Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Moderately Trashy

Re-watched this old thing in order to contrast/compare with the remake and decided to review it just for the hell of it. Yay.

Classic SF flick in which a space dude (Michael Rennie) comes down to Earth for the purpose of telling mankind to stop their violent and destructive ways or else the space confederation is going to come down and fuck up everybody's shit.

I couldn't help but think about Childhood's End by Arthur Clarke, just because I filter every fucking alien contact movie through that now, including Contact, Starman and E.T.. You know, E.T. is just one of the fucking Overlords. That book retroactively ruined my childhood. How appropriate.

Anyway, yeah, it was kind of good to see this movie again just because the last time I saw it I was probably about six and didn't think it was that interesting. Sure, I thought Gort was cool (who wouldn't?) but all that weird shit where Klaatu wanders around Washington was sort of dull.

I find that marginally more interesting now, although now I see all the little problems with this movie (which I hoped would be remedied in the remake, but I'll get to that in a minute). First of all, the kid is fucking annoying. I mean, really fucking annoying. It's sort of hard to deal with the annoyingness of the kid. I hate kids in movies anyway unless there is a really definite purpose, but that little bugger really pushed the limits of tolerance.

Second of all, the people in this movie are way too calm about everything. I mean, nobody seems that phased that an alien came down out of the sky and got a cap in his ass, they just run him over to the hospital and patch him up. I would have expected no less than a vivisection, but, you know, that's why I'm not in charge of Interplanetary Foreign Policy. You don't make a lot of friends that way.

There's this other scene in which Klaatu (cunningly disguised as a dork. Naw, I joke, I actually thought Michael Rennie was pretty hot. But then, I'm sort of into dorks, so...) just randomly shows up in this house and the people are all like, "Okay, whatever". Not "How the fuck did you get in my house you perve?" And, you know, Patricia Neal was way too lax about letting little Bobby hang out in a graveyard all day with this creepy stranger. Ah well, I guess he's just trustable.

Anyway, there are a bunch more logic problems such as, (Mr. Red and I were discussing after the fact) why didn't Klaatu just get back on his ship after he got shot and tell the folks back at mission control to just fucking waste the planet? Or you know, conduct meetings with Earth's leaders via phone. It all seems weird.

But yeah, otherwise this movie was pretty good, wholesome entertainment. Michael Rennie is really cute and there's aliens and stuff so that kept me interested. Also, I still find Gort majorly cool. And shouting "Klaatu Barada Nikto" at family dinners is always fun. Woo woo.

If you thought I was hard on this movie, just wait until I do the remake.


Directed by:
Robert Wise. Written by: Edmund H. North. Starring: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Billy Gray, Sam Jaffe, Hugh Marlowe, Lock Martin.

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