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   THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) 

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CAST
Michael Rennie
Patricia Neal
Hugh Marlowe
Sam Jaffe
Billy Gray
Frances Bavier
Lock Martin

DIRECTED BY
Robert Wise

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 92 mins.
Rating: G
Genre: Science Fiction/Drama


SYNOPSIS: An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach to get the Earth's attention.

BOTTOM LINE: One of the first and best sci-fi films about alien visitation as an attempt to curb humanity's penchant for violence against one another. A film where the aliens aren't out to harm us necessarily, just if we become a nuisance to the rest of the beings living peacefully in the universe. Klaatu's (Rennie) sudden arrival in his impenetrable spaceship, along with a giant robot guard, sends the people of D.C. into a panic. His mission is one of peace and one that was unnecessary until humans developed the atomic bomb. All he wants is to deliver his message and return home.

It takes a spectacular stunt – he makes the Earth stand still – to finally get the leaders of the world to understand the seriousness of his presence. Unfortunately, not in the way Klaatu intended. In the end, the belief of a young boy and his mother shows the world how important Klaatu's message of tolerance is to the Earth's future. This is a simple, thought-provoking story that delivers its' ideas with intelligence, subtlety and heart. Rennie is perfect as Klaatu, giving him just the right amount of righteousness, compassion and impatience one would expect from a more evolved being. Neal also stands out as the protective mother forced to help save the world. Not a fancy film to look at, but one that still has relevance today.




"I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it."

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