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#252. The Day the Earth Stood Still

  • Year: 1951
  • Country: USA
  • Production: Fox, 92m B&W
  • Director: Robert Wise
  • Producer: Julian Blaustein
  • Screenplay: Edmund H. North, from short story by Harry Bates
  • Photography: Leo Tover
  • Music: Barnard Herrmann
  • Cast: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neat, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray, Frances Bavier, Lock Martin

Abridged Book Description

Robert Wise's 1951 science-fiction drama based on Farewell to the Master, a short story by Harry Bates, hit a nerve with nuclear-war weary and politician-wary audiences of the time. Beginning in an almost documentary style, it spreads a chilling antiwar message via spectacular special effects and memorable characterizations. More than a B movie, it is the first popular adult science-fiction film to send out a real message about humanity... Never bettered, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a classic on many fronts, not the least for its antiwar message and clever visual effects as well as Bernard Herrmann's haunting use of the theremin, an early electronic instrument.

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