[ROAMING 2017] the DAY THE EARTH stood still (1957)

Saturday night was the Festival Wanderings of Ales, the Night of the visitors to the space, with in the preamble a re-issue outstanding in the film Robert Wise : the DAY THE EARTH stood still, in a beautiful restored copy offered to the festival by Splendor.

the story: A UFO lands in a park in Washington, arousing the fear and the fascination. A man gets out of the ship and claims to come in peace. It’s called Klaatu. But a soldier’s trigger-happy reached the man and hurt him. Being cared for at the hospital, he asked to meet all the heads of state to announce a new serious. He refuses to talk unless to contact all at the same time. The conflict between the country makes this extraordinary meeting impossible, and Klaatu flees to try to convey his message by other means. A wave of panic hits the city, who feared the reprisals of these extra-terrestrial while Klaatu fled to the home of a young widow and her son laments that “we substitute fear for reason”.

Both say immediately, fans of special effects are likely to be disappointed. The originality of the film, Robert Wise (director of The set up and West side story to name such securities) does not lie in its technical virtuosity but in its desire to create the first film pacifist science fiction. The robot Gort, who obeys the orders for which it has been programmed, do not seek to harm but simply to argue in the face of adversity. The terrans are described by Robert Wise as being so obsessed with their conflicts of interest that they forget their neighbors are far away. Such as a messiah, Klaatu seeks to open their eyes and remind them that they are not alone in the universe. No threat to earth will not be tolerated.

The story of the DAY THE EARTH stood still, all in all very simple, however, the dialogues crisp and denounces the belligerent men with a lot of humour, ridiculing their protocol and their agitation in the face of this vessel invader. The staging is impeccable and efficient alternating frames tight and large movements of the crowd. The final panting just to conclude this film with the brilliance of the great film noirs on a partition of the inimitable Bernard Hermann. A film to rediscover both its staging and for its message of pacifism.

The evening is prolonged by a cinemix, mixing images of films SF completely vintage on the sound of the TwinSelecter, and the very current film by John Carpenter, Invasion Los Angeles.

The fans have also been able to rediscover Predator from John McTiernan, and Iron sky ‘s Timo Vuorensola.


Anne Laure Farges


[WANDERINGS 2017] the DAY THE EARTH stood still (1957)
Original title : The Day the Earth Stood Still

Production : Robert Wise

Screenplay :Edmund H. North based Harry Bates

Main actors : Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe

Release Date : 18 April 1952

Duration : 1h28min
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