The Day the Earth Stood Still
Celebrate 75 years of Sci-Fi from 20th Century Fox. An alien emissary gives a dramatic demonstration of power when he attempts to warn mankind about the folly of atomic experimentation.
© 1951 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Renewed 1979 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
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A sci-fi, pro-peace classic with some threats and violence.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 12see all The Day the Earth Stood Still reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Rotten: It is comforting, of course, to have it made plain that our planetary neighbors are much wiser and more peaceful than are we, but this makes for a tepid entertainment in what is anamolously labeled the science-fiction field.
- Bosley Crowther, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Fresh: Like most of Robert Wise's work, this slickly constructed 1951 science fiction film settles squarely in the middle of its genre, better than some and worse than others.
- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Monday, June 4, 2007
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a science fiction classic. It is not because of razzle dazzle effects, but because of the story and message.This 90 minute tale of aliens and peace isn't necessarily all that deep and explanatory, however it is interesting. This film doesn't believe in wasting time as it jumps right into the landing of a spacecraft. "Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant." Those first lines say it all. Anyway, the movie immediately grabs interest, but leaves the answers to the more interesting questions to the end. This means the rest of the film is buildup for the conclusion.During the movie, the dialogue is written in a way for the viewer to learn a little about alien lifestyles, while the human characters on screen think it is just regular conversation. Pretty entertaining if you ask me.The effects are cheap looking, but it is decent for its time and the fact that this movie is black and white helps these effects look less ridiculous. Gort the robot is a little disappointing because it is easily noticeable that it is a person in a suit.A quick note on the sound effects and soundtrack. They are nicely done and play a big part in making this movie what it is.The casting is a plus. Michael Rennie, while a little bland at times, is a great Klaatu and Patricia Neal is just fantastic. There is just something about her voice that grabs my attention.The plot is fairly simple and the message is a little silly, but The Day the Earth Stood Still is an original science fiction film. "Klaatu barada nikto!"
- skactopus, Sunday, April 12, 2009
Another unsubtle "classic." Sometimes I wonder if 1950's most vocal critics really just liked having things spelled out for them - and on that note, I wonder if films of a similar vein, such as Crash, will be viewed as "classics" fifty years from now. Perish the thought. Anyway, for all the illumination this manages not to do, it's still a well-paced and occasionally thematically interesting piece of sci-fi. The special effects have aged incredibly poorly...Gort is an absolute embarrassment. What kind of robot wrinkles at the knees when he walks? If you can get past that, though, the movie is still entirely watchable, and downright fun at times.
- ceWEBrity, Thursday, February 5, 2009
Endlessly engrossing landmark science fiction about an alien, Klaatu, that comes to Earth with a warning. He is compelled to pose as an ordinary human and takes refuge with a sympathetic widow and her son. These quiet scenes where he interacts with her family and son are quite effective. Intelligent script's dark outlook regarding human society, heavily influenced by the Cold War of the 1950s, is still relevant. Ambiguous ending could have been more powerful, however.
- hobster1, Sunday, December 21, 2008