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The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951 film review)

One of the few times I can remember getting chills after reading a story. I think it must have impacted my stepdad too, because he mentioned it several times over the years. The surprise factor is gone for me, but I still look forward to reading it. Your email address will not be published.

Your email:. Rick Jagodzinski on July 22, at am. Christie on July 22, at am. Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Korvali Chronicles trilogy. DOA series. Laffoley quotes Wright and his attempt in designing the exterior: " If cut, the rift would appear to heal like a wound, leaving a continuous surface with no scar". Principal outdoor photography for The Day the Earth Stood Still was shot on the 20th Century Fox sound stages and on its studio back lot now located in Century City, California , with a second unit shooting background plates and other scenes in Washington D.

Meade in Maryland. The shooting schedule was from April 9 to May 23, The primary actors never traveled to Washington for the making of the film. The military equipment shown, however, came from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment then stationed at Ft. Meade which supplied the vehicles, equipment and soldiers for the segments depicting Army operations. The robot Gort, who serves Klaatu, was played by Lock Martin , who worked as an usher at Grauman's Chinese Theater and stood seven feet, seven inches tall. Not used to being in such a confining, heat-inducing costume, he worked carefully when wearing the two oversize, laced-up-the-front or back, foamed neoprene suits needed for creating the illusion on screen of a seamless metallic Gort.

Wise decided that Martin's on-screen shooting time would be limited to half-hour intervals, so Martin, with his generally weak constitution, would face no more than minor discomfort. These segments, in turn, were then edited together into film's final print. In a commentary track on DVD, interviewed by fellow director Nicholas Meyer , Wise stated that he wanted the film to appear as realistic and believable as possible, in order to drive home the motion picture's core message against armed conflict in the real world. Blaustein said his aim with the film was to promote a "strong United Nations ".

The music score was composed by Bernard Herrmann in August , and was the first film score he composed after moving from New York to Hollywood. Herrmann chose unusual instrumentation for the film: violin, cello, and bass all three electric , two theremin electronic instruments played by Dr. Samuel Hoffman and Paul Shure , two Hammond organs , Fox studio's Wurlitzer organ, three vibraphones , two glockenspiels , marimba, tam-tam, two bass drums, three sets of timpani, two pianos, celesta, two harps, one horn, three trumpets, three trombones, and four tubas.

Variety praised the documentary style of The Day the Earth Stood Still and its reviewer wrote that "the yarn is told interestingly enough and imbued with sufficient science-fiction lures and suspense so that only seldom does its moralistic wordiness get in the way Cast, although secondary to the story, works well".

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It is by far the best of the science-fiction pictures yet produced. It holds one's interest undiminished from start to finish and, although the theme is admittedly fantastic, one is made to feel as if he is seeing a real-life occurrence because of the expert handling of the subject matter and the extremely fine special effects work". Bernard Herrmann 's score also received a nomination at the Golden Globes. In , it was ranked number 82 on Years The Day the Earth Stood Still was acknowledged as the fifth best film in the science fiction genre.

Lou Cannon and Colin Powell believed that the film inspired Ronald Reagan to discuss uniting against an alien invasion when meeting Mikhail Gorbachev in Two years later, Reagan told the United Nations, "I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world". The Day the Earth Stood Still is now considered one of the best films released in Clarke 's list of the best science fiction films of all time, just above Stanley Kubrick 's A Space Odyssey , which Clarke himself co-wrote.

Since the release of the film, the phrase " Klaatu barada nikto " has appeared repeatedly in fiction and in popular culture. The Robot Hall of Fame described it as "one of the most famous commands in science fiction", [42] while Frederick S.

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Clarke of Cinefantastique called it "the most famous phrase ever spoken by an extraterrestrial". Patricia Neal had a problem speaking the phrase, though she was proud of the film overall. Michael would patiently watch me bite my lips to avoid giggling and ask, with true British reserve, 'Is that the way you intend to play it? Edmund H. North , who wrote The Day the Earth Stood Still , also created the alien language used in the film, including the iconic phrase "Klaatu barada nikto". The official spelling for the phrase comes directly from the script as shown in the adjacent image and provides insight as to its proper pronunciation.

No translation was given in the film. Philosophy professor Aeon J.


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Skoble speculates the famous phrase is a "safe-word" that is part of a fail-safe feature used during diplomatic missions such as the one Klaatu and Gort make to Earth. With the use of the safe-word, Gort's deadly force can be deactivated in the event the robot is mistakenly triggered into a defensive posture. Skoble observes that the theme has evolved into a "staple of science fiction that the machines charged with protecting us from ourselves will misuse or abuse their power".


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Fantastic Films explored the meaning of "Klaatu barada nikto" in a article titled "The Language of Klaatu". The article, written by Tauna Le Marbe, who is listed as is "alien linguistics editor", attempts to translate all the alien words Klaatu used throughout the film. Robert Wise , the director of the film, conveyed an account of Edmund North telling him, "Well, it's just something I kind of cooked up.

I thought it sounded good". Florence Blaustein, widow of the producer Julian Blaustein, said North had to pass a street called Baroda every day going to work and indicated "I think that's how that was born. The film was remade in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Theatrical release poster.

Play media. Bernard Herrmann. Main article: Klaatu barada nikto. British Board of Film Classification. September 20, Retrieved September 21, Retrieved: June 19, Retrieved: February 1, Retrieved: 1 February Archived August 7, , at the Wayback Machine laffoleyarchive. Meade Museum. Retrieved: November 22, Turner Classic Movies. Donald Willis.

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New York and London: Garland Publishing, Harrison's Reports : September 8, The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, Retrieved: May 23, Clarke's Top 12 sci-fi movies". Retrieved December 29, Rotten Tomatoes. Cinefantastique , , p. As I Am: An Autobiography. January 4, Retrieved December 17, Gebert, Michael. New York: St.

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American Visual Cultures. London: Continuum International Publishing Group, Matthews, Melvin E.. New York: Algora Publishing, Shermer, Michael.