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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Robert Wise

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About the Movie

The Day The Earth Stood Still depicts the arrival of an alien dignitary, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), who has come to earth with his deadly robot, Gort (Lock Martin), to deliver the message that earthlings must stop warring among themselves--or else. After being shot at by military guards, Klaatu is brought to a Washington, D.C. hospital, where he begs a sympathetic but frank Major White (Robert Osterloh) to gather all the world's leaders so he can tell them more specifically what he has come to warn them about. Losing patience, Klaatu slips into the human world, adapting a false identity and living at a boarding house where he meets a smart woman with a conscience and her inquisitive son. Both mother and son soon find themselves embroiled in the complex mystery of Klaatu, his message and the government's witch hunt for the alien.  Seen by many as a political, religious and humanitarian effort, the film is based on Harry Bates’ story, "Farewell to the Master."

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 54
  • Fresh: 51
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 8.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Cast, although secondary to the story, works well. – Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Today, wistful viewers might ask: Where are Klaatu and Gort when we need them most? – Glenn Abel, Hollywood Reporter, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Like most of Robert Wise's work, this slickly constructed 1951 science fiction film settles squarely in the middle of its genre, better than some and worse than others. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The Day the Earth Stood Still may at first look like goofy, outdated science fiction, but its timeless warnings about violence, nuclear confrontation and the difficulties of policing the planet have made it an enduring cultural classic. – Michael Booth, Denver Post, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A Classic with an Important Message

Not only is "The Day the Earth Stood Still" a Sci-Fi classic, it was one of the first major motion pictures to take an anti-war and anti-nuclear weapon stand. This was unheard of in the early 1950s with the Cold War heating up. Unfortunately, its message is as meaningful today as it was more than 50 years ago.

Worth Standing Still For.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is, in my eyes, the greatest sci-fi movie ever. Sure, the effects were really, really lame (the zipper on Gort's costume), but Michael Reinie's performance is legendary as the peaceful extra terrestrial Klaatu. The story still holds together today, although many will find the conclusion rather preachy. I guess what makes a movie a classic today is that people back then really knew how to make great movies, even while they were being preachy and cheesy. Back when THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was made, movie directing was an art form, while today it is little more than a big effect fest. Be forewarned: this film is in black and white, it incorperates dead actors, and there are (gasp) absolutally no digital effects. CONTENT: Mild non-graphic sci-fi violence (rapidly melting people and war paraphanalia); some sci-fi menace; mild romantic complications. WHO: Middle aged kids (I don't mean 30 year old kids at heart) and older.


Brilliant film, a MUST see! Yeah, some things are dated, since this film was released in 1951, but still a great message and terrific film!! If you haven't seen this, rent it and I think you will agree. By the way, this film is in BLACK & WHITE. So for all those closed minded people who will NOT watch a b& w film, Well, it's YOUR loss.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1951

Customer Ratings