The (Original) Day the Earth Stood Still
“Klaatu barada nikto.” Either you know what that means, or you don’t. If you do, odds are you’ve seen The Day the Earth Stood Still — the 1951 movie starring Michael Rennie and Patrica Neal, about an alien (Klaatu) and a robot (Gort) who come to Earth to teach the human race a lesson about not killing each other. If you don’t and/or you haven’t, then your first exposure to this story might be the Keanu Reeves remake due to hit the screens in a couple of weeks. Which may suck, or may be great … but it won’t be the original.
So if you haven’t seen it, or you want to see it again, you can watch it here, free of charge.
Then head over to the The Crotchety Old Fan website, and let him know that I’ve done my part to keep the original alive. I can’t say I agree with COF that remakes like this are completely unnecessary. If a raw story is powerful enough, I don’t think it hurts to re-frame it for a new generation now and then, and see if you can make it resonate for them. Just look at how many times A Christmas Carol has been reborn.
But I do agree that it would be a shame if the new HD color version with the snazzy CGI effects makes people forget about the classic version, which told the story perfectly well fifty years ago, with a budget and special effects that even today’s independent filmmakers would be hard pressed to work with.