September 8, 2023

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Day and Time
Friday Sep 8, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

The UFOs are back!

At least, Congress is once again holding hearings on them in deadly earnest. But it seems they never really left us — least of all our cultural consciousness. This brings us to THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL from 1951.

This wasn’t the first alien arrival film by any means. But coming at the peak of the cold war UFO craze, it is one of the most significant in establishing this distinctive postwar genre.

Visitors from outer space in flying saucer films fall into into two basic categories: aliens out to conquer the Earth, or to save us from ourselves. The trick of the second type is to leave us guessing about why they are here, at least until all is revealed in the last act.

For all the inevitable hokum of ‘50s sci-fi (a big part of what makes them so much fun), this is actually quite a thoughtful and well-made film. Behind the camera was talented director Robert Wise. The theremin-heavy score is by Bernard Herrmann (his very first). The film also features a flying saucer designed in consultation with Frank Lloyd Wright. This was one serious saucer flick!

Starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, and a big guy in a silver suit. Pointlessly remade in 2008, but nothing more needs to be said about that. We’re watching the classic original.

Free. Presented by Mitch Stone in the Sanctuary. Enter side door.