Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Day the Earth Stood Still |
Two-Disc Special Edition
Actors: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Lock Martin
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Rating: NR Release Date: 2-DEC-2008 Media Type: DVD
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Remember back when nothing "happened" in movies?
Michael G. Brennan | NJ USA | 05/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching this recently, it amazed me how little action there is in this movie, and yet it remains as captivating and enthralling as ever. There are none of the set pieces we have come to expect in modern genre films: no explosions, no gory deaths, one small chase scene. Tension is developed through character development and the wonderful performances of Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie, with some wonderful supporting work from Sam Jaffe and Frances Bavier (Mayberry's Aunt Bea!)There are very few special effects: the odd tank disappears in a glow of light, but other than that, this is a film driven by character development. Taut direction by Robert Wise, straightforward writing from Edmund North and impressive cinematography by Leo Tower create an intelligent, literate, adult science fiction film that appeals to all ages.Special mention must be made of Bernard Herrmann's haunting score. One of the first film scores to use Leon Theremin's eerie and eponymous electronic instrument, which unfortunately became a genre cliché, the music adds immeasurably to the tense and unsettling atmosphere.Modern audiences may find the film's message heavy handed and obvious, relying on 1950's atomic paranoia and the absolute power it brought. In fact, Klaatu's proffered peaceful solution borders on totalianarianism. But these are minor considerations considering this is a simple story stunningly told.The DVD contains many interesting extras of interest to film buffs and collectors, including a shooting script, extended discussions on the evolution of the film from idea to release, and an odd look at the people fascinated with collecting 1950's sci-fi film props and paraphernalia."
Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In many respects THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a very dated film. Obviously a comment on Cold War paranoias, it has little in the way of special effects or high-class production values, Edmund H. North's script is surprisingly talky, and it captures the very clunky look of late-1940s/early-1950s America to an uncomfortable degree. Certainly few involved in the project took it very seriously--even leading lady Patricia Neal admitted that she and Michael Rennie had tremendous difficulty keeping straight faces while spouting "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!" But strangely, against all the odds, the film continues to speak, capturing the imagination of each new generation that sees it.The film's enduring power seems to arise from its very simplicity, which lifts the story of a visitor from outer space from mere sci-fi pulp to the level of a parable. As frequently noted, the film contains significant religious symbolism. It is easy to read the visitor as Christ, the woman who befriends him as Mary Magdalene, the man who betrays him as Judas, and the message the visitor brings as both call to repentance and opportunity for redemption--and whatever one's actual religious beliefs, the film taps into these archetypes to create a very effective modern morality tale that works on several levels. At the same time, the film makes a surprisingly acid comment on American and international politics, small minded bigotry, and media hysteria that still rings true today. And the film has surprising visual power. Although the cinematography is very basic, and the design of both the spaceship and the robot Gort are very simple, they combine to create a number of startling images: the first moment that Gort is seen standing on the spaceship's ramp; the spacecraft interior; Gort as he menaces a screaming Patricia Neal--images so simple and yet so powerful that they have become part of our cultural landscape.The cast plays very unpretentiously and cleanly, and although Rennie and Neal may have snickered on the set none of it shows in their performances. Both are very memorable. Hugh Marlowe is appropriately smarmy as Neal's unpleasant boyfriend, and Sam Jaffe and Billy Gray are enjoyable in their supporting roles; film buffs will also enjoy seeing Frances Bavier (television's "Aunt Bea") in a rare film appearance. Robert Wise's direction is impressively unobtrusive, and any review that did not reference Bernard Herrman's brilliant score--which easily doubles the film's effectiveness--would be incredibly remiss. If you want computer generated special effects, evil aliens, and lots of blood-letting, you should look elsewhere... but if you want something to think about, and something that will hold up under repeated viewings, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is strongly recommended."
SF drama at its best!
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom | Minnesota, USA | 01/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This classic movie has aged very well -- even after 50 years it's still highly watchable and completely relevant. Some of the dialogue -- such as the discussion about how difficult it would be to get all of Earth's heads of state together in the same room -- could be taken from today's headlines. Also like today, the scientists find it easier to meet on common ground than the politicians! (Watch out for the cigarette smoking, though --- even the doctors light up in the hospital hallways! Oh well, that's really how it was back in the 50s. At the same time, it's neat to see all those "classic" cars and other props.) This film goes to show that special effects (of which this movie has relatively few) are not necessary for effective science fiction. With good actors performing an excellent script, it doesn't really matter that the robot is a man in a rubber costume or the flying saucer looks a bit fakey when it first comes down to earth. You soon get so caught up in the story, that it's easy to suspend disbelief and let it be real. (I'm very glad they didn't colorize this, because the B&W lighting effects are a big part of the illusion. Adding color would ruin it.) Precisely because the script doesn't go into much detail about how the spaceship works, it doesn't seem as dated as many other 1950s films. The minimalist interior of the UFO simply suggests technology so far advanced, that you can fill in explanations with your own imagination. (Frankly, I like this approach much better than the constant technobabble in recent Star Trek episodes.) Michael Rennie plays a highly intelligent alien who could be a forerunner of Spock (minus the pointed ears), and Sam Jaffe is just wonderful as the Einstein-like scientist whose unbridled curiousity and openess toward the unknown is a fine role model for us all. This movie is true drama at its best! "
Everything about this film is excellent!
Guybert | 07/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie makes most of today's special-effects- heavy blockbusters look amateur. Everything is top notch in this one. Michael Rennie is very convincing as the alien visitor who shows compassion for the people of Earth who are advancing too quickly in war technology for their own good. Patricia Neal is also good in her role of mother to a son who spends time with the mysterious stranger Mr. Carpenter. The special effects in this film were beyond anything seen at the time and continue to be impressive to this day, considering that this film was made in 1951. They are not too flashy; they are subtle enough that viewers are not distracted and they will actually make you think more about the power that the giant robot Gort wields. The phrase "he could destroy the world" holds special meaning when you see him melt weapons and revive the fallen Klaatu. This film also has several amusing scenes, such as when Klaatu offers to pay to see a movie. This one is also full of suspense. When the Earth stands still, it's truly an impressive sight. On top of all of that, you have the impressive soundtrack by the legendary Bernard Hermann. Buy this to see a truly great example of film-making. This is definitely not just for sci-fi fans."