DVD review from The Movie Snob
The Day the Earth Stood Still (B+). I picked this one up in a bargain bin last fall in advance of the new remake starring Keanu Reeves (A Scanner Darkly). Then the bad reviews for the remake started rolling in, and I put the DVD on the back burner. But I finally put it in the player, and I was pleasantly pleased at how well this old black-and-white sci-fi flick stands the test of time. A spaceship lands in Washington, DC, and Klaatu, the human-looking alien on board, insists that he has a critical message that must be delivered to all the nations of the world simultaneously. Naturally the government and military types are loathe to facilitate this. Then Klaatu gives them the slip and moves into a boarding house in order to learn more about our strange and warlike species. There he befriends a WWII widow (Patricia Neal, Hud, sounding and even somewhat looking like Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager) and her young son. But friendship cannot turn him from his mission: to warn humanity that outer-space aliens will destroy the earth if humanity continues to develop atomic weapons without curbing its tendency to violence. Oh, and there’s an indestructible robot named Gort, and the memorable phrase “Klaatu barada nikto” is as important in this film as it would later be in Army of Darkness. And I mustn’t forget Frances “Aunt Bea” Bavier’s memorable turn as fussy matron Mrs. Barley. Director Robert Wise later directed The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and even Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Definitely worth seeing.