‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ the once and future film

Sept. 10, 2008 | 1:24 p.m.

Gort, Klaatu barada nikto…

It was 57 years ago this month that “The Day the Earth Stood Still” created a sensation at theaters. The remake starring Keanu Reeves is due in theaters in December. So we thought you might like to check out the trailers for each. First, the original:

The classic was directed by the late Robert Wise who would go on to make “The Sound of Music,” “West Side Story” and “The Sand Pebbles” as well as two notable 1970s sci-fi films, “The Andromeda Strain” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” “Day” starred Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal and it really retains a certain gravitas even after all these years.

How good was the movie? When Arthur C. Clarke made his list of the best science-fiction films ever, he ranked “Day” ahead of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” a film for which, of course, Clarke himself co-wrote the screenplay. The American Film Institute ranked it fifth among sci-fi classics, and it was the oldest film on that particular AFI Top 10 list.

Now here’s the trailer for the remake, which is due in theaters on Dec. 12:

I had instant anxiety when I heard about the remake (that’s a familiar sensation these days, isn’t it?) but I thought the presentation for the film at Comic-Con International looked promising and, well, Reeves can definitely pull off the cryptic-and-detached-messianic roles, just like he did in “The Matrix” films. Director Scott Derrickson said in San Diego that it’s the right time for a remake. “The original was so a product of its time, and commented so well on that early Cold War era,” he said. “The idea of updating it made sense since the times have changed and we now have different issues.”

So is there anyone out there who is amped to see the Earth stand still again?

— Geoff Boucher

More in: Uncategorized, The Day the Earth Stood Still


5 Responses to ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ the once and future film

  1. DANE CAMP says:


  2. Tim1965 says:

    The original was never about cryptic looks and vague, apocalyptic messages. Michael Rennie's alien was down-to-earth, friendly, but serious about his business. He builds a relationship with a young boy because he's a normal person — not some doomsayer. In the original film, the aliens make their intentions clear from the beginning by destroying weapons not people. In fact, weapons aren't destroyed until raised and aimed at the alien ship. In the remake, we've got death and destruction right from the get-go, and it's eat-or-be-eaten humans who are the ones talking about imminent world destruction.
    Just like Hollywood to get the remake upside down!

  3. TomT says:

    Klaatu barada nikto

  4. roninwai says:

    yea, i agree with Tim1965…the remake is losing touch with the original film. Sure it's cool to update the message, but portraying the aliens as a kind of cruel group of galactic enforcers is wrong. Klaatu was more of a herald, telling the people of earth to get their act together before they destroyed themselves.
    It'd be cool if they could throw some concepts from Ishmael in there.

  5. Dagny says:

    Is Hollywood capable of doing something other than global warming movies? There's been like 18 in the last 5 years.
    And remakes. Sigh. Terminator Hulk Batman War of the Worlds. Terminator Hulk Batman The Day The Earth Stood Still. Oh throw in another Terminator why don't ya.
    Kill 'em all Gort! Kill 'em all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis