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Written By: Michael Barson. See Article History. Early life and work Wise grew up in Connersville , Indiana, and in enrolled at nearby Franklin College to study journalism, but the Great Depression curtailed his education. Start Your Free Trial Today.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. However, Robbins insisted on so many takes of his scenes that he was fired before the movie was completed. Director Robert Wise won praise for his lush adaptation of the musical to the screen. He refused to resort to special effects to depict the paranormal or to spell out easy answers to the predicaments encountered during….
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Robert Wise, Film Director, Dies at 91
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Keep Exploring Britannica Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan, American folksinger who moved from folk to rock music in the s, infusing the lyrics of…. Read this Article. Orson Welles, American motion-picture actor, director, producer, and writer. There's an almost naive simplicity to The Day The Earth Stood Still 's story, but therein lies its almost timeless appeal. A flying saucer lands in the middle of Washington, and from it emerges a gaunt, elegant alien named Klaatu Michael Rennie in silver space suit. Alongside him stands Gort, a shiny robot armed with a energy ray capable of melting human weapons into nothingness.
Klaatu comes with a dire message for our species: mend our warlike ways - particularly our tendency to build atomic weapons - or forces elsewhere in the universe will destroy us for their own protection. Needless to say, Klaatu doesn't exactly have an easy time getting his statement across, which leads him to put on a demonstration of his powers, resulting in the 'day the earth stood still' of the title.
Michael Rennie is magnificent as the atomic-age messiah at the film's centre - he provides a melancholy performance, as his character tries to reason with a warlike planet that insists on shooting at him despite his the peaceful nature of his mission. Then there's the design, which ranges from the clean, minimal lines of Klaatu's space craft - which is both typical of the flying saucers of the s and also curiously modern looking - to the wonderful Gort.
Robert Wise 20 greatest films ranked: ‘West Side Story’ and more - GoldDerby
Okay, so he might not look all that convincing to a generation raised on cutting-edge CGI, but he's still one of the most distinctive robots of the era, and his silence, shuffling gait and raw destructive power make him quite an ominous presence. An unusually thoughtful, dramatic and well-made sci-fi film from an era of larger-than-life invaders and radiation-enhanced monsters, The Day The Earth Stood Still is a classic of its kind. Plus, it gave the world one of the first catchphrases in sci-fi cinema: "Klaatu barada nikto" - the three little words that bring Gort to heel, and have popped up in the movies from time to time ever since.
For the full anti-war sci-fi effective, be sure to check out the original. Writer Michael Crichton had a rare gift for spinning disaster scenarios from scientific scenarios, whether it was robots running amok in Westworld which he also directed , nanotechnology running amok in Prey , or dinosaurs running amok in Jurassic Park.
The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
In , Wise directed an adaptation of Crichton's novel The Andromeda Strain, and for this writer, it remains one of the most chilling nightmare scenarios the author ever concocted - largely because it's so utterly plausible. What makes The Andromeda Strain so compelling - and relatively unusual - is the realism Wise devotes to his subject matter.
Although uniformly strong, the cast isn't studded with big-name stars. Instead, there's nothing familiar to hang on to, and we're forced to immerse ourselves in the pressure cooker-like suspense: rarely has a film where scientists perform experiments and talk to one another about their theories been so engrossing. All of this builds to a quite thrilling climax, which sees the already claustrophobic lab become a pallid, laser beam-defended prison. It has to be said that Michael Crichton has fared better than most authors when it comes to adaptations of his work.
By no means as colourful and crowd-pleasing as Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain is nevertheless intelligent, disquieting and entirely thrilling. This debut theatrical outing for the crew of the Enterprise divides fans even today, but for this writer, it's well acted, atmospheric and beautifully-shot. I'd even go so far as to say that it's the best-looking Star Trek film released so far, with Douglas Trumbull-created visual effects that still hold up 35 years later.