Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

TPR Hosts Screening of Science Fiction Classic The Day the Earth Stood Still at the Bijou


  • Twentieth Century Fox
Klaatu Borada Nikto! That’s probably cinema’s most famous line in an extraterrestrial tongue, and it was burned into many an impressionable brain from the 1950s onward. The source: The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which handsome spaceman Klaatu (Michael Rennie) lands his flying saucer on Earth, stays with a local widow (Patricia Neal), makes a point by causing the brief cessation of all electricity, and delivers a message to Earth’s leaders that if they don’t learn to make nice, they’ll be obliterated by a superior power who won’t stand for our shenanigans.

This 1951 hit marked the first time a major Hollywood studio spent A-level money on science fiction that delivered a serious political message, and it belongs to that decade’s burgeoning affair with Cold War paranoia in the atomic age. Director Robert Wise orchestrates spectacle, suspense, speeches and a story with a little boy and a big gleaming robot, while Bernard Herrmann’s soundtrack of spine-tingling theremin sounds defined sci-fi ambience. Texas Public Radio screens the classic as part of its Cinema Tuesdays series.

$10-$15, Tue Jun 5, 7:30pm, Santikos Bijou, 4522 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 614-8977,

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