When The Day the Earth Stood Still hit theaters in 1951, it brought to the screen the qualities that made the genre so fascinating and durable on the page. Sure, there was a flying saucer, and a robot, and a space man from another world…but this wasn’t a cheesy invasion from beyond the stars. It was a grim reminder that mankind had finally harnessed the power needed to destroy itself utterly, and a warning that our species would not be allowed to transport its violence beyond our homeworld…even if that meant our cosmic neighbors had to wipe us out first. Like the best science fiction, The Day the Earth Stood Still used the trappings of the fantastic and the futuristic to examine very real problems and questions.
The Day the Earth Stood Still opened on this day in 1951. To celebrate the iconic adventures of Gort and Klaatu, we decided to highlight a few bits of trivia you might not know about director Robert Wise’s sci-fi classic. (And let’s just all put the Keanu Reeves version out of our minds…)