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Day the Earth Stood Still, The (1951)USA 1951
Directed by Robert Wise
Running time 92 minutes
Director Robert Wise, who would become one of the most successful directors of the 1960s with West Side Story and The Sound Of Music on his CV probably knew better than to take his brief too seriously and there is, particularly in the opening stages more than a suggestion that he is having fun with the genre (I particularly liked the TV reporter who keeps his hat on in the studio). That Bernard Herrmann, best-known for his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, composed the score, further indicates that there was a level of talent on this project that well-exceed the usual team of hacks roped in for this kind of fare, including the, for their day, decent SFX.
The film's most famous line is "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!" spoken by Neal who must have been wondering if it was ever going to get better for her (it did, with a long career peaking probably with 1963’s Hud). B-grade sci-fi is an acquired taste but this one almost makes it seem worthwhile.