Unfortunately there is no clip I have been able to find on youtube, showing the scene that I want to use for analysis. If there is any real urge to view it, this movie is available for straming on netflix. The scene begins around 1 hour and 1 minute into the movie when Klaatu enters the elevator with helen. As they begin their conversation, the power goes out, and the camera cuts to different scenes of places around the world trying to figure out why all the electrical devices stopped working. This scene is one of the most important in the film because it is exactly what the title is referencing, without electricity the people are helpless and everyone can do nothing but stand around and try to figure out what has happened and what will happen next. All of the shots in this scene highlight human’s dependence on electricity, a farmer is shown unsuccessfully trying to milk his cows, a gardener can no longer mow the grass, a maid can’t wash the clothes, mechanics can’t fix cars, conductors cant get the trains to move,people everywhere cannot even travel very far, without the use of their cars most of them wind up just aimlessly walking about. The scene incorporates wide shots of landscapes of frantic towns across the world, as well as closeups of individuals in the midst of dealing with their plight. The closeups show the fear helplessness and anxiety imposed upon them by this deprivation of technology, while the wide shots show the earth basically standing still. The scene truly starts off with a shot of cars all shutdown in the middle of traffic. The entire scene only has one line of intelligible dialogue, the rest is overwhelmed by an eerie and powerful sound of some instrument playing out a few chords, then a man announces “it’s the spaceman that’s who did it” then the instruments start back from the beginning and it is clear that the other people are saying the same thing in their own languages.
This film is historically relevant to the time period it was released in. The film was released in 1951, during this time was the cold war era, and tensions were very high worldwide, as the threat of atomic war was prevalent and fear and violence were very common emotions across the minds of many. The Day the Earth Stood Still is a studio production, filmed using 20th Century Fox’s sound stages and production lots. It is a true blue science fiction film. The writer of the script looked through over 200 science fiction films comics and books to find his inspiration. After finding enough material to work with, the film was used as a medium to deliver a message about the current political climate of the world as well as the attitude people regarded the outside world with. Despite being a typical science fiction film about invading aliens and robots and spaceships, the film had a peaceful message to it, begging humans to find a way to live without all of the weapons and bombs that produced so much anxiety and fear.