Released 1951 (USA)
American, in English (several brief, non-translated languages that are unimportant to the film)
Director - Robert Wise
Stars - Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Billy Gray
Klaatu (Rennie), a human-like alien from another planet, arrives on Earth with a message for its people. Neal co-stars as Helen Benson, one of Klaatu's roommates in the boarding house where he lives incognito, and Gray as her son, Bobby.
Very minor violence.
It’s pretty slow and boring. Once I realized that it’s the same director as The Andromeda Strain, the pacing made so much more sense.
I’m a little confused by the message. [SPOILER] The whole movie, Klaatu’s all Mr. Smuggy McSmugface saying, “We’ve moved beyond violence” and then at the end he’s like, “Oh, BTW, we created a bunch of robots that will destroy us if we get violent.” I’m not so sure you get to be super smug about your non-violent nature when the only reason you’re non-violent is because you’ll be destroyed if you’re not. [SPOILER]
The writing is weak. People’s reactions are both exaggerated and oversimplified. I felt like half the movie’s problems could have been solved if Klaatu wasn’t so cagey about his purpose for visiting.
The special effects have held up pretty well.
The acting was good. I even liked Billy Gray. Normally I dislike child actors, especially ones from the 1950s who did a lot of gaping, but he was quite enjoyable.
While the effort may have been ham-handed, I did enjoy that it was an allegory for America’s over-the-top reaction to Communism.
Meh. I did see this once before, in a theater no less. I couldn’t remember much of anything about it other than that I found the ending anti-climactic. I still feel that way. What’s more, I thought it tried too hard to be dramatic when all it’s really about is [SPOILER] a guy who swings by the planet to say, “Hey, stop being assholes or we’ll blow you up” [SPOILER] P.S. I know they were different times, but even in the 1950s would a woman leave a person she hardly knew in charge of her son for a whole entire day so she could go on a date? That bugged me for half the film. Anyway, although I see lots wrong with it, ultimately I think it’s harmless. You might enjoy it more than me. I certainly wouldn’t discourage you from giving it a shot.
I give it 2.75 stars.