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The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

1951
Drama
Sci-fi
1h 32m
An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that we must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets. (imdb)
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The Day the Earth Stood Still

1951
Drama
Sci-fi
1h 32m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 64% from 2399 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2399)
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Rated 22 Nov 2011
30
13th
"Welcome Earthlings. I come in peace and I demand you to change your whole planet into a repressive police state or you'll be destroyed."
Rated 13 Apr 2007
90
86th
Classic sf film about how people suck
Rated 18 Jan 2009
100
97th
An exciting look at the UFO and communist paranoia of the 50's from a deliciously ironic perspective - or at least it's possible to interpret as such. Rennie of course makes an iconic performance as Klaatu, and Herrmann's score is absolute perfection. And the BluRay lifts this to all new hights. The movie is still as relevant as ever, and so I have no desire to see the remake. They should've cast Keanu as Gort instead of Klaatu.
Rated 15 May 2016
86
83rd
I knew this would have classic sound design but I wasn't expecting it to have such a sharp and funny script, real palpable tension, a slew of colorful characters and solid acting to match. Even the kid was believable. The overall message can get irritatingly didactic and patronizing, especially when Klaatu's stance turns to "be peaceful or we will obliterate you", but it really doesn't bother me enough to lose my appreciation.
Rated 02 Jan 2020
94
89th
If ultimately (inevitably?) a little dated, seen in the context of the forefront of 50s sci-fi, this is quite a remarkable achievement, with Wise's command of epic scope film-making evident even confined to Academy ratio! Low-key and believable performances from a fine cast put this yards ahead of more hysterical 50s entries with Rennie's square blockishness a perfect fit for Klaatu; wonderful, iconically creepy score from Herrmann is icing on the cake.
Rated 02 Oct 2010
45
40th
At its heart, it's a competently made, much less entertaining predecessor to Plan 9. The main draw is the iconic UFO landing in front of the White House (and the great Bernard Hermann score), the rest is a bunch of hammy acting and moralizing. Like others have said, I'm sure this was impressive at the height of the Cold War but The Day The Earth Stood Still isn't the sci-fi classic it's cracked up to be.
Rated 16 Jul 2012
84
83rd
Maybe one day the United States and the Soviet Union will learn to live together. Until that day, we shall all fear Gort.
Rated 23 Sep 2017
95
81st
It's interesting to look back on sci-fi movies from years ago. This is a good movie with a message that still resonates today. In fact, the sad truth of the matter is that it may be even more relevant today then when it was first made. Most of the effects even hold up although Gort is probably the weakest link looking a bit like a big plastic/rubber suit. Watching this kind of makes you wish that more movies went for a timeless message, even if heavy handed, than spectacle.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
66
28th
Don't believe the hype. At the time, I'm sure this was groundbreaking, both in terms of effects and its message. Today it's old hat, in both respects.
Rated 04 May 2014
70
65th
Robert Wise. Some of my favorite horror movies. Some of my favorite sci-fi movies. Some of my favorite musicals. What a douchebag.
Rated 27 May 2014
80
70th
Even if God himself came down from Heaven and tried to tell us how to live our lives, we still wouldn't listen.
Rated 10 Jul 2007
5
96th
Remember when science fiction dealt with social themes, and not just contrived battles between apolitical fictional rebels and empires? Although this isn't entirely fair, I can't help but feel this way when I see one of these old sci-fi flicks.
Rated 08 Dec 2008
89
75th
Good old fashioned Sci-Fi. Its gripping, its tense, and it pulls on my pissed off nerves that successfully makes me lose faith in humanity. The only fault was the one-dimensional portrayal of the people of earth. The solders seem to lack any common sense. Everyone so paranoid. come to think of it, nothing has changed 50 years on.
Rated 05 Mar 2009
86
74th
A surprisingly intense science fiction drama, with excellent production values and just about perfect casting. Thoughtful rather than horrifying, with subtle antifascist hints scattered throughout.
Rated 25 May 2009
87
79th
Acknowledging that you need to be prepared to roll with fifties sci-fi flicks, accepting the cheesy with the insightful, the original film version is terrifically entertaining. The film proceeds with its topical immersion in the subtext of cold war suspicion and duplicity. Wise builds the film expertly, and Michael Rennie's performance as Klaatu, the interstellar traveler dispatching a stern, benevolent warning, is a tiny marvel of charming oddity.
Rated 15 Jan 2012
75
81st
To watch and enjoy this one, you've got to be willing to look past its silliness. And it really is quite silly sometimes. Some of the effects are fantastic, some are less so. A lot of the characters are a little unbelievable too. It makes up for its flaws though with the messages it conveys about Earth and the dark and aggressive side of humanity. The fantastic score is also worth mentioning.
Rated 12 Jan 2008
6
54th
Great sci-fi, although the ending was somewhat disappointing.
Rated 07 Dec 2008
85
90th
Definitely did not need a remake. It's a good old classic science fiction piece with a message.
Rated 05 Apr 2014
77
66th
Easy to dismiss as hokey and dated, but there's still some real power in the story and its execution. The Bernard Hermann score certainly helps.
Rated 08 Apr 2012
73
88th
A very different 50's sci fi film and for that it gets its props. It has a message beyond first contact and invasion that makes it more watchable than almost anything else from the era in this genre.
Rated 21 Jan 2013
92
74th
Though it may be a little out of date message and language wise, this is still one of the best films I've seen. The casting and acting is fantastic, and it is very well written. I'd probably be put off by the religious themes though, if everything else wasn't so great and that Wise said he was originally unaware of the parallels.
Rated 05 Apr 2008
65
70th
good early Sci-Fi that keeps focused on one message
Rated 16 Jul 2009
90
86th
One of the few great genuine science fiction movies.
Rated 09 Jan 2023
80
67th
Sure, nowadays the special effects are a little corny, but at the same time, I think they hold up pretty well, all things considered. But that's just a matter of intrigue more than anything, the real meat here is the script, which happens to be quite tense. There's a part early on that was stupid but after that, it became an enthralling tale. Klaatu was perfect.
Rated 04 Sep 2010
63
73rd
Of the same (moralizing) flavor of other old B-movie sci-fis, but with a step in the right direction. Klaatu's speeches were excellent, and so were the concepts.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
97
83rd
A classic - in acting, direction and even in the high quality effects that dont fall off even when u watch it today. Highly recommended.
Rated 19 May 2008
83
83rd
A classic sci-fi movie, in fact one of the first of it's kind, and still ranks up there with the best.
Rated 27 Jan 2014
84
84th
Astoundingly modern, but is still undeniably laced with atomic paranoia and Cold War fear. If you're looking for 50's sci-fi, you start here.
Rated 29 Jan 2010
87
75th
The first good alien movie--years before E.T. Michael Rennie shines with nobility, and is hands down by favorite visitor from outer space.
Rated 23 Jul 2013
90
85th
A movie about alien first contact, sub-textually about the cold war, sub-sub-textually about pedophilia.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
78
76th
Way, way ahead of its time. One of the classic sci-fi flicks.
Rated 13 Mar 2018
60
26th
Reporter: "I suppose you are just as scared as the rest of us." Klaatu: "In a different way, perhaps. I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason."
Rated 14 May 2015
83
81st
Even though the production design and effects are obviously quite dated, it's still a wonderful film. Michael Rennie pulls off a really great performance combining childlike fascination with the Earth and its people with an other-worldly wisdom. The message of the film still rings true, perhaps more than ever. Excellent.
Rated 09 Apr 2009
50
67th
Cold-war wish-fulfillment fantasy, impressive rather than exciting but very capably put over with the minimum of trick work and the maximum of sober conviction.
Rated 12 Jul 2015
80
75th
This is a very interesting, entertaining, and still-relevant sci-fi parable about the inherently violent nature of humanity, and the dangers of xenophobia. Some of the acting is a bit hokey, and at times the script becomes a bit too preachy and the allegory laid on too thick. But by and large, The Day the Earth Stood Still deserves its enduring reputation thanks to its self-awareness (especially compared to most of its contemporaries) and its obvious heart.
Rated 25 Feb 2019
100
97th
It does what sci-fi does best: take anxieties of the time by speculating on future uncertainty. The story works well globally--as it wonders how post WW2 issues may erupt into worldwide calamity. But it somewhat misses the mark with the characters as they lack a compelling personal narrative. Still, Wise's direction--especially via production design, acting, montages, and music--is top notch. It makes this film (along with Invasion of the Body Snatchers) perhaps the Citizen Kane of 50's sci-fi.
Rated 25 Sep 2007
100
99th
"I like you, Mr. Carpenter--you're a real screwball." "I'd never call you a liar."
Rated 23 Sep 2007
95
90th
Michael Rennie provides a dead-on performance as Klaatu, an alien from outer space that visits Earth to deliver a message. Based on the little known story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates, this wonderful period piece still shines today.
Rated 06 Feb 2013
80
54th
Influential 50's Sci-Fi that kept me intrigued up until an unsurprising final act. It is extremely well made for a 50's genre film and has aged better than most films of its time. I enjoyed the performances by Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie.
Rated 20 Oct 2013
63
21st
A nerdy anti-war film. Reagan definitely never saw this one.
Rated 07 Dec 2008
90
94th
You know that right from the opening scene, that this was a grand scale movie back in the day, like Indepenedence Day or War of the Worlds, from our time. This is not a cheesy sci fi movie that would expect from that time. Excellent acting and well told story even though the moral is hammered over our heads enough times.
Rated 29 Jan 2010
75
68th
I respect the film a lot -- Wise makes strong use of light and shadow, and of course Rennie is excellent as Klaatu -- but it's just so campy and unintentionally hilarious. That might be a reflection of its time (doctors smoking cigarettes), but it's still funny. I saw it in the theatre with friends and we couldn't help but riff on it where appropriate (Klaatu: "One day Bobby I'll tell you about a train that doesn't need tracks." [whistle BTTF theme]). The kid playing Bobby is an absolute riot.
Rated 21 Sep 2013
78
78th
This was really a lot smarter and more tasteful than its poster implies. It's not the most high-concept kind of sci-fi writing, even for its time, but it's the great kind of story that probably influenced other greats, like the original Twilight Zone series.
Rated 08 Oct 2013
45
29th
Just too silly. An alien lands on Earth and you stick him in a regular hospital room with no-one guarding the door? And there are a grand total of two people guarding the flying saucer parked in the middle of Washington DC? Hmm. Aside from believability issues, it's also a little sluggish and extremely preachy.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
4
74th
The most relevant and well-written of all the cheesy old sci-fi flicks. Yeah there's an annoying child actor, but Michael Rennie more than makes up for it.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
84th
A bit dated, but the soundtrack's to die for (oh and the robot's neat as well)
Rated 31 Jul 2009
85
90th
Just great. So much style with a great score and interesting concepts. Superb.
Rated 07 Sep 2012
94
95th
Probably the best SF classic. You can see that this film has created most of the standards that now we take for granted in "threat-coming-from-space" movies: eerie score, ignorant earthlings etc. Also, a bold anti-war narrative for a Holywood film in McCarthy era. Loved it.
Rated 19 Oct 2015
90
83rd
An enjoyable, well-constructed film. I was amazed by how well the special effects held up today and in HD no less. It's clear the filmmakers didn't try to exceed their technical limitations, which avoided me being taken out of the film like I could be in so many older sci-fi movies. The subtelty of the Christological material was also appreciated, though it might have been even TOO subtle, and Rennie's understated (but fine) acting contributes to that.
Rated 26 Feb 2007
65
73rd
Science fiction classic.
Rated 19 Feb 2008
85
64th
Great sci-fi that was well ahead of its time, inspired by cold-war fears of the era and wishes that everyone could just get along. Unfortunately it does devolve into chase scenes instead of staying on topic, but it's still worth seeing especially for buffs of the genre.
Rated 02 Sep 2008
93
96th
Absolutely brilliant sci-fi that melds questions about life on other planets and human nature itself. Highly influential and seems to get better with age.
Rated 20 Nov 2014
87
88th
great special effects that have aged decently. classic captivating scifi story.
Rated 12 Apr 2013
45
41st
Klaatu's revelation that the Earth has been living under the protection of, and at the mercy of, an all-powerful robotic police force, is actually quite interesting & complex, although the film seems to present it as something whose meaning should be transparently understood.
Rated 05 Apr 2010
85
88th
This can be considered one of the most important science fictions ever of the cinema. A film that mixes fun with content and owns a timeless message.
Rated 20 Jun 2009
8
85th
The idea that an alien threat would either unite us or destroy us is very compelling and this film shows a questionable representation of that idea. Klaatu barada nikto.
Rated 21 Dec 2014
80
80th
There's just something about these classics that contains something so powerful, from the performances and story. Love that the event happens right at the start of the movie, no 30 minute set up shitty backgrounds -straight to the point. A little dated of course, but I guess you can forgive that for a movie that's 60+ years old. Highlights; the terrors of a global EMP is highlighted by a washer failing and a milkshake not blended. "You'll think differently when you see my picture in the paper.
Rated 06 Feb 2014
55
44th
It's alright science fiction, but I was hoping for a little bit more depth. Its lesson is something you might expect from a childrens' story. Still, the film is entertaining enough with some nice acting.
Rated 25 Jul 2010
3
31st
No. The redeeming features are a charmingly oddball performance from our alien visitor and the Wise guy behind the camera making sure it all looks pleasing to the eye. Otherwise, just no.
Rated 07 Nov 2007
8
78th
I wouldn't call this film exciting or shocking, but it's still a marvelous sci-fi, held strongly together by a great score and awesome performance by Michael Rennie.
Rated 08 Oct 2011
70
72nd
Entertaining, but a bit too didactic to take seriously.
Rated 22 Oct 2010
100
80th
Doesn't hold a candle to the original,I was terribly disappointed.Although quite dated,the original was based on plot and character development,with just the right amount of excellent special effects,which enhanced rather than overpowered the film.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
68
48th
# 650
Rated 14 Aug 2007
81
72nd
Once you get over the fact that a giant robot doesn't eat Washington, you see its true to life screenplay reflects the post-9/11 world just as sharply as the cold war world.
Rated 13 Aug 2017
77
37th
Good message but woefully aged production
Rated 21 May 2013
70
44th
Holds up remarkably well because it isn't effects driven and it has a message that remains just as relevant, if not moreso, nowadays. It is by no means perfect - in particular the kid is really annoying (though Michael Rennie as Klaatu is awesome). Still though it is a hugely enjoyable movie.
Rated 12 Dec 2008
60
39th
Is said to be a classic but after 3-4 viewings I still don't see what's so great about it. The plot is horrible and there's just not that much else to say. Grade: C Plus
Rated 03 Oct 2015
7
43rd
Robert Wise' s sci-fi favourite has excellent effects and a strong cast but many of the themes have not aged well.
Rated 13 Jul 2018
51
17th
Finally watched this often named as one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever, and while I see the value of it, I truly found it generic. My biggest problem is it's just too talky, way too much unnecessary dialogue. The actual sci-fi part of the film is good, and the cinematography is fine. I would easily watch the remake over this any day.
Rated 05 Nov 2013
43
73rd
I really liked this one. Lots of interesting stuff to think about and, for a 50s film, the pacing is pretty fantastic.
Rated 26 May 2008
49
20th
Really interesting plot line and gave us the first glimpse of the morality pressure group genre of films. Effects are very plastic and almost laughable but then it is nearly 60 years old. Acting is a little wooden but plenty worse made since.
Rated 21 Apr 2009
35
29th
Oh man, is this slow and boring.
Rated 18 Jun 2018
96
90th
A
Rated 19 Dec 2008
69
38th
613
Rated 14 Aug 2007
74
35th
While it's not exciting throughout, the first interactions with the alien are very memorable. The social commentary is interesting as well
Rated 14 Aug 2007
65
26th
One of the early classic sci-fi movies. Doesn't play as well today, and tries to deal with important philosophical questions, but doesn't succeed very well.
Rated 21 Apr 2008
70
31st
There's a certain something about this film that convinced me to take it seriously and pay attention, rather than pick it to death like so many of its cheesy counterparts. I don't love it, exactly, but I respect it greatly.
Rated 10 Jan 2011
83
72nd
watching it makes one more sad about stupid remake.. sci fi classic...
Rated 04 Jun 2010
65
59th
The film is okay, it's just the concept that's horribly dated. This would help explain why they changed Klaatu's mission in the 2008 remake, although it offers little insight into why they gave him a new mission, that's also horribly dated. Oh, I got sidetracked. All together now: Klaatu! Barada! nik.. *cough*
Rated 08 Dec 2009
40
30th
2/5
Rated 05 Jun 2010
91
73rd
Good Cold-War allegory. Alien arrived, is mistaken for an invader, but is actually a peacfull messenger. Somehwat unsubtle at times (does every Jesus analogue NEED to have the initials J.C?) Special Effects Functional, but unspectacular. Just a general all around classic.
Rated 21 Jul 2009
35
33rd
a great analogy for... nothing, really. If you think this is a Cold War protest, watch this piece of crap again. It is not.
Rated 01 Dec 2014
80
63rd
Fornøyelig og velspilt sci-fi. I og med at det er en lavbudsjettsfilm er det ikke all verden til effekter, men den veier lett opp for det med et godt og drivende manus.
Rated 12 Mar 2009
85
46th
Historically important, and although not commonly know - based on fact.
Rated 07 Jan 2013
87
91st
86.500
Rated 05 Oct 2008
75
42nd
This movie provides a good message that works today as well and even more, but unfortunately it lacks in storytelling and has its lengths.
Rated 24 Apr 2009
69
77th
ger; [Der Tag an dem die Erde stillstand]; (den ersten außerirdischen so zu behandeln ... unvorstellbar)
Rated 27 Nov 2010
70
58th
So much better than the remake in so many ways. It does suffer from being too long in the middle part, but it is a good example of what science fiction can be. I also cannot deny just how good the Bernard Herrmann score is; no wonder people have an obsession with 50s sci-fi and b-movies when you have scores like this and the types of sounds you could make with a Theremin.
Rated 18 Jul 2011
75
56th
Holds up well today but some will immediately be put off by the dated setting and plot. Even still, if you can get passed the effects time has had on this movie, it is an enjoyable science fiction experience and considering the impact this film had when it first came out, this definitely deserves recognition. Though the constant symbolism can get annoying, it isn't bad enough to ruin the movie and it is a must watch for any and all scifi fans.
Rated 01 Feb 2014
50
56th
"...and were he now to come down, those hypocrites would crucify him again." - Simon Finn, Jerusalem. In Finnish, we have the verb "jeesustella" which roughly translates to "acting like Jesus" and means attempting to moralize on shaky moral grounds. It's a decent sci-fi flick and the music is great, but the message is lazy and hackeneyed, even for its time. Telling you that violence is bad without acknowledging what might cause it and coupling it with American nationalism is just absurd.
Rated 31 May 2019
54
34th
Nice concept, but it comes with poor execution of story and plot. The atmosphere of the film is great though. Good effects and set & sound design. Definitely worth a watch.
Rated 23 Mar 2009
70
54th
Low-key camp, well handled by Wise. Rennie reminds me strangely of That Fifties Guy adopted as a deity by the so-called Church of the Sub-Genius.
Rated 01 Oct 2009
80
81st
watched: 2009, 2013
Rated 22 Feb 2009
69
44th
Been awhile
Rated 29 Jun 2016
84
72nd
This is probably the only movie where everyone can agree it's great, but literally no one is going to call this their favorite movie.
Rated 27 Feb 2013
70
72nd
Still holds up well, although time has made its moralizing and B-movie atmosphere a bit too easy to mock. One of the best examples of early B-movie paranoia about the nuclear age, with a great eerie musical score.
Rated 17 Jan 2008
90
97th
Klaatu barada nikto. Enough said.
Rated 27 Nov 2011
85
65th
a cheesy but very good and entertaining sci-fi from the space age
Rated 14 Aug 2007
81
74th
Totally excellent. Even if the message is corny and the effects moreso, Wise still generates some real tension.
Rated 13 Dec 2009
76
60th
Klaatu Barada Nikto

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