THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
1951, 20th Century Fox, 92 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Klaatu barada nikto! Christ-like alien Klaatu (Michael Rennie) arrives in Washington, D.C., with one-eyed robot to Gort to try to curtail Earth’s weapons of mass destruction before they can jeopardize the universe. Patricia Neal turns in a memorable performance as one of the only human beings attempting to understand him in this still relevant anti-war, anti-nuclear proliferation masterpiece. "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." The lyrics to "Science Fiction Double Feature," an ode to 1950s sci fi classics, in The Rocky Horror Picture Show reference Michael Rennie and the title of this movie. With Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe.


THE SAND PEBBLES
1966, 20th Century Fox, 182 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

This sweeping tale of gunboat diplomacy in 1920s China was a longtime passion project for director Robert Wise, who shot THE SOUND OF MUSIC during the film’s pre-production delays. In his only Oscar-nominated performance, Steve McQueen plays Jake Holman, a Navy machinist's mate plunged into simmering racial and political tensions when he is transferred to the U.S.S. San Pablo. The star-studded cast includes Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna, Candice Bergen and Mako.


THE BODY SNATCHER
1945, Warner Bros., 77 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi’s final film collaboration is this horror thriller adapted (by producer Val Lewton under a pseudonym) from a Robert Louis Stevenson short story set in 19th-century Edinburgh. When medical researcher Wolfe MacFarlane runs short of human cadavers, he turns to grave robber John Gray (Karloff, superb here). But as the doctor’s assistants (Lugosi and Russell Wade) learn, Gray doesn’t always wait until the bodies have been buried.


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