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“The Day the Earth Stood Still”

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This classic film, made in 1951, still holds up after five decades.

Michael Rennie plays a humanoid alien who comes to Earth bearing a message: stop war or the planet will be destroyed.

The cast includes Patricia Neal, luminous and gorgeous, and Sam Jaffe.

Robert Wise directed, with a superb score by Bernard Herrmann. Leon Theremin’s eponymous instrument is heard in one of its first appearances on a movie soundtrack (20 years before Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys gave it front billing in “Heroes and Villains”).

My advice to my friends, should anything happen to me, has always been the same as Rennie, playing the alien spaceman, gave to his Earthling ally at a crucial moment in the movie.

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  • Sarah e.g.

    Ooooh, I just wanted to smack that sanctimonious alien bastard who couldn’t stop bragging about how perfect his home planet was. It’s like the Amway shill who tells you how, once he joined Amway, his dysfunctional family stopped fighting and learned to live together in perfect harmony and sweetness and light. No one really believes it.