Day The Earth Stood Still Screening and Behind the Scenes
Kevin Atkins presents a special 60th Anniversary Tribute to the film
This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of the few science fiction films are as universally respected as “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
Robert Wise, film editor on “Citizen Kane” and director of, “West Side Story,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Andromeda Strain” and of course, “Star Trek, The Motion Picture,” expanded the short story “farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates and gave us Klaatu, the most distinguished alien visitor in film history. Played by the unknown, at the time, British actor Michael Rennie.
Klaatu’s spaceship lands on a baseball diamond in the nation’s capitol. The Army arrives, and as soon as the alien leaves his ship, he’s shot. Taken to a hospital, Klaatu is visited by and aide to the President. The alien demands that the newcomer arrange a meeting, in Washington, with all the leaders of the world. The aide tells him that it’s not possible and leaves. Klaatu decides to sneak off from the hospital and contact Professor Barnhart (Sam Jaffe).
The spaceman asks that his host assemble the world’s top scientists by the saucer. There, Klaatu will address them on a matter of considerable urgency. To emphasize the serious nature of his visit, the alien shuts down all of the Earth’s electrical power for thirty minutes.
Sufficiently impressed, the scientists gather. Before the meeting can be held, however, Klaatu is shot dead by the military. Gort retrieves the body, restores life to his master, and Klaatu offers a warning to the scientists: all atomic tests must cease, “or this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder.” Klaatu’s people, aware that the Earthmen will soon reach for the stars, cannot allow them to do so and still bear arms that might disrupt the peace of the galaxy. With that as food for thought, the alien departs.
Join Kevin Atkins, Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore in Main Events on Saturday morning as we present the 1951 version of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
We’ll have a brief introduction by the three musketeers and a short Q&A with Kevin, Dayton and Kevin. On Sunday morning, also in Main Events, Kevin will present a behind-the-scenes look at the film. He’ll deconstruct the special effects behind the saucer landing, the first appearance of Klaatu and of course, Gort. There will be time for Q&A after the Sunday presentation as well.