YMMV: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

  • Anvilicious: "Grow up and stop being Bastards or someone out there will make you stop." This is a damned good one. They way Klaatu delivers the message at the end, the audience is made to feel as if he is talking directly to them. Especially poigniant when you remember that this film was released during the height of the Cold War.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Klaatu takes the human name John Carpenter. Any similarities to Jesus Christ are entirely on purpose.
    • Director Robert Wise later said that while most of the Christ allegories were intentional, the use of the name "Carpenter" was a coincidence that he never noticed until it was pointed out to him years later.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: There's a scene where two doctors are discussing Klaatu's physiology, and one mentions that Klaatu supposedly has a life expectancy about twice that of a human. As they speculate about what medical advances might be responsible for this, one of them produces a pack of cigarettes, and they both light up.
    • There's also a scene in which a news bulletin is heard talking about Klaatu, in which the announcer speculates the two most likely candidates for his homeworld are either Mars and Venus because those are the only two planets capable of supporting life... we now know that Venus is most definitely not capable of supporting anything what with the runaway greenhouse effect that makes it hot enough to melt lead, and none of the many probes we have sent to Mars have ever produced solid proof of any kind of life, let alone something intelligent enough to develop interplanetary travel, despite very thorough searching and more clear maps of the planet than we have of Earth.
    • Klaatu's chosen alias John Carpenter.
  • Narm Charm: Gort visibly creases at the knees when he walks, rather spoiling the illusion of an all powerful robot, but the film is good enough that you just don't care.
  • Ron the Death Eater: A certain subset of the population feels that the aliens' plan to Kill All Humans, no matter the justifications offered within the film itself or the hope that we will transcend the need to do so, makes them the real villains here.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The theme of the whole movie whacks you over the head with the idiocy of paranoia and violence, and it works.
  • Special Effects Failure: Gort visibly creases at the knees when he walks, rather spoiling the illusion of an all powerful robot.
    • Also note the obvious wires holding Helen up when Gort is "carrying" her (the actor playing Gort was tall but not very strong, and simply couldn't carry her on his own).
  • Strawman Has a Point: The humans are lambasted for "striking first", but the craft landed with little warning in a capital city, Klaatu walks directly at the humans with an object held up that snaps open unexpectedly within melee range — and didn't expect humans to flinch?
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Unfortunately the film loses the Wham Line from the end of the original short story, where the protagonist fearfully begged Gnut (Gort) to relay to his masters that what happened with Klaatu was an foolish accident and the people of Earth meant them no malice.
    "You misunderstand. I am the Master!"
  • Values Dissonance: The Fifties, when a mother was okay with her ten year old boy going off with a strange man she had met last night.