Back to IndieWire

Watch: How ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ Became One of the Most Influential Sci-Fi Movies in History

Watch: How 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' Became One of the Most Influential Sci-Fi Movies in History

Elsewhere on Trailers from Hell, Joe Dante describes Jack Arnold’s 1958 “The Space Children” as that rare example of a “pacifist” sci-fi thriller. Robert Wise’s 1951 “The Day the Earth Stood Still” could qualify as the granddaddy of that genre were it not for its ambivalent message, which is, loosely translated, “Be peaceful or we’ll blow you out of the solar system.” Regardless, Klattu, the kinder, gentler alien who visits Earth carrying a stern warning from space, embodies the humanism at the center of Edmund North’s screenplay.

An intelligent and, at times, lightly satirical look at ’50s paranoia, mixed with high-caliber sci-fi thrills—personified by Klattu’s interstellar bodyguard, the ominous robot Gort—Wise’s film continues to make a lasting impression on all who see it. Michael Rennie plays Klattu and the thrilling theremin-powered score is by Bernard Herrmann.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox