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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

The Day the Earth Stood Still Movie Poster

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Twentieth Century Fox, MOVIE POSTER FOR THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951). Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox/Photofest.

Creator Twentieth Century Fox
Context Released during heightened Cold War tensions in 1951
Audience American movie-viewing public
Purpose To show how Hollywood produced science-fiction films that reflected the threat of nuclear war with our Cold War enemies

Historical Significance

In 1951, Twentieth Century Fox released what became the science fiction classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still. Displeased by the Earth's detonation of the atomic bomb, an alien planetary federation sends Klaatu and his robot, Gort, to warn Earthlings to stop their aggressive use of atomic weapons or face obliteration. The film reflected Cold War fears and anxieties of nuclear war. Unlike other Hollywood science-fiction films of the day, The Day the Earth Stood Still portrayed space aliens as peaceful, portending a message of inevitable doom if Earth continued to use atomic weapons.

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