other outer-planetary civilizations, it has been determined that (through the discovery of atomic power) we Earthlings, with our unbridled destructiveness, have become a very-very serious threat to the overall peace and security of the other planets which exist in this endlessly vast universe.

Klaatu must now address all nations of the Earth and somehow convince one and all to cease with these violent ways, or else face some mighty devastating consequences.

You can bet that if Klaatu's firm words of warning can't induce us Earthlings to reconsider our ways, then, believe me, Gort, the all-powerful robot, definitely has his own special brand of persuasion that doesn't take "No" for an answer.

Trust me - In spite of its obvious flaws, The Day The Earth Stood Still is, without question, a classic Sci-Fi/Thriller that's really worth a view.... And "Klaatu barada nikto!" to you, too!

P.S. - This film's 2008 remake was an absolutely despicable desecration of the highest order.

Vincent T Lombardo Sep 19, 2015

I am not a fan of science fiction, but I LOVE this movie! It is riveting! The cast, screenplay, and even the special effects are great. It also provides food for thought.

Aka_Aka_Aka Feb 05, 2015

*My 2 favourite movie quotes* - "You don't seem to know much about anything, do you, Mr. Carpenter?".... (and).... "Klaatu barada nikto!"

When it comes to the Sci-Fi sub-genre of "Alien Visitation" flicks, I honestly don't think that they get much more intelligent and thought-provoking as this sparkling gem from 1951.

If there are other such "Alien Visitation" flicks out there (other than E.T.) that do promote this satisfying level of genuine intelligence in their stories, then I would sure like to hear about them. (Please feel free to message me with their titles)

Impressively directed by Robert Wise, The Day The Earth Stood Still actually did manage to deliver quite a seamless and evocative blend of the ordinary melded very nicely with the fantastic.

This is the sort of motion picture that really gives the viewer the pleasant opportunity of actually getting to know (and, maybe, even like) its characters. It's true.

Trust me - In spite of its flaws, The Day The Earth Stood Still is, without question, a classic Sci-Fi/Thriller that's certainly worth its weight in gold.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Mar 03, 2014

The story of this 1951 film, shot in B&W and with fairly poor special effect (by today's standard), is fairly original and carried a message for mankind. In some way it topped the more recent version starring Keanu Reeves. An intelligent watch for all sci-fi fans.

w
wesley4444
Feb 11, 2014

Retitled - "The Day The Earth Got Stupid And Went to McDonalds"_____ Put bluntly, to compare this dreadful remake to the glowing, 1951 original would be like comparing a bucket of steaming vomit to, say, a garden of delicate violets, or something to that general effect._____ Do you suppose that the filmmakers of this stinkin' excuse for a remake were so bloody conceited as to believe that they were actually improving on the original?_____ Like, how many new levels of sheer stupidity can one movie stoop to before it falls flat on its face?_____ It totally killed me that this hypocritical, little flick actually preached that well-worn cliche which warns us all that "Violence is not the answer to our problems" - And, yet, all that this film was about was excessive violence (for it own sake?)._____ And, how fitting it was that an all-important meeting (of profound significance) which took place between Klaatu and a fellow alien-being was done over cokes in a crappy, old McDonalds._____ Doesn't actor Keanu Reeves know any other facial expressions besides that of a blank stare?_____ And actor Jaden Smith (Will Smith's no-talent son) was a despicable, snot-nosed suck who made my skin just crawl. -

librarymovieguy Nov 27, 2013

What I love about the 1951 original is what the director (Robert Wise) DIDN'T do. He did not attempt any special effects that were beyond the cinematic capabilities of the day. In their place, he used alternate ways to communicate. For example, to let you know that the ultra-fast object approaching the Earth is worrisome, you're shown frightened people pointing at the sky and concerned-looking newsreaders from around the world. It's extremely low-tech, but gets the message across. As a result, TDTESS holds up very well today, not only as a great sci-fi film but also as a subtle commentary on early Cold War paranoia.

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wesley4444
Feb 11, 2014

Ahhh.......im scared

aaa5756 May 15, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

aaa5756 May 15, 2013

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” -Winston Churchill

Sunnchilde Nov 29, 2011

"Are you aware of an imminent attack on the planet Earth?" "You should let me go."

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h3chiu
May 29, 2013

h3chiu thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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bluedragon123
Jan 18, 2010

bluedragon123 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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