Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2008



"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) (Blu-ray)


In Washington, D.C., a spaceship of the flying saucer variety lands.

The military and onlookers surround the ship and wait to see what happens. The door slides open and out steps Klaatu (Rennie), who looks and speaks like a human being. Behind him stands a huge robot named Gort (Lock Martin).

Klaatu says that he comes in peace, but when he offers an instrument that would allow earthlings to see into other worlds, they shoot it out of his hand. Gort reacts by cremating the soldiers and tanks that have surrounded the ship. Klaatu orders Gort to stop, and allows himself to be taken into custody, but he escapes.

He contacts a scientist and asks that he bring together all of the world's leaders so that he can give them an important message. In the meantime, the Army is out to catch him any way they can. Klaatu stays with a family who does not know who he is, and they befriend him.

Soon, of course, Klaatu's identity is discovered and he runs for his life, but is shot and apparently killed.

Gort retrieves the body and restores it to temporary life, and then Klaatu delivers his message to the world's leaders who have come to Washington. The message is not a pleasant one, and apparently more than half a century later (2008), we still have not learned our lessons.





  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • 1951, Color, Rated G, 1 Hr 32 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC @ 26 Mbps
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray
  • Directed by Robert Wise
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No


Direction by legendary Robert Wise, and a haunting film score by Bernard Herrmann make this not only a classic, but one of the best Sci-Fi motion pictures ever produced.


It's old, black & white, but it never looked or sounded better than this. The upcoming "Remake" will obviously have all the latest whiz bang special effects in color and surround sound, but it will have to be special to compete with the 1951 masterpiece.


These include The Making Of, Commentary by Robert Wise, A Brief History of Flying Saucers, and other things.