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Archive for June 20th, 2015

Today’s movie review is for the SciFi classic: “The Day The Earth Stood Still” (1951).  This movie starred Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal.  Basically, an alien spaceship lands in Washington, D.C. and the ship pilot – Klaatu, played by Rennie – announces he is here to deliver a message to all of Earth.  He is wounded, rushed to a hospital from which he escapes and then he moves into a boarding house where he attempts to learn about humans “first hand”.
At the boarding house he meets a single mother (Neal) and her son, who befriends the alien and gives him a tour of D.C.  While playing tourist, Klaatu sets out to meet the smartest man on Earth so the alien can convey his message.  Fade to much later…  Klaatu tells Mrs. Benson (Neal) that if anything happens to him she is to tell his robot / guard (Gort) the (now famous) line: “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.”  Klaatu is killed by the military.  Mrs. Benson delivers the message to Gort.  Gort recovers Klaatu’s body and brings him back to life using alien technology.
Klaatu delivers his message of warning to Earth’s scientists that the planet will be destroyed if we attempt to take our nuclear weapons into space.  He then says good-bye and leaves Earth.
The movie is about fear of the unknown and fairly anti-war.  As such, it was very much ahead of its time – this being the real beginning of the “cold war” period.  It has many “quaint” images in it.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the old style switchboards and operators.
I will always remember Rennie for his role in this movie and in my young mind it (the movie) defined SciFi for me for many years.  The only three equals (for me) were “Village of the Damned” (1960), “The Blob” (1958) and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956).  All four of these are excellent period SciFi movies and I would highly recommend any of them.
Final recommendation: Highly Recommended!!  After 60 years, the movie still holds up well as SciFi and as a commentary on the United States at that time.  I guess we must have heeded the message of the movie as we have never tried to take our nuclear weapons into space.  More accurately, we’ve made no “serious” efforts to go to space.  This is not to denigrate the multiple craft we have sent to the ends of our solar system.  It is a criticism of the fact that we haven’t set foot on the moon in 40 years (1972).
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On This Day In:
2014 Just Reminded
2013 A Fine Balance
2012 One Measure
2011 Seeking The Common Ground
In Brightest Day…

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I know the sun will rise every morning, even when there is fog.  I know the whippoorwill sings melodious songs because I have heard them from the enclosure of my room.  I know the sky is blue looking through the haze, that the grass is green even when I stand in the desert.  I know the branches of trees dance to the movements of the wind even though now it is still.  I know the flowers have beautiful smells, that the ocean never sleeps and that snow falls upon high mountains.  I know deeply, that all human beings are beautiful if they are born free to follow their hearts.
It has been said, long before these written words, that if you build an archway for your heart, with neither lock nor door, life will pass freely in harmony with your senses.
TOUCH…  your friends, your lover; a stranger, then they are stranger no more.  Hold them, feel the beauty of their skin, their face, their hair  …  as you would touch the delicate petals of a carnation or put your hand in a gentle stream or feel the sand beneath your feet or climb the rocks and crags of the shoreline.
LISTEN…  to their words, their breathing, their heartbeat, their footsteps on the carpet of leaves as they come to you  …  as you would listen to the rain or deer running through the forest or the bark of a dog or the cascading of a waterfall or a tiny breeze.
SEE…  the expressions on their face of their different moods.  See in their eyes the longing for love, companionship and a meaningful purpose to their lives.  See their hands create their being  …  as you would see a tidepool, the splash of a wave, a new portrait made by falling snow, the landscape of a valley, the changing of a sunset.
SPEAK…  to them of love, of the harmony of nature, of quiet understanding among men, of the simple things in life in which one can find peace, of the truth you have found  …  as you would speak to God.
Ride the crest of the wave of the shore.  Follow the river till it emerges with the ocean.  Look at the clouds till they disappear.  Watch the sun rise, its path across the sky, then vanish.  When you have experienced these things you will know your heart  …  follow it.
    —    Written by:  Walter Rinder
[I’ve seen the last paragraph / stanza in several formats.  The one shown is the way I copied it to my journal back in the mid-70’s.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2014 Just Reminded
2013 A Fine Balance
2012 One Measure
2011 Seeking The Common Ground
In Brightest Day…

Read Full Post »

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