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Showing 1-10 of 1,730 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,154 reviews
This is one of "them" movies that will never grow old, at least not to me. How anyone, except, a person with an exceptional mind, way back then (1945-1949), come up with the IDEA of "Artificial Intelligence" is so awesome ! And with a Prime Directive as "Destroy" "The Aggressor With Extreme Prejudice" IS ALMOST TOO COOL FOR WORD ! Check it out !
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on April 5, 2017
This classic scifi film will not play on my computer for some reason. I'm assuming there's some anti-piracy software running, which is odd since where I do have two external bluray drives, I don't actually have any copying software, and both bluray drives are read-only. Oh well.

The movie is about as I remember it from way back when. One of the guys on the "making of" documentary included on the disk states that the film has a documentary feel to it. Eh, maybe. I got more of a sense that it had more of a film noire vibe going visually with all the harsh shadows and high contrast shots.

The acting is on par for an early 1950s offering--a kind of natural yet comported behavioral norm when people were a little more polite. The message, however, now that I'm a middle aged dude, doesn't strike me as being very sound; i.e. "We'll kill you if you stir any trouble" kind of thing. Well, okay, that's kind of what all international policies are guided by these days, but Klaatu's race promises annihilation, and not just simple conquest. I mean, wow. Is that really how a superior species or race greets newcomers on the interstellar scene?

It is a 1950s film, and so it has a somewhat hokey feel to it with the theramin music going on combined with the stereotypical flying saucer and giant killer robot. It's a window into science fiction film making from another period. It has some good messages, but it also has some messages that maybe you should think about for a bit before agreeing or disagreeing.

Either way it's slower paced and enjoyable. No massive battles, no intricate action scenes with lots of derring-do, none of the usual stuff that unfortunately pollutes a lot of scifi made for today's pre-to-post teen audiences. Take it for what it's worth, relax and enjoy on your day off from work.
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on July 14, 2017
This is one of the first of the 1950s flying saucer movies and arguably the best. The many extra features on the Blu-ray disc alone justify the purchase. According to the "making of" feature, the producers ultimately decided against casting Spencer Tracy and Claude Rains as Klaatu, preferring to use an unknown Michael Rennie which time has proven to be the right choice.

The smooth simplicity of the saucer rendered it timeless even as much more recent, highly detailed movie spacecrafts appear much more dated. Combine a compelling script, flawless direction, excellent acting and effective special effects and you have the perfect template for the 1950s sci-fi movie genre.

I showed it to my young nephew and he loved it, especially the part where Gort's ocular death ray predated the metal robot in "Thor" by over 60 years. This film also helped him to develop a more mature attention span that doesn't require constant explosions and special effects to hold his interest. He got into the acting and the building tension, and really related to the Billy Gray character.
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on May 6, 2016
For me, this movie is the standard by which all other Sci-Fi films of the era should be judged and, frankly, very few come even close to meeting the quality of "The Day The Earth Stood Still." The theme is idealistic; the writing is compelling; the production values equal the best of the early 1950s; and the cast is magnificent, especially Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. Even the special effects are quite good for the times (and should not at all be judged by today's standards, though aren't terrible if they are). I have never seen the remake; not sure I want to. I'm sure the CGI is fantastic, but I cannot imagine any other way the original could be topped.
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on September 20, 2015
I have grown to love the Day The Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves but this version with Michael Rennie is still the best in this little old lady's opinion. This movie was shown (and reshown) on television when kids were instructed to "drop, duck and cover" under their desks during school drills at a time when the threat of nuclear holocaust was greatest. The only purpose of said drills I can figure was to keep the kids from panicking in the event the situation had become an actual emergency. Who knows? Maybe the message movies like this brought influenced world leaders to refrain from pushing that red button!
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on July 9, 2015
Quite a while since last seeing this B&W classic. Much better than its re-make a few years back, as the focus is on story and character development, rather than spectacular special effects. The real back story here is the movie's references to the Cold War paranoia that had taken hold following WWII. We had just emerged from a terrible global conflict, the Iron Curtain had descended, and the suspicion and possibility of new nuclear-tipped conflict was growing more each day. In this case, though, an envoy from "out there," along with his frightening and unstoppable sidekick, drops by and delivers an observation and a warning to Earthlings to clean up our act...or else. A great storyline that played to the emotions of the time. The visual that accompanies this movie's listing is spot on and effectively sets the stage, too.

For realism, there are numerous shots of recognizable sites and buildings in and around Washington DC., which make the overall story very believable for the theatergoers in 1951. While the special effects may be considered archaic by today's computer-driven standards, they create the visual impact that was state of the art for its day. (Spoiler Alert - On watching this once again, my only question is, during the supposedly harmless demonstration of our visitor's true power - on the day when the Earth stood still - what became of all the airplanes in the skies? But don't let such things get in the way of an increasingly gripping story, eh?)

This is one of the early sci-fi masterpieces. As such, it deserves a look into the way that such stories were told in the contrast and shadows of classic black and white film. Taken for what it is and the time in which it was made, this remains a great watch. Now, dim the lights please, and pass the popcorn...
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on June 8, 2016
This is one of my all-time favorite films. It's good on so many levels. The acting is sure-footed. The directing is masterful. The sound and editing are superb. The story line doesn't particularly tread new ground; however, it's a positive twist on the too-prevalent "alien monster" schlock of the genre. Granted, the special effects are dated, but they are surprisingly effective. Michael Rennie scores as the totally convincing alien. There's no big CGI budget, very little violence, no well-known Hollywood actors--yet the spell created by this masterpiece is real and enduring. Rennie is brilliant as the alien who visits Earth to deliver a message. Rennie perfectly portrays a deft combination of near-human emotion coupled with alien strangeness. The young boy who befriends him carries the viewer further into the film. The humans encountered by the alien are equally up to the task of portraying the genuine confusion, wonder and fear this other-world man invokes. Then there's Rennie's enforcer: the scene-stealing robot. The Theremin-laced music boosts up and wavers. The robot's visor slides open to reveal a serious weapon--a startlingly impressive laser. Without spoilers, let's just say, if you haven't seen this film (or haven't seen it recently), you might just fall in sci-fi-love.
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on June 2, 2015
Easily one of the best SF movies of all time and one of my own top choices for any film. I saw it on NBC's "Saturday Night at the Movies" in 1962 at an impressionable age, was hooked, and have happily remained so since then.

It was loosely based on the Harry Bates short story "Farewell to the Master" -- which is actually very different, though quite good on its own. I prefer the movie's storyline -- the updating to flying saucers and a very 1950's feel to the storyline and the way the movie was made. The primary theme of the danger of atomic weapons was right on the money -- it was made only half a dozen years after the first bombs were made -- and would continue to be a major worry for years to come (as it still is).

The cast was great and I liked the chemistry among Helen (Patricia Neal), son Bobby (Billy Gray) and Klaatu (Michael Rennie). Director Robert Wise talks about how well they worked together in the comments track (which I recommend; it's on the DVD version), which he did with screenwriter Nicholas Meyer. The supporting cast was also good -- I even liked the performance of Hugh Marlowe, who played the unscrupulous insurance salesman who had his eye on Helen.

This is always a joy to watch and I usually watch it back to back, first without comments, then with, as I think it adds a lot to find out how the film was made and how the director felt about the many different things that make it up. It's not just the FX, which are good enough, very good considering the period in which it was made. The story is complex and very well put together -- even as a kid I loved the part of the "Einstein-like" professor (Sam Jaffe).

I would like a sequel, (not the 2008 remake, though it's not really bad). But I suppose you can't have everything.
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on January 10, 2017
Still interesting after all these years. I saw it in 1951 and have seen it often ion recent "streaming" years. The last time I watched with my 9-year-old grandson who wasn't disinterested in any of it; he especially noted the professor's blackboard formula in the scenes in the professor's home office. My grandson also seems to have understood and appreciated the point of the story. He also did not laugh at the special effects.
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on March 31, 2013
Even though this film was released in 1951 it's been one of my top all-time favorites. I actually like this better than the more recent redo of the classic story about a visitor from a planet in our solar system, who has come to warn earth's inhabitants that there will be dire consequences for any of our aggressive behavior extended beyond our own planet now that we have nuclear weapons. The book was a very advanced and pertinent sci-fi drama that was superbly written and had a message that had great relevance then and does now. Robert Wise directed the screen adaptation extremely well keeping the intrigue and suspense high through-out. Special effects were quite limited at the time, but, he managed to carry out a huge feat in that he told the story in a very human and visceral manner by using fuller character development and interaction while toning down on over the top visual concoctions or devices, that we have all grown too used to seeing in today's computer generated artificial and thusly more fake depictions leaving behind the good story in the process. The newer version with Keanu Reeves does that in spades, which really bored me with all its grandiose special effects and gibberish for dialog. I was hoping they would attempt to remake the original film true to the basics of story and character and just make for a more exact space ship and robot leading to a more polished-up version. That would have been much more impressive to me if they had, rather than the hack job they did depending more on computer special effects and one dimensional characters' who I didn't have any feeling for let alone to be moved by! They even had to tie in the usual PC nonsense in an attempt to make the story more current. They would have served the story well if they had made the newer version as if set during the late 40's or early 50's at the dawn of the atomic age like the original to really connect all the dots in a suitable fashion. After all that was the main thrust of the story, how we had just started development of atomic weapons and may at some future point in time try to extend our capabilities of aggression and nuclear power beyond our own troubled planet, which would not be tolerated! But they just went for the cheap shot and fast buck to capitalize on a true classic story and film to serve some board room executives, resulting in a botched-up film that may have made some bucks but never got off the ground and had no heart! To awe and inspire by getting the viewer to really think would have been a more noteworthy endevour, but, sadly today most decisions always come down to just the money, when in fact both demands can be met with the proper team of talented artisans who follow closely to the authors intent, as was the case in this original sci-fi masterpiece. The casting was perfect and the directing superb, while staying on target to the stories theme and author's intent. Anyone who might never have seen either of the films or anyone who has only seen the new version will do themselves a great service to make sure they watch the original version and just enjoy it for what it is and when it was made! Maybe someday someone will do another remake and do the story justice, but, until then I'm only going to watch this 1951 version! The DVD comes with some very interesting extras which are entertaining in themselves and Bernard Herrmann's musical score makes the movie spring to life albeit simple black and white low tech film making by today's standards. This to me is true Iconic Film Making at its best!
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