The biggest stumbling block for me, when watching old movies, are rarely outdated special effects. What's much more distracting is pacing. Modern viewers have been conditioned to expect a non-stop stream of stuff happening. That doesn't always mean relentless action sequences, even dramas these days feels fast-paced compared to old movies.
Despite not being the most patient viewer, I was pleasantly surprised by TDTESS . It's unique mix of cold war paranoia and alien visitation became utterly enthralling once Klaatu left his space ship. Michael Rennie as the alien visitor is phenomenal: charming but also subtly menacing, projecting superiority without appearing arrogant or too judgmental. He's genuinely curious about humanity and wants to help, but he's not playing our little power games. Without Rennie, the movie might have lacked the strong focus to get you through without becoming bored.
Since I watched the remake, I wasn't expecting something surprising at the ending. But the reason for Klaatu visiting Earth was a welcome twist. This wasn't about a morally superior culture passing judgment on Earth (like in the remake), this was a practical warning concerning the executive branch of the local galactic civilization. Not that I actually think the solution for governing peace was good (every automated system can be corrupted), but it was an interesting approach.
So, if you saw the remake and wonder just why anyone thought this was a good idea, try the original. Once you get past the outdated look, it may surprise you.
Though released almost sixty years ago in 1951, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a sci-fi and cinema classic that still holds up incredibly well. The film has had a huge impact upon popular culture and many elements in the film, e.g. the groundbreaking score, are now staples of the sci-fi genre. The movie opens with worldwide warnings of an object hurling towards Earth. The object turns out to be a spaceship that lands in a field in Washington, D.C. The military, police officers, … more
Pros: Had a message to spread Cons: We still don't heed it The Bottom Line: Ok to watch when there isn't anything else to do. Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Guess I had this confused with War of the Worlds when I started viewing it, but quickly remembered the story once that 900 tall robot sidled out of the space ship. This was released in 1951 is one of those grainy movies full of … more