Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 24, 2013

BRADBERRY: The week the earth stood still

Niagara Gazette — Only four years old when Klaatu and his metallic sidekick, Gort first landed on movie screens across the country in the wildly popular “The Day the Earth Stood Still” I was much too young to have seen and appreciated the initial release in 1951, but when I finally did see it on television ten or so years later, it left a lasting impression; it haunted me, it still does, but now more so.

The motion picture doesn’t frighten me in the same way that the way it did when I first saw it as a kid, now it inspires me, especially during Earth Week, especially now …

I suppose it might be safe to assume that most of us have seen it or the 2008 version at least once by now; I prefer the original, in fact, an old videotape version sits prominently in my library; I’ve probably watched it a few dozen times over the years, each time finding something particularly funny or profound about it, either way, I always find it topical to say the least.

Funny sometimes because the props look a little dated, but realistically, the costume and set designers actually did a great job with what they had to work with all those many years ago.

Profound, because of the subject matter, depending on how you interpret it; but, I mean really, what if a flying saucer were to actually land in Washington, D.C. assuming that has not already happened?

Would anyone even notice?

How would the television cable news networks and other media handle the arrival of a real UFO anywhere close to the planet, let alone its landing in the Nation’s Capital; can you imagine?

Suppose, just like in the movie, no one is able to blow it to smithereens; it’s impenetrable, unaffected by the most powerful weapons known to mankind, and worse, it just sits there looking ominously threatening.

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