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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Robert Wise and Nicolas Meyer Rating:8.0/10 (17 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by tcconde on December 7th, 2004:Find all reviews by tcconde
Robert Wise, still very much alive and well, did great work in this commentary. I have no idea why Nick Meyer appeared in this as he had nothing to do with the movie. The only reason he seemed to be there was to keep asking Wise questions, and maybe, in retrospect, that is not a bad thing. But the commentary moves along and is very informative. DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is still my favorite movie and it was great to hear Wise talk about it after 50+ years.
Reviewed by directorscut on July 18th, 2005:Find all reviews by directorscut
A fascinating and excellent commentary. "Wrath of Khan" director Meyer acts as interviewer to Wise, while also offering his own comments and analysis of the film. A lot of the time in commentaries for films as old as this the memories of the participants aren't great and the tracks tend to suffer. This commentary is an example of the way it should be done. The commentary is lively and full of interesting comments thanks to Meyer's probing. Wise shares his recollections of the film's production and his fascinating career. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by pat00139 on March 27th, 2007:Find all reviews by pat00139
Mr. Meyer acts as an interviewer for Mr. Wise but still talks a lot about the movie and his own thoughts about filmmaking. This is an informative track, although a big proportion of the commentary is spent talking about things other than the movie. They do talk about a few differences between the movie and the book, the actors and how they came to be in the movie, the sets, the shooting locations (none of the principal actors ever set foot in Washington) and the references to Christ and Christianity (Mr. Carpenter, the resurrection, and so on). They also more generally talk about editing, and how Mr. Wise handled that throughout his career. They also talk at length about Bernard Hermann (who wrote the score) and how Mr. Wise uses music in his movies. ‘Storyteller’ Nicholas Meyer gives his two sense about the simplicity of the movie and talks about his own experiences dealing with politics in science-fiction. It’s an interesting commentary but in my opinion Mr. Meyer doesn’t let Robert Wise talk enough. It’s his movie so he shouldn’t be interrupted. There are a lot of nice bits of information in here. I probably won’t listen to it again but it was worth listening to.
Reviewed by reidca on December 5th, 2007:Find all reviews by reidca
This is a generally excellent commentary. Like the others, not sure why Meyer was there (Star Trek seems to be the only obvious connection) but he asks a lot of intelligent questions. Wise is very chatty about the film which makes me wonder why a second person was even necessary - although it's becoming very common for an unrelated film director to be on commentaries - Sodebergh has done it a bunch of times. Meyer is a little agressively negative at times over a particular character, but praises it considerably as well. Wise talks about working for Orson Welles, Herrmann's music and the low budget film he did that Herrmann refused to do the music for and the folds in Gort's suit and how Gort lifted characters up. Meyer talks about the use of temp music and how Wise stripped it out before giving the film to Herrmann, he complements the visual effects and points out the strong use of shadows and confined spaces (which they possibly credit back to Wise's work for Val Lewton).
Reviewed by Glenn Hopp on December 16th, 2008:Find all reviews by Glenn Hopp
The commentary is a conversation between Meyer and Wise and is consistently interesting. Both make good observations; only a few stretches of digressive anecdotes appear. One of Meyer's strong points is his remark (in praise of Patricia Neal), "There are actors you can see thinking and actors you cannot see thinking." Hugh Marlowe's face gives away no thought to Meyer while Neal and Michael Rennie are actors with open, reflective faces. It's a good comment, and Meyer is also able to elicit some revealing observations from director Robert Wise: his lack of rehearsal time (due to costs), his use of storyboarding, his taking on the direction with the project already underway, his dislike of cinematic style as an end in itself (the moving camera, surround sound), his working methods with composer Bernard Herrmann. Wise comes off as a self-effacing, somewhat unassertive but more than capable artist, especially in his talent for making visual simplicity very artistic. My vote for the best comment is Wise first saying a bit apologetically that today's film style is so flashy and energized followed by Meyer's reassuring remark that his young daughter, raised on modern movies, just watched this movie and was riveted by it in spite of the black-and-white photography and austere visuals.
Reviewed by yellowcat on April 20th, 2009:Find all reviews by yellowcat
this was originally recorded for the laserdisc edition.
very lively commentary with absolutely no moments of silence.
Nicholas Meyer always asks good questions about the cast,shooting,editing and the score.both men have a great time and talk about their aproaches to directing.Highly recommended