The biggest stumbling block for me, when watching old movies, are rarely outdated special effects.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 Once you get past the outdated look, it may surprise you.
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Feb 20, 2011
May 4, 2011 10:46 PM UTC
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