Reviews

The Day The Earth Stood Still

5

Of all the veteran directors still kicking about on Planet Earth, Robert Wise is the most underrated, with a back catalogue that includes musicals (West Side Story), horror (The Haunting), war (The Sand Pebbles) and sci-fi. And no, we're not talking about Star Trek: The Motion Picture (although he made that one too). This 1951 UFO thriller defined a decade, boasting images and ideas that Steven Spielberg would rip off - sorry, pay homage to - nearly 30 years later with Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.

The anti-nuclear message is clear, as alien messiah figure Klaatu arrives in Washington to warn of the dire consequences of war. And his sentiment is still prescient: "Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration." Are you listening, George W Bush? Klaatu barada nikto!

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