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Day The Earth Stood Still, The

 

 

Day The Earth Stood Still, The (1951)

Composer(s):
Bernard Herrmann 

Released in:
1951

Reviews
Klaatu Barada Nikto
by
Godwin Borg (November 8, 2004)
First of all I would like to state that for me this is definitely THE science fiction score of all times par excellance. After over half a century this film and its score have not lost any of the charm they had. Actually the more I listen to this score and the more I love it. Like all of BERNARD HERRMANN's scores THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL has its own identity, its own very personal touch (of genius) still you can tell it's Herrmann from the first to the very last note. The mood in general is very eerie and weird (in a very conscious and controlled way) yet has a magical, luring, almost hypnotising feel to it. The use of electronic instruments; most notably the theremin contribute a lot to the spacey and haunting effect of this score. It is true that it was used in movies from as early as 1931 by DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH in ODNA and RÓZSA's SPELLBOUND in 1945 but it's in THE EARTH STOOD STILL that that the theremin really 'makes its statement'. Tracks like "Lincoln Memorial" stand very much from the rest of the score because of the totally 'sober' approach and instrumentation and are a good break (who needs a break anyway during such an awesome work?) from the rest of this totally mind-blowing score. "Gort" is as devastating as the robot that this piece is named after. It's one of the most powerful themes on this recording. There is no single favourite track in this score because everything is just so perfect and balanced. Definitely one of HERRMANN's finest works and one of the greatest musical works I ever heard. A must for any serious BERNARD HERRMANN fan and science-fiction afficionado.

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"Such power exists?" - Professor Barnhardt
"I assure you, such power exists." - Klaatu




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