The Day the Earth Stood Still
DIRECTOR: ROBERT WISE
CAST: MICHAEL RENNIE, PATRICIA NEAL, HUGH MARLOWE, SAM JAFFE
J. Hoberman in person.
The best-loved science fiction film of the early Cold War, this warning from outer space inspired Close Encounters, E.T., and Ronald Reagan, so stirred by the notion that extraterrestrial invasion would trump national differences he floated the scenario upon first meeting Mikhail Gorbachev. Familiar with Reagan’s thinking, national security adviser Colin Powell was convinced the proposal was prompted by the movie. Two years later Reagan told the UN: “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”