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Showing 1-10 of 22 reviews(4 star). See all 210 reviews
on April 10, 2010
One of the best Science Fiction Movies of all time "D.E.S.S" never shows it's age. Story wise that is. Sure the special effects are not I.L.A.M calibre, but for the time they were state of the art. The STORY is what makes the movie. Harry Bates story is turned into movie magic by Edmund Norths screenplay.
Mankind is warned (Once again) that if they do not change their ways that it will lead to their destruction. If not by their own hand then by Michael Rennies. Patricia Neal over does it at the end of the movie, but I think that has more to do with Robert Wise' Direction than her acting. I think he wanted a bit more scare factor for the audience. I do not want to give away any more of the movie than necessary for those who have not seen it. Just to say it was a Timeless piece of celluloid then and plastic now.
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on August 11, 2016
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on March 17, 2003
"The Day The Earth Stood Still" is a fable for adults, the moral of the story being that mankind is doomed to self destruct unless he mends his ways and chooses peace over war. The film stars Michael Rennie as the human/alien space traveller and Patricia Neal as the earthling who learns his secret. Robert Wise has directed, perhaps, the best sci-fi movie of the decade, with adept concision and wit. This is a classic that still holds its own.
The DVD transfer from FOX is near pristine. Although it is self evident from the main title sequence onward that major restoration work has been done on the film, there is still a considerable amount of video noise present in background information, particularly in the opening scenes where the space ship lands in Washington. Also in this sequence, are nicks, chips and scratches inherent in the original camera negative. Some minor shimmering details are detected but nothing that will terribly distract. The stunning "film noir-ish" photography is, for the most part, beautifully rendered on this DVD. The soundtrack has been remixed to 5.1 and is worthy of mention here.
Extras include a "making-of" documentary that was part of the original laserdisc release some time ago and a restoration comparison that illustrates the extent of work that has been done on this DVD transfer. OVERALL: A very worthwhile disc to add to one's collection.
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on June 17, 2000
This is one of the best and most intelligent Science-Fiction films of all time. At the time it was made, Cold War paranoia was rampant and the threat of 'the bomb' was more and more becoming a reality. And that is where this film came along, it was made at a time when films 'tried to make a difference' and burried beneath the metallic exterior of 'The Day The Earth...' is a message, a message of peace, but put into sci-fi context; aliens come to earth and warn 'Peace, or else...'. When you take a look at all the pre-70's sci-fi films 'The Day...' stands out like a sore thumb, it is one of the few that have stood the test of time and that continue to captivate people of all ages. But the success of the film not only lies in the material it also features an excellent cast. Michael Rennie is perfect for the part, he has a coldness and a sense of absence of feeling that fits perfectly. Robert Wise also directed with great assurance, adding timeless elements, such as Gort the eight-foot indestructible robot and the important message that Patricia Neal is give to save the earth from destruction; Klatu...Barada...Nikto, those words linger in your mind long afterwards. The metallic electronic score also adds to the effect. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film an 8!
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on May 30, 2009
though this movie was released in 1951,it's just as relevant today as
it was's about an alien who lands on earth,for reasons unknown
at shows people react in general.but it's really a moral about
humanity and our fear of such an event.i have no doubt this would be
the same in real life.but ultimately it's about hope.anyway,i liked the
movie,and its positive doesn't try to utilize special
effects that seem would eventually become dated and fact,the
use of special effects is limited.instead it focuses more on's
actually,i think, a very important movie.for me,The day the Earth Stood
Still is a solid 4/5
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on May 1, 2001
It's been some time since I've seen it but this is one of the better 50's sci-fi movies. Some of the science may be weak( movies still do that) and some of the dialogue as well (Frances Bavier talking about THEM, meaning the Soviets is an example) but this is a generally well thought out and developed movie. I liked the way people responded to Klaatu's appearance on Earth and the warning he gave about our atomic weapons programs. The demonstration of power by stopping just about everything on Earth but Hospitals and aircraft in flight (the Earth stood still)was quite a way to get everyone's attention, that and correcting the mistake in the Professor's formula were nice touches. Considering what was probably a low budget those guys did very well indeed, where are they when we need them now?
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on July 15, 2003
Two conditions are necessary if you want to see this film: 1) You have to be a sci-fi fan, or at least have an open mind to the genre. 2) You certainly cannot be one of those people who mock at dated special effects. If you meet these two requirements, then you certainly can enjoy "The Day the Earth stood still", one of the capital films made during the Cold War paranoia.
If you're reading this, then you must be a fan already. But just in case you never heard about it before, this is one of those genre pieces everyone knows, even if they've never seen it. It's about an alien visitor who comes to Washington DC in the early 1950's. He brings a message of peace and a warning to the human world, but he gets shot right away when he sets foot off his ship. After escaping the hospital, the alien (Klatuu), who looks exactly like a human, must pass himself as a citizen and stop his robot, Gort, from destroying the Earth in retaliation. In a time of paranoia, tense conflicts and stubborn world leaders (what else is new?), the message that Klatuu brings is, however, difficult to swallow: the only answer to mankind's rule of violence is totalitarism.
The debate about the message continues even today. It doesn't matter if you agree or not, it is as powerful today as it was during the Cold War. Unlike the giant insects movies of the 40's or the silly space serials, "The Day..." tried to make a serious statment using sci-fi form. It certainly suceeded, because the movie became a cult classic right away, and the robot Gort was to be one the most recognizable movie icons of all time. The special effects look silly today, but an intelligent script knows how to extract the juice out of the story and avoid the campy elements (mainly because there is very little action).
Now, Fox surely took a sweet time into releasing the film on DVD, but the edition is well worth the wait. The transfer is nearly spotless, both in video quality and sound. Apart from the special editions of "Psycho" and "Night of the Living Dead", I don't think I've ever seen a B&W restoration this good. I would like to know, however, why it's not in Widescreen format. Maybe somebody else can answer that for me. And the extras surely are great. The disc includes an audio commentary by director Robert Wise, as well a 1 hour documentary about the film and the cult that followed. This documentary includes interviews with the director and producer, among others (and what the heck is Joe Dante doing there anyway?). There's also tons of picture images, including the original posters. One more thing: among the trailers featured on the B-side there was the one from "5 million years BC" (you know, the cavemen movie starring Raquel Welch). Does that mean they're going to release that little jewel on DVD as well? I can't wait!
So, to end this extremely long review, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is getting the DVD edition it deserves. It even has Spanish subtitles. Let's hope other cult classics are as lucky as this one.
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on February 14, 2004
While its anti-war sentiments border on preachy, The Day the Earth Stood Still is, nonetheless, an excellent film and one of the first science fiction films designed for the thinking person.
Michael Rennie is well-cast in the role of Klaato, an alien who carries with him both a message of hope and a warning to the people of the Earth. The military, as usual, is portrayed in a somewhat unfavorable light (trigger-happy). Patricia Neal plays the mother of a boy that Klaato befriends.
I think one of the reasons this movie works so well is the stark black and white photography employed by Robert Wise (who went on to direct Andromeda Strain, among other films). The special effects are very good for the period, although Gort looks, and at times, moves, like an early version of the Michelin Man, or even Barney. The soundtrack is effectively eerie--and most certainly identified with the genre.
Overall, the movie is deservedly a classic. Although it has its faults, it most assuredly is a standard bearer amongst science fiction fans.
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on March 8, 2003
The music that accompanies this picture is definitely THE definitive spooky sci-fi music. Patricia Neal was a classic beauty and emminently believeable in this role. The kid who plays her son showed up later as "Bud" in Father Knows Best. Now the bad part: the speechifying Rennie does at the end is a turn-off for people who are politically aware and conservative. Rennie basically advocates turning Earth's sovereignty over to a galactic United Nations, including the threat of complete annihilation if we don't "obey" and "stay within the guidelines" and "play nice with each other". Given the UN's recent performance as an effete and impotent debating society that accomplishes nothing this would seem to be bad advice. I cannot watch the movie anymore without that last soliloquy souring the overall great effect. I know, get over it. Gort is definitely cool, though. Only understands Latin, understated malevolence, the threat of violence to keep you in line, the original Robocop. A UN with actual teeth, a backbone, and true impartiality, unlike anything we have now. Maybe it would work? These are scary times, but it was just as scary back then - it was 1951, we just got out of a war 6 years ago, now we're in Korea providing the men, muscle, and blood for a UN-sanctioned "police action" against an insane Communist dictator running a bellicose North Korea and backed up by China, plus we've just realized we're in a nuclear stare-down with the Soviets. The movie's an interesting look at how all this was spilling over into the culture's entertainment.
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on September 19, 2003
Despite being 52 years old I think this movie holds up very well, decent plot and for the time great special effects(the saucer coming in for a landing looks good even by today's standards), the dialog gets a little preachy sometimes but not too bad.
DVD Features: I like these extras, it just adds to a great movie.
Commentary by director Robert Wise and Nicolas Meyer
70-Minute "Making the Earth Stand Still" Documentary
Movietone Newsreel (1951)
Restoration Comparison
5 Still Galleries
Shooting Script
Theatrical Trailer
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