The Story of
The Day The Earth Stood Still
All over the Earth, the news brought a stunned anticipation. A flying saucer had landed in Washington DC. The intentions of its passengers was unknown.
Hundreds of soldiers surrounded the ship, weapons trained on the entrance that opened on the surface of the perfectly smooth saucer. Slowly, a single creature emerged from the craft and stepped toward the crowd. Humanoid in size and shape, yet unseen within its metallic silver suit, the visitor greeted the crowd with a message of goodwill and extended one hand, clutching a mysterious device.
For a moment, all was silent - until the device in the creature's hand suddenly opened like a blooming flower with sharp metallic tendrils. As a shudder rushed through the assembled army, a single shot rang out. One soldier's bullet had brought the spaceman to the ground, blood spilling from a wound in his arm. The alien device now lay shattered on the surface of the vessel.
For a moment, all remained motionless. Then another creature emerged from the ship - an enormous machine, also humanoid in shape but twice as tall as a man, with smooth metallic skin and a menacing, featureless face. As the monstrous device stood over the limp body of the visitor, a shield pulled back from its face to reveal a single eye of bright red light underneath.
The creature seemed to fix its gaze upon the weapons of the nearby soldiers, and suddenly a beam of intense light shot from the robot's single eye, enveloping and disintegrating the weapons in a terrible flash.
The wounded visitor then raised his head and spoke a few words. The robot ceased his attack, retreating to stand motionless before the spaceship.
Cautiously, army medical personnel approached the wounded alien and took him to a hospital.
The alien, they found, looked indistinguishable from a human being, and had learned from our broadcasts to speak in perfect English, albeit with a charming European accent. The visitor's name was Klaatu. His robot protector was named Gort.
At the medical facility, Klaatu was greeted by Mr. Harley, the secretary of the president of the united states. Klaatu asked the secretary to arrange a meeting with all the leaders of the world to hear his message; yet the secretary could only promise that such a meeting would be impossible.
Klaatu realized that living among ordinary people might help him better understand how to deliver his message. His wound now mysteriously healed, Klaatu slipped out of his hospital room, despite the police guard keeping watch on his room.
Klaatu took up residence in a boarding house, giving his name as "Mr. Carpenter". Among the neighbors he politely greeted were a widow named Helen and her son Bobby, whom Klaatu offered to watch while Helen spent time with her boyfriend. Klaatu asked the boy questions about human society and, in exchange, offered the boy basic information on physics and space travel.
When Klaatu told Bobby that he'd like to talk with the wisest man in the world, Bobby suggested that Klaatu meet his mother's boss, Professor Barnhardt. The two soon made their way to Barnhardt's office. Klaatu easily slipped inside and, spying a complex mathematical formula on a chalkboard, Klaatu lifted a piece of chalk and made a few corrections.
"This will be my calling card," said Klaatu, as the housekeeper entered the room and quickly sent them away.
That evening, several men arrived at the boarding house asking for "Mr. Carpenter". The men were government agents, and they brought Klaatu to meet Professor Barnhardt. To this wise and powerful man, Klaatu revealed his true identity and explained that he'd come to Earth in response to humanity's discovery of atomic power, which would present a potential danger to other worlds. "Mankind must follow our message of peace. Would a violent threat be more effective?" Klaatu asked. "If my message is not heeded, planet Earth will be eliminated."
The next evening, Klaatu returned to his spaceship and slipped inside. A secret signal to Gort helped him immobilize the soldiers keeping watch - but Klaatu did not realize Bobby was watching him.
Back in the boarding house, Bobby told his mother what he'd seen. Helen's boyfriend Tom had already become suspicious; slipping into Mr. Carpenter's room, he discovered Klaatu's otherworldly stash of diamonds.
Short on time, Klaatu met Helen at work the next morning. As he explained his true identity, the elevator stopped. Klaatu had arranged a brief interruption of all electric power in the world as a demonstration of the seriousness of his message.
As power was restored, the manhunt for the spaceman intensified - and it was Tom who exposed Klaatu's secret identity. As Klaatu and Helen fled to Professor Barnhardt's home, Klaatu told Helen that if anything should happen to him, she must go to Gort and say "Klaatu barada nikto".
As Klaatu and Helen slipped out of their taxi, a group of policeman spotted them. And within a moment, the alien was lying dead on the ground, a bullet wound in his chest.
Helen knew where she must go. Slipping away in the commotion, she rushed to the spaceship. To her horror, Gort had come to life - his destructive ray obliterating the soldiers keeping watch over the scene.
Helen rushed toward the giant creature, only to find it turning ominously toward her. Terrified, she nevertheless spoke the words: "Klaatu barada nikto".
Hearing the command, Gort did not turn his gaze from the woman. Instead, the enormous machine lifted Helen from the ground and carried her into the ship. Locking her inside, Gort quietly left the scene.
After what seemed like hours, Helen felt the spaceship open again, and the robot re-entered, carrying the lifeless form of Klaatu. Gort placed the body on a platform before a panel of flashing lights. And within moments, the alien sat up, apparently revived.
"Klaatu! You're alive!" said Helen.
"Only temporarily," said Klaatu, in a somber tone.
Again, the door to the spaceship opened. Klaatu led Helen outside the craft, where a crowd of scientists and soldiers had gathered. And to this audience the visitor spoke."
"Humankind has devloped space travel, but your history of violence has continued", he said. "My people have created a race of robot enforcers, as you have seen. We have given them absolute power to stifle any aggression. If humankind extends its violence into space, these robots will destroy the Earth. The decision rests with you."
The alien then retreated into his spaceship. Within seconds, the craft had lifted into the sky and disappeared, leaving behind a world with its greatest questions unanswered.
The Story of
It was the 23rd century, and United Planets cruise ship C-57D had arrived at planet Altair IV to investigate the disappearance of an Earth colony expedition sent twenty years earlier. Commander Adams was surprised to hear the voice of Dr. Morbius, an expedition survivor, over the ship's radio.
But Adam's surprise turned to determined curiosity when Dr. Morbius warned the crew to stay away.
The cruiser soon touched down and Adams and his crew emerged from the ship to see dust rising across the barren, exotic landscape. A strange vehicle sped toward them and upon arrival its robot pilot introduced himself as Robby and offered the crew transport to Dr. Morbius' home.
In his opulent dwelling, Dr. Morbius explained his warning: an unknown force had destroyed his ship and killed all other members of the expedition years before. Only Morbius' 19-year-old daughter Altaira survived with him - a fact the doctor seemed reluctant to reveal. When the lovely young woman eagerly greeted the crew - the only men she'd ever met aside from her father - the men seemed beguiled by her presence, if intimidated by her enormous pet tiger.
Robby was a more befuddling character. When Dr. Morbius ordered Robby to attack Commander Adams, the robot could not comply: murder ran counter to the machine's programming. Dr. Morbius demonstrated the robot's ability to manufacture any industrial materials needed for the crew's work.
Nevertheless, the ships' cook was disappointed was disappointed when Robby imbibed the last of the ship's whiskey.
The crew's visit seemed to be going smoothly until the first mysterious attack. Despite no intrusion being detected, some creature had entered the ship and damaged its equipment. The crewmen quickly constructed a force-field to protect their vessel.
Adams also turned his gaze to the beautiful Altaira. When the commander kissed the young woman, however, the tiger viciously attacked, and Adams was forced to kill the beast in self-defense.
Knowing the crew was in danger, Commander Adams and his officers entered Dr. Morbius' study, searching for answers. Soon Morbius himself arrived and explained his work: he had spent the last twenty years studying the Krell, the highly advanced natives of Altair IV who all perished in a single night 200,000 years before. The ancient race left behind powerful technologies, including the "Plastic Educator" - a device that can transform thoughts into living energy, or transmit knowledge into a living brain. Most humans who'd attempted to use the machine quickly perished, the doctor said. As Dr. Morbius explained his discoveries, he led the ship's officers into a massive underground complex where great power generators had been constructed two thousand centuries before. For what purpose would this energy be used, the men wondered?
This was not the only discovery made by the crew that day. Outside the spaceship, the cook found that Robby had not wasted his precious whiskey, but had instead analyzed its molecules and manufactured hundreds of bottles of the liquor.
Yet the dangers had grown worse. The mysterious intruder returned that night, destroyed the force field and killed Chief Engineer Quinn. The footprints left behind by the creature offered no reasonable explanation for its evolution: the creature seemed to exist outside of time.
The following night, the beast returned again - and the crewmen who defended the ship were horrified to discover that their attacker was invisible. Several crewmen were killed in the melee. When Altaira screamed in terror, however, her sleeping father was awakened. And at that moment, the creature suddenly vanished.
Commander Adams confronted Morbius - what secret was the old man hiding? As the men argued, Dr. Ostrow secretly placed the plastic educator device over his head, only to be quickly overwhelmed by its power. As the doctor fell backward, barely alive, he told his commander that the underground city they'd seen was built to materialize any object or desire imagined by the Krell. With his last breath, the doctor described the unrecognized danger: "Monsters from the id!"
Adams demanded an answer from Morbius. The old man explained that the "id" was an obsolete term for the subconscious mind - yet Ostrow's suggestion made no sense, he said, for there were no Krell left to generate such deadly visions.
"These monsters were not generated by the Krell. It was your mind that created these demons!" Adams demanded.
When Morbius dismissed Adam's accusation, Altaira was appalled. In her resentment she declared her allegiance to her new love, Commander Adams.
A terrible noise alerted the men that the intruder had returned - and for the first time, it was Morbius' study that the creature attacked. As the seemingly impenetrable door grew white-hot and warped under the creature's attack, Morbius demanded that Robby kill the creature. But the robot was unable to comply, for it was against his programming to kill...a human.
At last Morbius recognized the truth. The creature was indeed the projection of his own mind; that is why Robby could not defend him. Terrified, Morbius renounced his creation in an attempt to stop the attack, but it was too late. Within moments, the door was torn apart and Morbius lay fatally injured by the invisible attacker. Yet the creature had again vanished.
As Morbius neared his death, he directed Adams to press a lever in a nearby console. The Krell machinery, he explained, would soon self-destruct; the planet itself would be obliterated.
Leaving Dr. Morbius alone on his doomed world, Commander Adams took Altaira's hand and led his men into the spaceship to escape into space. As the craft raced out of the Altair system, Adams held Altaira and watched the retreating planet on the ship's viewing screen. Within moments, its violent explosion brought to a catastrophic end to the mysterious world once inhabited by the Krell.