The Day The Earth Stood Still – Then Moved Around

The Day the Earth Stood StillOne of the greatest science fiction films of all time and space, 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still is a cautionary tale about letting our Earth tempers get out of hand. Like we’re ever gonna do the right thing.

Vacationing space face Klaatu arrives in Washington, DC in a UFO that lands on a ball field with no parking meters anywhere in sight. Score! He comes out of the spaceship to give the President of the United States a gift, which looks like a gun. In return, we shoot him. Fortunately, he has future medicine with which to quickly heal himself. But that was his whole freakin’ point – our aggression is just too aggressive for other planets.

The Day the Earth Stood StillKlaatu has an 8-foot tall robot named Gort. This thing still resonates as one of the eeriest and coolest alien robots ever to land on our angry blue planet. An override verbal command –“Klaatu barada nikto” – has been invoked countless times since, including a way of ordering another round of space beers. Without that command, Gort – trained to fight fire with fire – would be unstoppable, and he’d fry our worthless flesh with that cool electric eye of his.

The Day the Earth Stood StillKlaatu needs to speak to the whole world, not just the US, to impart his message of peace or else (“or else” being your planet being turned into an overcooked meatloaf). But none of the Earth leaders care to meet with him on US soil. So the military wants to keep Klaaty locked up until they can decide what to do with him. Yeah, that’ll happen.

Klaat Klaat gets out, meets with a leading scientist to get the guys who write math books to spread his message. In response, the military hunts him down and shoots him dead. Again with the trigger fingers. Gort manages to bring Klaatu back to life (Got Jesus?) for one show-stopper of an Earth scolding.

The Day the Earth Stood StillKlaatu’s UFO is spectacular, as is Gort, who doesn’t have any speaking lines but nevertheless turns in a commanding performance. The reason I mentioned “your planet” a few sentences ago is because I’m hitching a ride with K&G on the next saucer outta here. You people of Earth can shove it. P.S. Don’t touch my stuff while I’m gone.

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