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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

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An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Edmund H. North (screen play), Harry Bates (based on a story by)
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Popularity
4,401 ( 1,409)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Rennie ... Klaatu
Patricia Neal ... Helen Benson
Hugh Marlowe ... Tom Stevens
Sam Jaffe ... Professor Jacob Barnhardt
Billy Gray ... Bobby Benson
Frances Bavier ... Mrs. Barley
Lock Martin Lock Martin ... Gort
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Storyline

Travelling with mind-boggling speed, a gleaming unidentified flying object zooming in from the boundless deep space, penetrates the Earth's atmosphere, landing smoothly in Cold War-Washington, D.C. Encircled by large yet feeble military forces, the peaceful intergalactic ambassador, Klaatu, emerges from the mysterious vessel accompanied by the silently dangerous robot of incomprehensible power, Gort, only to witness firsthand the earthlings' hospitality. The sophisticated humanoid declares that he comes in peace; however, he needs to assemble the world's greatest minds to hear his merciful warning and a definitive ultimatum. Is Klaatu the messenger of humanity's doom? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Strange Power From Another Planet Menaces The Earth! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Hindi | Russian

Release Date:

25 December 1951 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Journey to the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scenes of Gort carrying both Helen Benson and Klaatu up the ramp and into the ship, lightweight look-alike dummies were used because of Lock Martin's inability to actually carry either actor himself. See more »

Goofs

As pointed out in an earlier Goof, H.V. Kaltenborn refers to "the beautiful spring weather", whilst later on, the tag on the suit Klaatu has "borrowed" shows the date 7-18-51. Bobby, at one point, asks his mother if he has to go to school tomorrow, and later there's another reference to his being in school. Unless Bobby has been flunking out and is attending summer school, he would not be going to school in July. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
American Radar Operator: Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Elmer Davis, H.V. Kaltenborn, and Drew Pearson identify themselves when they appear on screen. Radio personality Gabriel Heatter is identified by an announcer. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent - Deeper Than You Think!
8 March 2003 | by lgkinney-1See all my reviews

A great Sci Fi flick from 1951 that carries a very deep message. Granted the props are hokie compared to today's standard, and the space suits pretty amateurish, but the script is excellent, and the theme contemporary.

I am not a religious nut, nor do I prescribe to the fundamentalist assault on our civil liberties, but this movie certainly carries a theocratic religious message which should be universally accepted. War and fighting among earth's nations will surely cause havoc among the planets of the universe and man must stop its mad race to destruction or leaders of the universe will do it for you.

Michael Rennie plays the role of a messenger from another world who gently, and with humbleness, attempts to convince the scientists of the world they must become active to carry the message to the world leaders of impending doom unless they change world policy on armament and war. The character portrayed by Rennie is tall, gentle, intelligent, soothing, yet firm. Who does he represent? Why Christ of course.

His speech, nature, demeanor, and message are all symbolic of a greater power coming back to earth to warn the people what might befall them unless they change their mad march toward destruction. This character is named appropriately, Mr. "Carpenter" (get the message) and even gets killed by soldiers bent on destroying this evil force from outer space. Mr Carpenter will even rise from the dead with assistance from his beloved robot assistant.

A great movie that will only get more popular with age. Certainly one of the best Sci Fi classics of all times.


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