Main Content

The Day the Earth Stood Still [DVD] [1951]

  • SKU: 5205654
  • Release Date: 03/04/2003
  • Rating: G
Though dated in many ways, The Day the Earth Stood Still is still a classic of the science fiction genre, and Fox obviously recognizes that with a wonderful DVD release. The image restoration shines through as this full-frame transfer looks better than ever. Detail is exact, as well are shadows. The black-and-white photography has superb depth and contrast throughout. Only some minor imperfections are evident, but there's never a significant distraction. Unfortunately, the audio is the weakest element of this disc. Both the mono and stereo English Dolby Digital tracks are recorded far too low, though the stereo track does have a slightly wider field. Considering how revered this film is, it's little surprise that it's been given the special-edition treatment, though many of the supplements are taken from the 1995 laserdisc release. The disc is divided over two sides, the first with the film and a fine interview/scene-specific commentary, hosted by director Nicholas Meyer, with Robert Wise, the director of this film. Also on this side, along with the theatrical trailer, is a 1951 newsreel with a short segment on this film. The second side of the disc contains some great material. First up is a 80-minute documentary that covers nearly every part of the production. It includes interviews with Wise, producer Julian Blaustein, actress Patricia Neal, and many others. Another real plus is a comparison between the many restorations this film has had, from 1993, 1995, and 2002; it goes to show you what care went into releasing this definitive DVD edition. Finally, along with a couple of other Fox genre titles, One Million Years B.C. and Journey to the Center of the Earth, is an extensive gallery section. Unlike most galleries though, this one is a real treasure, since it includes the complete script of the film, blueprints, posters, production photos, and much more. This is a fine disc that complements a great film.

Item Added.View List

Add to List

    No lists found. Create one today.
    Add Item
    Cardmember Offers
    Frequently bought together


    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    94% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (27 out of 29)

    Special Features

    • Audio commentary by Robert Wise & Nicolas Meyer
    • 70-minute "Making the Earth Stand Still" documentary
    • Movietone newsreel (1951)
    • Restoration comparison
    • 5 still galleries
    • Shooting script
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Full-frame format (aspect ratio 1.33:1)
    • Audio: English stereo, English mono, French mono, Spanish mono
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish


    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    All of Washington, D.C., is thrown into a panic when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Out steps Klaatu (Michael Rennie, in a role intended for Claude Rains), a handsome and soft-spoken interplanetary traveler, whose "bodyguard" is Gort (Lock Martin), a huge robot who spews forth laser-like death rays when danger threatens. After being wounded by an overzealous soldier, Klaatu announces that he has a message of the gravest importance for all humankind, which he will deliver only when all the leaders of all nations will agree to meet with him. World politics being what they are in 1951, Klaatu's demands are turned down and he is ordered to remain in the hospital, where his wounds are being tended. Klaatu escapes, taking refuge in a boarding house, where he poses as one "Mr. Carpenter" (one of the film's many parallels between Klaatu and Christ). There the benign alien gains the confidence of a lovely widow (Patricia Neal) and her son, Bobby (Billy Gray), neither of whom tumble to his other-worldly origins, and seeks out the gentleman whom Bobby regards as "the smartest man in the world" -- an Einstein-like scientist, Dr. Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe). The next day, at precisely 12 o'clock, Klaatu arranges for the world to "stand still" -- he shuts down all electrical power in the world, with the exception of essentials like hospitals and planes in flight. Directed by Robert Wise, who edited Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) for director Orson Welles before going on to direct such major 1960s musicals as West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965), The Day the Earth Stood Still was based on the story Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Michael Rennie
      Michael Rennie - Klaatu
    • Patricia Neal
      Patricia Neal - Helen Benson
    • Hugh Marlowe
      Hugh Marlowe - Tom Stevens
    • Sam Jaffe
      Sam Jaffe - Dr. Barnhardt
    • Billy Gray
      Billy Gray - Bobby Benson

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 29 reviews

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Science Fiction Classic on Blu-ray

      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      If you grew up in the 60's or 70's you remember that late Saturday nights meant it was " Creature Feature " Night. And one film that was played again & again was the 50's Scifi classic " The Day the Earth Stood Still " appearing consistently as a fan favorite. Now if you are the film viewer who needs consistent action and FX, then maybe this is not for you, but if you prefer a great script with believable effects kept to a minimum with capable actors then this is your cup of tea. VIDEO This original film classic now comes to us on the Blu-ray format with outstanding results with a outstanding MPEG-4 AVC 1080p picture in the correct 1.37:1 aspect ratio on a 50GB disc. Contrast is impeccable with depth startling clear without filtering, which will make the purists out there, extremely pleased. AUDIO A beautiful 5.1 DTS - HD MASTER AUDIO lossless soundtrack has been included, with amazingly deep bass and expansive channel separation. I was in disbelief that an old mono soundtrack could be livened up to this extent. But they have done a remarkable job raising the sound to this level. Also included for the Purist is a 1.0 Dolby Mono track which sounds incredibly clear. EXTRA FEATURES - Create Your Own Score - Gort Command - Commentary By Director Robert Wise - Featurettes The Mysterious Melodious Theremin The Making Of The Day The Earth Stood Still A Brief History Of Flying Saucers If you are a Scifi fan you will love this Blu-ray, it has it all.. Great Film, Excellent Picture, Superb Sound & re-playability. Buy this classic Today!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Science Fiction Classic


      After renting a long line of sci fi B movies from the 50s for fun, we rented this one to remember what real movie making was like. The acting in this movie is top notch, with Patricia Neal turning in a solid performance, with depth of character and thoughtful touches. The alien visitor, who could so easily have some across as smarmy and superior, is carried off with gravity and humor. Even the annoying boyfriend, who could have been a cardboard cutout of a character, is well-acted. All the lines are delivered convincingly, with the kind of tone and pauses that makes characters come to life. It's *fun* watching it all done well. The special effects are good for a 1951 movie, but they aren't the main part of the story and are used sparingly. The story is a classic, and like all good sci fi, it's more about what we are like as humans than anything else. The movie drips an acid commentary on mil-think, media bias, and small minded hysteria, making it still relevant today. Highly recommended for anyone that wants to see solid science fiction - well written, well acted, well filmed, and well edited.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great Science Fiction Extravaganza from the 50's


      I have seen this countless times over the years and never have I really seen this film, like I have seen it on Blu-ray. The visual clarity is amazing but at times especially in darker (night) scenes you can see the contrast is a bit darker than necessary causing detail to become murky.. But this only happens a few times. I can forgive because 99% of the movie is like crystal giving a picture that is lifelike and felt new. This really is a great Science Fiction classic that is timeless, with a much deeper meaning if you have the patience to sit and absorb it. This is not a movie for the kiddies, this is serious adult SCIFI. I was surprised how good the 5.1 DTS HD soundtrack was in my ears. I think they really did a bang up job of taking a flat mono original track and infusing expansive dynamic waves into an unbelievable sound track.. really, really impressive. It sounded modern on my Onkyo system. If you are into alot of FX explosions and mindless mayhem then this film will probrably bore you. If you are the type that enjoys and air tight plot with first class acting, with the FX kept to a believable level then this film was meant for you. I give this film my highest ratings and encourage Best Buy buyers to grab a copy of this classic movie

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Best of the Best Sci-Fi


      One of the best sci-fi movies ever created. Made the year after I was born, I've been watching this film since I was a kid. It gets better every time I see it. The 1951 special effects were very believable (especially when I was a kid). None of this CGA crapp that makes today's movies little more than cartoons. I have owned it on VHS for years, and I am so excited about it's release now on DVD and Blue-Ray. The movie actually has a moral lesson that should speak to all of us. Don't miss this one.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Possibly The Best Science Fiction Film


      This is the epitome of what a great movie should be. The ultimate science fiction masterpiece.Masterfully directed, acted, and told. Directed to perfection by the great Robert Wise, the film is about an alien spaceship that lands in America bringing with it an ultimatum for mankind: abate the mayhem you've caused or else. Sounds corny but is actually quite meaningfull. Even the special effects are excellent. Any die hard robot fan will relish Gort ( defender of the universe).An undeniably great film.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      One of the first and arguably one of the best of modern-day sophisticated science-fiction. It was so REAL compared to previous so-called-adult science-fiction movies. Great story, great stars, great premise and a thought provoking finale. This is the pre-cursor of a genre that finally 'grew up'! This is a MUST HAVE video that belongs in everybody's film library!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A true classic

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      If you love Sci-fi and you have not seen this movie, YOU MUST! It is a classic with such a wonderful cast. This is a movie that when you sit down to watch it, over and over, it always is worth watching. The remake is ok, but this is so MUCH better. You see how the world was back then and how when a UFO shows up how the world reacted back then.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great Film


      This is one of the greatest and most important Science Fiction films of all time. It has a great message and is not completely defined by special effects (which so many films including, based on early appearance, the remake of this one do). This is a must see movie for any fan of science fiction or classic film in general.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.