“The Day The Earth Stood Still” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 24
“I like you Mr. Carpenter, you’re a real screwball!”
I have a confession to make. I’ve actually seen the Keanu Reeves-starring remake of this before seeing this original version.
Yeah. The remake wasn’t a particularly good film, but probably because the script made very little sense, and it had a whole lot of nothing for several good actors to do. Unfortunately, I don’t think the original is either.
In the 1950s classic, the one thing that stood out was Bernard Hermann’s score. It’s exactly what you think of when you think of 50s sci-fi. Iconic. Points in the original’s favor.
It also has some nice cinematography with plenty of nice shadows and crisp black and white visuals.
As for the movie itself, I was kind of bored, and a little bewildered by the turns of events. It made little sense what the protagonist (our space visitor Klaatu) was trying to achieve by being a super-creep and getting chummy with a neighborhood boy.
I get the whole “it’s the 50s and atomic age and the Russians are bad and the world could blow up at any moment” paranoia thing, but man – I’m sure glad that the “red scare” days of cinema are over.
I get the Christ allegory – but man, did they really have to go with “Carpenter” as the name?
It’s just all a little too ham-fisted and sterotypical of the era. It didn’t step out of the mold enough for me to really see the mass appeal. If I had been a kid in 1951 seeing it, maybe by opinion would be vastly different.
The Day The Earth Stood Still was at the time of this review at #157 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #364 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Primer
Primer is a much more interesting movie, even if it is near-incomprehensible.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. What Women Want
While it’s a fairly absurd concept, it’s an extremely fun and funny concept. I also really liked the chemistry between Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson. It’s a rom-com that just works for me.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Who’s Harry Crumb?
Not much of a fan of Harry Crumb. A lesser John Candy vehicle.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Little Fockers
Definitely not much of a fan of Ben Stiller’s dumb franchise.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Glory Daze
An early indie stoner comedy with Ben Affleck. Not great.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Rocky
Well, you can read what I thought of Rocky from earlier in the challenge.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Tomorrowland
Such a disappointment Tomorrowland turned out to be. It looked really interesting and fairly original, but it falls so flat. It’s kind of a disaster.
The Day The Earth Stood Still vs. Shopgirl
It’s the script. It’s so much different from so many other Hollywood scripts. It’s not quite drama or comedy or romantic – it’s just, unique. It wins over The Day The Earth Stood Still.
The Day The Earth Stood Still is now ranked #1096 out of 1450 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next up are Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and Escape from New York. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.