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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 Wikipedia

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Rant: The Day the Earth Stood Still Remake Is Pure, Sucky Evil


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) trailer

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) trailer

The Golden Age of Sci-Fi Cinema

The Golden Age of Science Fiction

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“The Day the Earth Stood Still” DVD

Starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neil, Hugh Marlowe, Marshall Bradford, Francis Bavier, Billy Gray | Released: 1951

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” Two-Disc Special Edition DVD

Starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neil, Hugh Marlowe, Marshall Bradford, Francis Bavier, Billy Gray | Released: 1951


Film review by Scott Mowry | December 2008

What at first blush may seem like a daffy, 50's sci-fi style B-movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" turns out to be a truly classic movie, with a very timely message to offer for the current state of the human race.

Perhaps this notion served as an inspiration for the producers to remake this film for a 2008 audience. But, most likely, that is probably wishful thinking.

Many parts of the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still," first released in 1951, come across as cheesy, even laughable by today's more sophisticated standards. Yet surprisingly, overall this is an excellent message movie about environmental destruction; mindless nuclear war; senseless human conflict; and of course, interaction with an extra-terrestrial race, that still holds value today.

Amazing how little has changed in the last fifty-seven years!

The film stars Michael Rennie (pictured immediately left), who plays a cultured, urbane alien named "Klattu," who lands in the middle of Washington, DC aboard his sleek, Art-Deco style space ship. Naturally, nearly all of the humans he encounters behave rather badly to their unannounced guest, whether it be a person of military, government or civilian persuasion, save for one special mother and son tandem.

Billy Gray (pictured below) who portrays the young boy/son named Bobby Benson, immediately befriends the alien Klattu, although by that time, he has changed his name to Mr. Carpenter, as to appear more normal. Klattu is forced to go into hiding from the government that has quickly come to the brilliant conclusion that he is nothing but a monster, for refusing to cooperate with its wishes.

While fleeing the long arm of the law, Mr. Carpenter ducks into a boarding house to reside in incognito, as he carries out the vital mission he came to Earth to fulfill. However, he manages to both charm and scare his fellow boarders, in the process.

Particularly, the young boy's mother, Helen, portrayed by Patricia Neil, who is at first cordial but becomes increasingly skeptical of Mr. Klattu/Carpenter, especially after learning her son followed him to his space ship one night! However, Klattu eventually manages to win her over that his intentions are assuredly altruistic and proves it by staging a global power blackout designed to grab the world's attention that he means business! This action gets them caught together in an elevator where she becomes his greatest ally.

If nothing else, that Mr. Klattu is a charmer!

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" features an enduring theme of highlighting how stupid, if not downright primitive, that human beings can behave, especially when reacting in fear, and, sadly, this seems to be the most sobering message that the film delivers.

Frankly, we humans have a very poor track record of relating to one another, let alone speculating on how we might react to a benevolent alien visitor who has come to warn us of our wicked ways. Within minutes of stepping out of his space craft to greet the human race, Klattu is shot by the military and must be hospitalized.

Overall, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is a classic film, not only from a cinematic perspective, but also from the point of view as a timeless message.

Don't make the mistake of dismissing it as just another goofy alien flick from the Golden Age of Science Fiction, such as cult classics like "Invasion of the Saucer Men" and "It Came from Outer Space." There is real substance here, based on the short story by Harry Bates entitled, "Farewell to the Master," which was lovingly and carefully adapted by screenwriter Edmund H. North.

Ironically, even despite its stylistic shortcomings, the original version of this film doesn't appear to be dated. Therefore, a remake would seem almost superfluous and could tarnish the legacy of its classic nature.

Yet, that is precisely what has been done to "The Day the Earth Stood Still." But perhaps it may spark a renewed interest in the original.

We wait with baited breath!

Although "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is being remade for a 2008 audience, (starring Keanu Reeves in the lead role), judging by its initial preview trailers, it appears that it will take a much more ominous and doomy tone, which cannot be surprising. Given the rash of prophetic UFO/alien films being force fed to the public like the recent "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "Independence Day," "War of the Worlds," and many others, there appears to be a deliberate campaign to make the world's people more conscious of extra-terrestrials.

What also is no surprise is the release date has been scheduled for December 12, 2008 with the number 12/12 being a very powerful one, from a numerological standpoint. Therefore, there can be no coincidence that this film has ben chosen to be remade, as it may provide further evidence that some kind of staged UFO/alien invasion is in the offing, in our near future.

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