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Quotations from The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 science-fiction drama horror film about an alien who lands on Earth and tells everyone that they must live in peace or otherwise they will be destoryed. The film begins by showing an extraterrestrial flying saucer landing on Earth in the presence of the military and news reporters. The alien, in human form, announces that he has come on a goodwill mission. However, he is shot and wounded, so his large humanoid robot comes to the rescue and disintegrates all their weapons. Direced by Robert Wise. Starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Billy Gray, and Frances Bavier. Based on the short story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is seen as one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made. Nonetheless, the film, upon its release, only received very slight success at the box office. Continue reading for some quotes from The Day the Earth Stood Still.


American Radar Operator: Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
Bobby Benson: Department of Commerce. She's a secretary. They have a man they call the Secretary, but he isn't at all. My mother's a *real* secretary.
Bobby Benson: [to Klaatu] I like you Mr. Carpenter, you're a real screwball!
Klaatu: I won't resort to threats, Mr. Harley. I merely tell you the future of your planet is at stake.
Klaatu: I'm worried about Gort. I'm afraid of what he might do if anything should happen to me.
Helen: Gort? But he's a robot. Without you, what could he do?
Klaatu: There's no limit to what he could do. He could destroy the Earth.
Barnhardt: One thing, Mr. Klaatu: suppose this group should reject your proposals. What is the alternative?
Klaatu: I'm afraid there is no alternative. In such a case, the planet Earth would have to be... eliminated.
Barnhardt: Such power exists?
Klaatu: I assure you, such power exists.
Barnhardt: Tell me, Hilda, does all this frighten you? Does it make you feel insecure?
Hilda: Yes, sir, it certainly does.
Barnhardt: That's good, Hilda. I'm glad.
Barnhardt: Have you tested this theory?
Klaatu: I find it works well enough to get me from one planet to another.
Helen: What about the rest of the world?
Tom: I don't care about the rest of the world!
[Seeing her shocked expression]
Tom: You'll feel different when you read about me in the papers.
Helen: I feel different now.
Klaatu: I am leaving soon, and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all, or no one is secure. Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them. We, of the other planets, have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets and for the complete elimination of aggression. The test of any such higher authority is, of course, the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots. Their function is to patrol the planets in spaceships like this one and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression, we have given them absolute power over us. This power cannot be revoked. At the first sign of violence, they act automatically against the aggressor. The penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk. The result is, we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war. Free to pursue more... profitable enterprises. Now, we do not pretend to have achieved perfection, but we do have a system, and it works. I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.
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