Saturday, 22 October 2011

Review on The Day The Earth Stood Still

Review on The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Day The Earth Stood Still

The film was based on the 50s craze of UFOs reported to have been spotted in the sky's, as mentioned by Mark Bourne in a review. 'By 1951, reports of UFOs headlined in all the papers. Beginning in '52, George Adamski and other "contactees" would gain a goony celebrity by writing about encounters with wise, benevolent Space Brothers who, attracted by our atomic bombs, came to Earth in saucers delivering messages of warning and salvation.' (Bourne, 2003)

Inside The Space Ship

20th Century Fox Producer Julian Blaustein proposed the film idea about the flying saucers craze and what would it be like if it really happened and how would the country react to it. Head of production Darryl F. Zanuck was intrigued by this and allowed Blaustein to proceed with the film. A search to find a source for the film began, as explained by Karl Holzheimer in a review. 'Finding nothing that interested him, he finally stumbled across a short story by Harry Bates titled "Farewell the Master." He didn't much like the story. But was caught by the beginning of it in which an alien vessel lands on the Mall in Washington and, when at last a man and a huge robot emerge from the ship, a crazed spectator kills the man. Blaustein engaged writer Edmund H. North to write a screenplay. Not much of the original short story found its way into the screenplay. The alien's name, Klaatu, was retained and the giant robot called Gnut in the original story became Gort. The initial description of the ship's landing was altered but the location retained, as was the impenetrable nature of both ship and robot. North's finished screenplay incorporated Blaustein's initial concept of a documentary-style story and Bates's description of the ship, Klaatu and the re-christened Gort.' (Holzheimer, 2010)

Klaatu and Gort

The fear in this film during its time is about the nuclear era and what if something happened, as mentioned on 'The Day the Earth Stood Still may play corny today, bit its message about global harmony still resonates, and it's important to remember how sensationally vital it was to an early-'50s audience full of post-Hiroshima neuroses as the Korean and Cold Wars heating up.' (, 2011)


List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Wise, Robert (1951) The Day The Earth Stood Still [Poster] At: (Accessed on: 22.10.11)

Figure 2. Wise Robert (1951) Inside The Space Ship [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 22.10.11)

Figure 3. Wise Robert (1951) Klaatu and Gort [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 22.10.11)


Bourne, Mark (2003) The Day The Earth Stood Still: Fox Studio Classics (Accessed on: 22.10.11)

Groucho Reviews (2011) The Day the Earth Stood Still (Accessed on: 22.10.11)

Holzheimer, Karl (2010) Film Review: The Day The Earth Stool Sill (Accessed on: 22.10.11)

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