The Day the Earth Stood Still Overview:

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) was a Drama - Science Fiction Film directed by Robert Wise and produced by Julian Blaustein.

The film was based on the short story Farewell to the Master written by Harry Bates published in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine in October 1940.


Though it lacks the digital-era special effects (and the hero's giant robot companion looks as menacing as an industrial Maytag), this may be one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time. Soberly, almost solemnly, it depicts the arrival of an alien dignitary who has come to earth to deliver a message: stop warring among yourselves or you will be destroyed. Bidden to Washington, the world's leaders squabble until the alien ambassador loses patience and slips into the world to learn why humans can't hear the truth. Herrmann wrote the haunting score.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


The Day the Earth Stood Still was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1995.

BlogHub Articles:

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, Robert Wise)

By Andrew Wickliffe on Dec 26, 2017 From The Stop Button

The Day the Earth Stood Still opens with these sensational titles. 3D text jumping out, set against the backdrop of space, Bernard Herrmann?s score at its loudest; the titles suggest the film is going to be something grandiose. It is and it isn?t. For the first act, director Wise moves quickly, shor... Read full article

ClassicFlix (Teen Scene): The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

By Virginie Pronovost on Jun 30, 2017 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

From March 2015 to April 2017, I was writing the monthly Teen Scene column for the website ClassicFlix. My objective was to promote classic films among teenagers and young adults. Due to the establishing of a new version of the website, it?s now more difficult to access to the old version and read t... Read full article

Classics Revisited: The Day the Earth Stood Still

By Barry P. on Aug 16, 2015 From Cinematic Catharsis

(1951) Directed by: Robert Wise; Written by: Edmund H. North; Based on the story “Farewell to the Master,” by Harry Bates; Starring: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe and Lock Martin; Available on Blu-ray and DVD Rating: ***** “I'm impatient with ... Read full article

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

By Beatrice on Jul 24, 2015 From Flickers in Time

The Day the Earth Stood Still Directed by Robert Wise Written by Edmund H. North 1951/USA Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Repeat viewing/Netflix rental #252 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die The sleek design of this early sci-fi thriller with a message has held up remarkably well ... Read full article

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Oct 10, 2014 From 4 Star Films

Starring Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie with direction by Robert Wise, this sci-fi film begins with the landing of a mysterious alien space craft in Washington D. C. At first nothing seems to happen and the whole country is tense. Then an extra-terrestrial named Klaatu gets off followed by his gia... Read full article

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Quotes from

Klaatu: We have come to visit you in peace and with goodwill.

Klaatu: I'm worried about Gort. I'm afraid of what he might do if anything should happen to me.
Helen: Gort? But he's a robot. Without you, what could he do?
Klaatu: There's no limit to what he could do. He could destroy the Earth.

Klaatu: Perhaps before deciding on a course of action, you'd want to know more about the people here - to orient yourself in a strange environment.
Mrs. Barley: There's nothing strange about Washington, Mr. Carpenter.
Klaatu: A person from another planet might disagree with you.
Mrs. Barley: If you want my opinion, he came from right here on Earth. And you know where I mean.
Mr. Krull: They woudn't come in spaceships, they'd come in airplanes.
Mrs. Barley: I woudn't be too sure about that.

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Facts about

Writer Edmund H. North was a former army officer who wrote the script in response to the proliferation of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.
The role of Gort was played by Lock Martin, the doorman from Grauman's Chinese Theater, because he was extremely tall. However, he was unable to pick up Helen because he was so weak and had to be aided by wires (in shots from the back where he's carrying her, it's actually a lightweight dummy in his arms). He also had difficulty with the heavy Gort suit and could only stay in it for about a half-hour at a time.
One scene was cut from the movie before it was released. The original script called for Klaatu to be taken to a police station by the government man who came for him at the boarding house, not directly to Barnhart's home. At the station, men were being dragged in from all over and questioned, and Klaatu becomes upset when he sees how a man was beaten up by a crowd because they thought he was the spaceman. The scene was cut because director Robert Wise realized that the audience was interested in the Klaatu/ Barnhart meeting and the scene at the police station was unnecessary, but on the DVD there are stills from that deleted scene.
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National Film Registry

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Released 1951
Inducted 1995

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Also directed by Robert Wise

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Also produced by Julian Blaustein

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