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The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,024 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Classic 1951 Science Fiction tale about a visitor from another planet who arrives to save the Earth. Includes commentary by director Robert Wise along with several film historians, "making-of" featurettes, an isolated film score, Fox Movietonews from the 1951 premiere, and much more.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Lock Martin
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Special Edition
  • Language: English (Stereo), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,024 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EZE5BK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael G. Brennan on May 29, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watching this recently, it amazed me how little action there is in this movie, and yet it remains as captivating and enthralling as ever. There are none of the set pieces we have come to expect in modern genre films: no explosions, no gory deaths, one small chase scene. Tension is developed through character development and the wonderful performances of Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie, with some wonderful supporting work from Sam Jaffe and Frances Bavier (Mayberry's Aunt Bea!)
There are very few special effects: the odd tank disappears in a glow of light, but other than that, this is a film driven by character development. Taut direction by Robert Wise, straightforward writing from Edmund North and impressive cinematography by Leo Tower create an intelligent, literate, adult science fiction film that appeals to all ages.
Special mention must be made of Bernard Herrmann's haunting score. One of the first film scores to use Leon Theremin's eerie and eponymous electronic instrument, which unfortunately became a genre cliché, the music adds immeasurably to the tense and unsettling atmosphere.
Modern audiences may find the film's message heavy handed and obvious, relying on 1950's atomic paranoia and the absolute power it brought. In fact, Klaatu's proffered peaceful solution borders on totalianarianism. But these are minor considerations considering this is a simple story stunningly told.
The DVD contains many interesting extras of interest to film buffs and collectors, including a shooting script, extended discussions on the evolution of the film from idea to release, and an odd look at the people fascinated with collecting 1950's sci-fi film props and paraphernalia.
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Format: DVD
First and foremost, this is a review for the 1951, black and white, 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 2-disc, special edition DVD and NOT for the remake (Gort! Keanu barada nikto :)

Okay so here's the lowdown; as I now have both this new edition and the original single, flipper disc, version, and having watched all of the bonus features on the new 2-disc set, I can tell you this: keep the old disc!

Why, because the 73 plus minute, making of, on the original disc is gone, replaced with a new 23 minute fluff piece that only skims the surface of the story, of the making of this film.

Gone are the lengthy on camera interviews with the producer, director and female lead, replaced instead with film historian's inane babble, with the odd snippet of voice recordings of the director and producer, taken from the 73 plus minutes, making of, from the original disc (without the on camera picture).

Also gone, is the very interesting, "Collectors", segment, tacked onto the end of the original making of, which had several prominent collectors showing off such treasures as the original flying saucer model and Gort statue, used in the actual film, with anecdotes about the film, and where the props they now owned, had ended up after the filming.

As for the extra stuff added to the 2-disc set, nothing is worth the non-inclusion of the original making of from the first disc (most of the new stuff has nothing to do with the film, but instead conveys the political tensions of the world at that time, which, although slightly of interest, is not worth upgrading for).
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25 Comments 327 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
In many respects THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a very dated film. Obviously a comment on Cold War paranoias, it has little in the way of special effects or high-class production values, Edmund H. North's script is surprisingly talky, and it captures the very clunky look of late-1940s/early-1950s America to an uncomfortable degree. Certainly few involved in the project took it very seriously--even leading lady Patricia Neal admitted that she and Michael Rennie had tremendous difficulty keeping straight faces while spouting "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!" But strangely, against all the odds, the film continues to speak, capturing the imagination of each new generation that sees it.

The film's enduring power seems to arise from its very simplicity, which lifts the story of a visitor from outer space from mere sci-fi pulp to the level of a parable. As frequently noted, the film contains significant religious symbolism. It is easy to read the visitor as Christ, the woman who befriends him as Mary Magdalene, the man who betrays him as Judas, and the message the visitor brings as both call to repentance and opportunity for redemption--and whatever one's actual religious beliefs, the film taps into these archetypes to create a very effective modern morality tale that works on several levels. At the same time, the film makes a surprisingly acid comment on American and international politics, small minded bigotry, and media hysteria that still rings true today. And the film has surprising visual power.
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15 Comments 207 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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