If we don’t stop killing each other we will be exterminated. That’s the message given by one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. World War II ended with the dropping of a couple of devastating nuclear bombs over two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 129,000 people. Over the next few months, more than another 120,000 people would die due to burns, radiation poisoning and other after effects of the bomb. The bombing ended the war at a high cost. And while it ended the war, it was just the beginning of a new era in warfare. Ever since, along with Russia’s own testing of a nuclear bomb in 1949, the fear of nuclear war has hung over us like a massive mushroom cloud. In the world of science fiction, films like The Incredible Shrinking Man, Godzilla and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms to name a few, have used these fears to demonstrate what our future may be. In 1951, came an early entry in the field. It remains to this day one of the best. Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still warns us that if we don’t stop killing each other, we may not have a future. It won’t be just giant genetically modified monsters we’ll have to worry about. Continue reading
With the Film Forum in New York doing a three week tribute to the work of Elia Kazan, I thought it would be a good time to provide a link to a review I wrote on this film for Halo-17.
Click here for the Film Forum web site
Click here for my Halo-17 review
Click here here for my short tribute to screenwriter Budd Shulberg.
Books about Elia Kazan
The Master Director Discusses His Films (Jeff Young)
Elia Kazan: A Biography (Richard Schickel)
A Life (Elia Kazan)
Kazan on Directing (Kazan and Lahr)
Kazan on Kazan (Michel Ciment)
Novels by Elia Kazan
Acts of Love