Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still Part I: A Religious Film?

  • Author(s): Anton Karl Kozlovic
  • When: 2013-10
  • Where: Kinema
  • Science fiction (SF) films have frequently been the home for subtextual biblical characters, particularly Christ-figures. Crafting these sacred subtexts can make the difference between an ordinary film and an exceptional one. This investigation intends to explore the religious and other dimensions of the 1951 SF cult classic The Day the Earth Stood Still directed by Robert Wise. In Part 1 of this analytical triptych, the film's reception as a UFO film with political, artificial intelligence (AI), police and philosophical dimensions was canvassed. It was argued that Wise's film contains all of the above genre dimensions; however, it can be more fully appreciated as a profoundly religious film wrapped in contemporary scientific garb. The forthcoming parts will explore the factual elements of this proposition in far greater analytical detail.

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