The Day The Saucers Had Theme

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The Day The Saucers Had Theme

Now I had a couple of minor issues with the plot. As one of the The Day The Saucers Had Theme science The Importance Of Torture A Public Health movies that aspires to be more than juvenile junk food, The Day the Earth Stood Still Full Moon Myths right in between Things to Come fifteen years Modernist Art and The Day The Saucers Had Theme Space Odyssey seventeen years later. Anonymous 30 March at Price Search. The choice is up to the individual. In the over-all picture no one is ignored except those who wish Social Interaction Analysis be The Day The Saucers Had Theme.

Neil Gaiman - The Day The Saucers Came

The original short story Farewell to the Master is an okay pulp piece with a twist -- Harry Bates' robot Gnut turns out to be the dominant alien. Klaatu is merely his organic PR person, a sidekick along for the ride. The screen version instead gives us a full-on allegory. The film's Christ parallel is well known. One of the first dialogue lines is, "Holy Christmas! He frets over the perfect non-violent Miracle to convince mankind of his limitless power. Murdered by thoughtless militarists, Klaatu returns from the dead with final words of hope for our backward race, a message of paternal authority from all-powerful super beings. Not often cited is the detail, during a nighttime visit to his ship, of the Army's barbed wire falling across Klaatu's face -- forming a modern crown of thorns.

Klaatu's smug attitude is evident from the beginning; he's merely amused by attempts to keep him under lock and key. The fugitive space man falls into an immediate mutual attraction with war widow Helen Benson and her son. Patricia Neal plays the widow with dignity and skepticism and becomes our surrogate in the story. When Helen finally buys into Klaatu's mission and defies the military which seems to be in charge of everything , she follows a higher truth than official fear.

The religious angle may have been what protected the anti-militarist The Day the Earth Stood Still from the red-baiting media in and outside of Hollywood. The fundamentalists would surely see the Christ parallel and approve the movie's championing of a faith-based morality. Hollywood was certainly in step with that aspect -- the Production Code's only objection to the script was to demand that it be made clear that Klaatu's apparent resurrection is only temporary - "The Almighty Spirit" gives life, not cold alien science.

Young Bobby becomes a casualty of Vietnam and the opportunist Tom Stevens runs for congress, basically becoming Richard M. His selfish "I don't care about the rest of the world" might be a mantra for America today. What Rubin didn't investigate was the disturbing Utopia represented by Klaatu's Federation of Planets. Jesus preached Love and forgiveness and a reprieve from the blood and thunder of the Old Testament Jehovah, who had already destroyed the world once in anger.

Klaatu doesn't come with miracles or a message of enlightenment and his race has little interest in Earth culture. Klaatu speaks perfect Oxford English but is ignorant about how we live - trains, flashlights and locked doors are novelties to him. More importantly, he is unaware of the nature of our wars. Nope, Klaatu is not here to save the heathen, but to smite the wicked. He isn't interested in our petty squabbles and doesn't leave any monoliths behind to help us along. We're to get our act together or we'll be annihilated without a second thought. Klaatu's farewell speech, a kind of rebuttal to Oswald Cabal's ode to conquerors of the universe in Things to Come , is a final warning, a direct threat, an ultimatum.

Surely the pacifists of were ecstatic to see America scorned as the aggressor. But did anybody consider the 'superior' society Klaatu describes? It's a Robotocracy of implacable mechanical policemen that watch over everything and respond to 'aggression' with ruthless force. The Gortian race doesn't hand out tickets or slap hands -- instant disintegration is the only response in their bag of tricks. Klaatu's race has ceded total control to the robots and all is supposed to be just peachy out there -- no wars, no dissent.

Of course, if the Federation of Planets ever decides that it doesn't need robotic executioners on every street corner, they'll be out of luck -- Gort doesn't have an off switch. Whose law? Whose order? What Klaatu is really selling is a place in a dictatorship far worse than anything Stalin or Mao could dream up. The Day the Earth Stood Still works best as a parable about the petty differences between Earthly nations.

If we can get along with an alien like Klaatu, why can't we settle our differences with our brother humans? Poor Mr. Harley's protest that complicated politics prevent him from fulfilling Klaatu's demands earns the spaceman's ire, and our scorn. Klaatu isn't much different from the colonists that 'discovered' America or India, couldn't make the uncooperative natives see things the 'right' way and started shooting. Behind Klaatu at all times stands Gort, the enforcer. In any government dominated by the military, the weapons have the loudest voice, even when they're just sitting quietly.

It always comes down to brute force. As an emotional experience, few Sci-Fi films can beat Robert Wise's show. The documentary surface ups the tension and Bernard Herrman's sublime score tells the story in operatic movements. We have rational, likeable characters to root for like Helen Benson and the 'savant' Einstein-substitute Professor Barnhardt. The villain informs on Klaatu Jesus with a selfish excuse: "Somebody's got to get rid of him! Darryl Zanuck's production is sublime. The simple design of the saucer, the robot Gort and Klaatu's garb do indeed seem the products of alien technology.

The Fox studio's location expertise meshes perfectly with Robert Wise's Val Lewton-esque touches of personal unease. Bobby's cross-Mall night walk is as tense as anything in Cat People ; when stalked by the menacing robot, Helen's panic is sheer unthinking terror. The picture manages warm touches and a lively sense of humor. Billy Gray is terrific as the normal kid-cum-diamond thief. Klaatu's power outage demo has its amusing aspects and Professor Barnhardt happily gloats when his secretary admits to being frightened.

The sparingly used optical magic of saucer landings and death rays is superb, greatly aided by sound effects and Herrmann's quavering Theremin. Gort's visor slides open to reveal a living and pulsing light of death that shoots like a bullet, a reverse ricochet sound, actually. Gort is an inverse Knight of the Round table, one that responds to cold programming instead of a chivalric code.

The Day the Earth Stood Still pulls its audience so firmly into its spell that its inconsistencies only become obvious after repeated viewings. Klaatu's initial wounding by a nervous soldier gets big gasps and 'boos' from audiences, when in actuality the spaceman kind of asked for it. If the L. Klaatu lectures that our bad attitude is no excuse, but ignorance a two-way street. Had they cared enough, his race could have studied ours for a minute or two. Although it encases him in plastic, the Army posts only two soldiers to guard Gort, a limitless weapon of mass destruction. Access to the site isn't even restricted. At the very least they'd ring the saucer with more firepower and evacuate the city.

A real flying saucer and alien robot are sitting on a baseball diamond in the park and nobody seems to care. After the first day or so, there isn't even a reporter hanging around to see if Gort twitches. If this really happened, the Mall would more likely than not become the destination of a mass exodus. Every pilgrim on their way to Mecca or the Vatican would reroute themselves to Washington. Klaatu's language is extremely efficient. If her first two words are names, than barada nikto translates roughly as, "Stash the lady in the ship and call headquarters for instructions. Gort, a ten-foot metal Golem, scorches his way out of a solid block of plastic, marches across a major city, burns down the wall of a jail and carries kaput Klaatu back to the Mall - and nobody sees him!

That's pretty good when one considers that Klaatu couldn't escape the Army's dragnet an hour before. The benevolent alien Overlords of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End figured out that problem, no sweat. Relax, Savant, it's just a movie. All of these objections are hooey in a film that keeps us at the edge of our seats, eager to hear every detail and catch every nuance. The international group of scientists that hears Klaatu's imperious ultimatum has no power to implement any of his demands. Who listens to scientists? Our days to becoming a burnt-out cinder are numbered indeed. We're more concerned with the walking-dead version of Klaatu, who apparently loses his life and returns only on borrowed batteries. Does his smile to Helen have a tinge of bittersweet interstellar romance?

Does he perhaps have a twin brother who'll come back to spirit Helen away to a galactic Casbah? Or is Gort a trigger-happy chaperone, willing to roast playboy Klaatu should he do a Captain Kirk and go soft for an Earth dame? The Day the Earth Stood Still is a highly successful message movie. Its Christian theme is ultimately a muddle, but it does communicate some things loud and clear. War is an atrocity to be avoided at all cost. Interstellar peace begins with treating our friends, relatives and everyone we meet with kindness and respect.

True Christians don't allow suspicion and fear to guide their actions, or mask weakness with blind aggression. This is one Science Fiction movie that will never fade away. The movie's clean lines and simple compositions only improve with the added detail. We can see tiny human figures running away from Klaatu's space ship as it lands on the D. Mall, and the imperfections in both the ship and the rubber Gort costume are much more in evidence. Watch Gort's arms and legs carefully and you'll see that more than one shot reveals the large laces on the side meant to face away from the camera. Snappy second unit photography in Washington, D. Klaatu lands in broad daylight he's on a mission of peace, after all but most of the film's later scenes take place at night, under eerie lighting that complements Bernard Herrmann's sensational music score.

The remixed soundtrack is sharper and more defined than I've ever heard it before; in the lossless Blu-ray audio format Gort's ray blasts are a marvel of audio construction, with sound effects nested inside sound effects. In addition to Spanish and French tracks, an isolated score track is included. Much of the film unspools with a documentary-like directness; Herrmann's cues are used almost exclusively in scenes involving alien activity. The older commentary by Robert Wise and writer-director Nicholas Meyer has been retained, accompanied by a music-centric new commentary with Nick Redman and three music historians. The Trailer Park and Cloverland companies contribute a number of all-new featurettes, several of which are quite educational. The Making of Fat galleries of stills and artwork are included along with an interactive press book.

Jamieson K. Price recites Bates' original short story Farewell to the Master. The best new extra is A Brief History of Flying Saucers , an excellent analysis of the flying saucer craze as examined by cultists, debunkers and the commercial opportunists of Roswell, New Mexico. It offers several famous bits of saucer footage, most of which look terribly phony. The piece concludes by stating Carl Jung's theory that the saucer craze is a form of social hysteria, a search for a new God to replace the old. The fun continues with three items based on the use of the electronic Theremin in the film's soundtrack. Musician Peter Pringle gives us a rundown on the unusual musical instrument, and then plays the opening theme from the film.

Exclusive to Blu-ray is an interactive Create Your Own Score feature that allows one to sequence Theremin notes and then see them played atop a movie scene. A shooting gallery game called Gort Command! On the more serious side is a montage of newsreel clips from the early 'Fifties, showing the media suspicion and contempt for our Communist foes. Contrasting that is Edmund North's film Race to Oblivion , made for an anti-nuke coalition of doctors. It features doctors and scientists proclaiming the unsurvivabilty of a nuclear war. Activist actor Burt Lancaster interviews a scarred Los Angeles nurse who was a victim of the Hiroshima bombing.

Back in the early s, political advocacy films of this kind were considered traitorous propaganda. Main review essay adapted from an earlier Savant review. Blu-ray description republished by arrangement with Film. Attention people of Earth! The film tells the story of a humanoid alien named Klaatu who visits Earth during the Cold War on a mission to save the planet from destruction.

His iconic movie is arguably the best of the golden age of 50s Sci Fi and also arguably one of the greatest Sci fi films ever. But I have a confession to make—I never watched it before yesterday. A thousand apologies. But hey, a 70th anniversary is as great a time as any. The first act of this movie is just so impactful. I loved how effort was made to show the world well, a few countries responding to the news. And while the sequence of seeing news reports from around the world reacting to a single event would become a trope and parodied impressively in Airplane! I suspect this was one of the earliest uses. The saucer, brought to life with some very solid visual effects, lands in an open area in Washington, DC, and the US Army and a bunch of looky-loos immediately surround it.

The image of the ship opening and Klaatu in his space suit emerging is instantly iconic. It all combines to a powerful start to this Sci Fi tale. In the second act we get to meet the man or the alien actually under the space suit. And can we just talk about how ridiculously good Michael Rennie was as Klaatu? He imbues the character with an ageless wisdom and an almost childlike fascination, as well as a cold, calculating manner and a charming warmth. This has to be one of the best alien performances I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot.

But it is also believable that fear and bureaucracy would mean that the situation would play out similarly today. Maybe a zoom meeting would be the best move? After introducing himself very spookily in the shadows he settles in very quickly. Neal and Gray both give very solid supporting performances. Gray has a very easy chemistry with Rennie and I enjoyed their lighter scenes together, including the disguised Klaatu being interviewed about the alien situation. And the young Gray delivers on the confusion and terror when he discovers that the kindly Mr Carpenter is the spaceman everyone is looking for. Neal also does well as she goes from concerned parent to unlikely ally of Klaatu.

So, kinda important. Klaatu sends a message to Earth by cutting off electricity to the world for 30 minutes all except critical areas and again I appreciated that the film showed the impact on various countries and not just the US. Tom Stevens Hugh Marlowe. If the Bensons represent some of the best of humanity Stevens represents some of the worst, placing the entire planet at peril for his own ego.

What a bastard! And, surprise surprise, a soldier shoots the alien but this time the wound is fatal. Before she can reach Gort he vaporises two soldiers. Sorry boys. And then we get a brief scene of Sci Fi horror as Helen encounters Gort and speaks the code phrase before she gets vaporised too. What a wonderfully thrilling scene. After carrying Helen in his arms 50s Sci Fi again and into his ship the robot dramatically retrieves Klaatu and resurrects him. The resurrected alien the finally delivers his speech to those gathered at the ship. We learn his planet has eliminated war by placing their security in the hands of the robots which appear to have some level of sentience and unless Earth joins their program they will be taken out.

So, not exactly a utopia.

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