A flying saucer lands in Washington, DC A humanoid alien and a
The humanoid interacts with some locals, including an Einstein-like
scientist, as well as a suburban mother and child. The military
kills the humanoid.
With the help of his robot Gort, as well as the Earth mother, the
man-like alien is brought back to life. The alien gives an anti-nuclear
speech to the gathered Washingtonians, then exits in the saucer
with his robot.
Director Robert Wise's THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a lean,
poetic, Sci-Fi classic.
A large silver saucer lands in Washington, DC A humanoid alien and
a larger robot emerge, preaching peace.
The humanoid has some mixed adventures amongst Washington's population.
While a family treats him well, the same can not be said for the
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is based on the short story, "Farewell
to the Master", by Harry Bates. Interestingly, in Bates source
story the robot turned out to be the one in control, with the alien
humanoid in a support position.
Michael Rennie (Hotel) as the regal alien humanoid alien Klaatu,
still impresses. With his wonderful speaking voice, and soulful
manner, Rennie makes a uniquely compelling alien ambassador.
Patricia Neal (Hud) brings her own, classy spin to the required
brunette semi-love object. Under Wise's even direction, she comes
across genuinely terrified in her robot encounters.
Gort, the robot with the laser eyes, was played by Lock Martin.
One of the tallest actors in the business at the time, his extreme
height makes the robot rather scary and threatening, a boogie man
for the atomic age.
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL has many Christ allegories. Michael
Rennie's human-like alien is named "John Carpenter". He
is killed and brought back to life. I didn't pick up on this religious
stuff as a kid. It's fairly subtle, not at all heavy handed.
The verbal message that Rennie asks Patricia Neal to tell the robot,
to deactivate him, is "Gort, Klaatu barada nikto" Of course,
Sci-Fi trivia buffs know this already.
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL will be highly watchable for most
Sci-Fi viewers. Alien visitor/robot fans will dig this one. THE
DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is worth sitting still for!
BEST BETS: ET and STARMAN.