The Day the Earth Stood Still

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This 1951 science fiction film looks hokey, perhaps cheesy, at first glance. But, after taking time to reflect on the movie, one can recognize the innovative ideas that it introduced to filmmaking and the universal ideas that it addresses. Peace is the prominent theme that characters reveal A strange turn of events brings a spaceship down into the heart of the people. The first being to make its entrance is an alien named Klaatu. His greeting upon arrival is an attempt to offer a gift to the president. This gesture is misjudged and someone shoots at the hero of the film. A robot immediately immerges from the ship and melts the weapons of the soldiers who are standing guard. Klaatu soon heals and escapes from confinement in a hospital to live among the people under an alias. He chooses the name ‘Carpenter' and seeks shelter with a family of people who rent rooms. Our hero seeks out and converses with a scientific leader to find a way to communicate with the entire world and encourage a new wave of peace on earth. To begin the process, Klaatu stunts electricity in everything but flying planes and hospitals and any place that lives depended on it. This would communicate the power and the urgency of the situation. Eventually he is discovered, pursued and killed. But worldly weapons don't have the last word when dealing with this heavenly being. Klaatu's trusty robot brings him back to the ship to bring him back to life according to the will of a higher spirit that Klaatu refers to. The movie closes with a meeting that gathers the worldwide scientific community in a lecture of peace followed by the ascension of the alien and robot back into heaven. The reactions of the post Word War II world seep out of the plot and convey the scientific world's hope to promote peace and avoid destruction. People at that time were frightened by the newly discovered nuclear power and were wary of the tensions of the developing cold war.
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