Monday, August 30, 2010

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still is the prototypical science fiction of the 1950s, containing all the elements, good and bad, that populated the genre during that decade. It starts with the landing of a spacecraft in Washington, D.C. which captivates the whole world. As a spaceman and a robot emerge, a misunderstanding leads to the former’s hospitalization and his subsequent escape from custody as he tries to put together a meeting with the world’s leaders to deliver his message he traveled so long to convey. Made as a warning during the early Cold War years, the film is nicely handled by directing great Robert Wise. Corny elements involving aliens blend with tense images to make a great film-going experience. It also contains the most famous alien phrase/safe word: Klaatu barada nikto.