the day the earth stood still
dir. robert wise
“The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all, or no one is secure.”
A thought occurred to me as this film began that I was surprised to realize hadn’t crossed my mind before: I realized that I was watching some little boy’s favorite movie. In 1951, this was probably a thousand or more little boys’ favorite movie: they’d sneak off to the theater, pay their nickel or dime or quarter or however much, and sit and watch this film over and over. I suppose all of the films I’ve seen in this adventure have been someone’s favorite at some point, but for some reason this one struck me.
This is honestly an amazing film. Set just after WWII, an alien craft lands in Washington, ready to meet with all nations of the world to discuss a treaty amongst the planets. The hostile global stage proves to be too much for such discussions to be had, which leads to the alien’s attempt at a compromise.
“I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.”
With fine special effects, a terrific score, a great cast, and a truly self-reflective story, the film is successful in conveying the importance (moreover, necessity) for peace. It’s this message that proves most important, told in a very effective way.