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December 06, 2008


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Owain Wilson

I watched The Day The Earth Stood Still a week or so ago. Quite a stirring film, but there was one shot which really tickled me.

During the sequence which shows machines and technology around the world grinding to a halt, exactly as had Klaatu planned, this poor old farmer who was quite happily milking his cows with the automatic suction device thing is now standing there looking at his non-functioning equipment and scratching his head.

As I sat there, smiling at this pitch-perfect yet unintentional physical comedy, I thought there's no way in hell we'll see this guy in the remake. Shame.


Funny this should be on here today, my wife and I just watched this last night, commercials for the remake reminding her how much she liked the original. What a clever movie. I laughed out loud at that scene as well, Owain. I also asked myself "what about airplanes" just before the general and the film answered the question for me.

And a really excellent performance by Michael Rennie. Watching it, I felt he would have made a fantastic Sherlock Holmes. Glenn (or anyone else for that matter), did Rennie have any other stand out parts or films you would recommend?

Glenn Kenny

@DVA118: I don't think Rennie ever got the career he deserved. He's excellent in Preminger's "The 13th Letter," also 1951—Fox really ought to issue this solid remake of "Le Corbeau" as part of its film noir series—and also in Mankiewicz's "Five Fingers". Quite a bit of DIstinguished Studio Schlock—e.g., "Demetrius and the Gladiators" and "Desiree"—and television followed.

Pete Apruzzese

Day the Earth Stood Still ran on the MonstersHD channel last night (presumably, the same transfer as the new Blu-ray) and it looked great. Looking forward to picking this one up...when I get a Blu-ray player.

DVA - I agree, I think Rennie could have been a very effective Sherlock Holmes.

Tony Dayoub

I was surprised to find that Rennie played Harry Lime in a 1 season "Third Man" TV series. I've yet to see him in DTESS (hate to admit it, but I did watch the Blu-ray and hope to catch it tonight), but I remember him from a show I loved, "The Invaders". Notably, he also played a guest villain on "Batman," the Sandman.


Obama is today's Klaatu, although his power to redefine planet earth will be more akin to The Sandman's (yawn).

I know this is so because my Blu-ray player told me last night.


Saw '51 Earth projected at the HFA a couple of times...such a great movie. It really still feels so relevant and accessible. It's an almost perfectly crafted film the way Jaws or Some Like It Hot--every individual element works so well. The acting, the cinematography, the special effects, production design, the script (adapting a much weaker short story, Farewell to The Master), Wise's direction, and Bernard Herrmann's amazing score.

It's an obvious huge influence on some monumental later works--"E.T." and WATCHMEN, most signifigantly--but looking at that still frame I'm somehow reminded of Father Karas' arrival in The Exorcist....

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