Night & Day Archives » Night & Day

Klaatu Barada Nikto!

by

comment
1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still is science-fiction cinema ground zero. It's all here — the flying saucer, the giant robot, the brainiac scientist, a damsel in distress and an aloof humanoid alien— all filmed documentary style (to heighten those atomic age, cold-war fears) and topped off with an eerie Theremin soundtrack. Klaatu (Michael Rennie) arrives on Earth with his robot, Gort, in tow to deliver an important message for humanity. Too bad humanity's more eager to fight a perceived alien menace than listen. The Day the Earth Stood Still was a prestige picture for 20th Century Fox and director Robert Wise, but Hollywood would soon recycle its elements ad nauseum till they became cliché. This culminated in the ill-advised 2008 remake that gets it all wrong from the get-go, substituting "superstar" Keanu Reeves as spaceman Klaatu and thus losing the impact Wise's Klaatu had — Michael Rennie was an unknown actor. But neither age nor a dodgy remake has weakened the original. A new 35mm print of The Day the Earth Stood Still screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (July 31 through August 2) in Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; www.webster.edu/filmseries or 314-968-7487). Tickets are $5 to $6.
July 31-Aug. 2, 2009

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.