The Day the earth stood still

United States, 1951

Image via TMDb

Based on a story by Harry Bates, this tale of an invasion of earth by a single spaceship from a planet in outer space is a classic sci-fi movie from the 1950s. The alien ship has two occupants, an eight-foot robot, and a humanoid being. They have come to warn the earth’s people that all other inhabited planets have banded together into a peaceful organisation and that inter-planetary peace is being threatened by the wars of the earthlings, and if this peace is disturbed, the inter-planetary UN is prepared to blast the earth out of the universe. The messenger spacecraft lands in downtown Washington and creates great fear throughout the world and the US rolls out their army tanks, howitzers and any other weapon they can find to guard the robot at the ship. The humanoid leaves the ship to hide among the people and find out what they are really like. Starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal, this film will not dazzle with its special effects (which by today’s standards are primitive to say the least) but the message for world peace and international understanding is as pertinent today as it was in the post-Hiroshima 1950s.

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production company

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation


Julian Blaustein


Robert Wise



Production places
United States
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Audience classification


Subject categories


Fantasy & Science Fiction

Fantasy & Science Fiction → Extraterrestrial beings

Fantasy & Science Fiction → Science fiction films

Feature films

Feature films → Feature films - United States

Literature → American literature - Film and video adaptations

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Extraterrestrial beings

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Life on other planets

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Robots




VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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