The Day The Earth Stood Still–Part 7

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It’s a office, with a great many desks. Its also lunch time, and Helen is preparing to go to lunch. Suddenly Mr. Carpenter appears. Her telephone rings. Helen tries her best to terminate the phone call without offending the person at the other end of the call, or making Mr. Carpenter suspicious.

Tom, who is calling her from a high end jewelry store, wants to have lunch. Helen says she’ll call him back. Mr. Carpenter accompanies Helen to the elevators. Waiting for the elevators is a large number of people. Helen says she knows of another elevator, and leads Mr. Carpenter to it. It’s the freight elevator, and nobody is waiting for it. Mr. Carpenter asks Helen to tell him what Bobby told her. He also asks if she believed him. She balks at the question. “I — I didn’t really pay much attention–Bobby has such an active imagination”. She’s is scared. but not of Mr. Carpenter. The freight elevator arrives, and they enter.

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As the doors close close Helen asks “What is it you want ?”. Before answering her question Mr. Carpenter decides to take a chance, and be totally honest. “Before I ask you to be honest with me, perhaps I should be completely honest with you—”. Just then the elevator stops moving and gives out a groan. Then the lights fail. Mr. Carpenter asks for the correct time. Helen moves about in the elevator trying to get a tiny beam of sunlight on her watch. “Just turned twelve” . Mr. Carpenter announces with matter-of-fact tone that they’ll stuck there for “thirty of your minutes”. She suggests they try pressing the other buttons. She is told it won’t work. “You see — the electricity’s been neutralized — all over the world. It’s then she realizes something. “Bobby was telling the truth — wasn’t he ?”.

Outside almost all traffic has come to a halt, and horns replace the sound of engines. Hospitals and airplanes are unaffected, but almost every mode of transport that uses electricity has been stopped in its tracks. Police on motorcycles furiously try to start their bikes. Trucks, which were running one second ago, are dead the next. People are milling about wondering what has happened, while theories fly through the air.

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A cabbie in Manhattan is seen saying “My ol’ lady was right. We shoulda got a place in the country. A posh London business man wearing a bowler and carrying an umbrella can seen looking at his pocket watch and heard muttering. While in another part of London two cockney men with their hands in their pockets stare at the static traffic. One summons up the courage to declare “It’s that space man — that’s wot it is. Back in Washington at Professor Barnhart’s residence his secretary is far from pleased. “You should see it, Professor Barnhardt! You should go out and see it for yourself!”. The Professor is enjoying the view quite nicely from his study. “What a brilliant idea. I never would have thought of it” he mutters quietly to himself.  Then he asks her “Tell me, does all this frighten you — does it make you feel insecure?”. “Yes, sir — it certainly does!” she replies. The Professor continues to look outside when he says “That’s good, I’m glad. She shoots her boss a dirty look. On a completely different note he asks about who will be attending. What about the people who are coming to the meeting tonight? Have they all arrived?”. She checks her notes and says she’s talked to most of the guests, and that Mr. Klaatu will arrive at 8:30 P.M.

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Just because I haven’t mentioned anything of the Army doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean they’ve been sitting on their hands. At an undisclosed meeting Gen. Cutler (the chap in the photo above) and fiends are discussing what to do. “As far as we can tell, all power’s been cut off everywhere — with a few exceptions: hospitals, planes in flight — that sort of thing. I wish I could be more specific but, as you now, all communications are out telephone, radio, cable – everything. I can tell you that the President is prepared to declare a state of national emergency. Before we start discussing plans, I want a report from Colonel Ryder. What about the robot, Colonel?”. The colonel is a rather ordinary looking fellow. His primary purpose is to contain something so the military can proceed to create mayhem. Col. Ryder rises and grabs a small block of ordinary looking plastic.”When it was discovered last night that the robot had moved, I was directed by the Joint Chiefs to find a means of immobilizing him. We accomplished that this morning by encasing him in a block of KL 93. It’s a new plastic material — stronger than steel”. Gort is seemingly frozen inside this substance. General Cutler then makes a chilling decision. “Up till now we’ve agreed on the desirability of capturing this man alive. We can no longer afford to be so particular. We’ll get him alive, if possible — but we must get him!”. Across town the blackout continues. Tom and a jeweler talk about the diamond. Naturally Tom asks about it’s monetary value. “Is it worth anything?”. The jeweler gets the diamond in the sunlight, and examines it. After uttering hmmm and ahhhhh he comes to the conclusion “I have never seen such a stone. There are no diamonds like this — any place in the world”. The jeweler tries to get Tom to sell the diamond with no success.

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The Day The Earth Stood Still–part 6

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Klaatu and Professor Barnhardt agree the “demonstration” should take place at noon the following day. As Klaatu departs the Professor is uneasy, and almost wishes the “demonstration” would not take place.

When Klaatu gets back to the boarding house he finds resumes the character of Mr. Carpenter. Once inside he finds everybody ill at ease. Some people are trying to play cards, Helen Benson, mother of Bobby, is leafing through a magazine. Tom Stephens has asked to marry her so she already has a lot on her mind. Mrs. Crockett almost collides with Mr. Carpenter while passing through the dining room.  He sits beside Helen and tries to ask a question. When words fail him he shakes his hand nervously. Helen supplies the word he’s searching for. “Jittery is the word. She adds “Bobby’s the only person I know who isn’t – Jittery”.

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The space man still has not been caught, Gort is still standing by the space ship, and the space ship alone is a rather uncomfortable reminder that all is far from normal in Washington D.C. Helen asks about the gov’t agent, and Mr. Carpenter barely launches into his answer only to have the doorbell ring. Tom Stephens has come to collect Helen. They’re going on another date. Tonight Tom’s in a bad mood, He’s annoyed that Helen isn’t ready and waiting for him, plus he admits to being tired of hearing about “Mr. Carpenter”.

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Helen quietly files that little piece of information in her head for future reference. Mr. Carpenter hears Toms complaints, says good evening to Tom, and slips upstairs. Helen quietly admonishes Tom for acidic behavior. Before leaving she goes upstairs to check on Bobby. Mr. Carpenter is helping him with his math homework. When Helen appears she goes into his room and asks that Bobby stop doing his homework and get ready for bed. Bobby sits on the bed, undoes one shoe, and lets it fall to the floor before there’s a knock at the door. It’s Mr. Carpenter with a question. “Bobby — have you a flashlight?”. Bobby goes to get his, and informs Mr. Carpenter “It’s a real Boy Scout flashlight. Not quite sure why anyone would need a flashlight inside a house he asks Mr. Carpenter why he needs it. “Why — the light in my room went out. Thank you, Bobby. Goodnight.”. To Bobby that seemed like a good answer – until he noticed the light in Mr. Carpenter’s room still worked.

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Then Mr. Carpenter appeared, and Bobby ducked inside his own room. His mind was on fire with thoughts. Why did Mr. Carpenter lie to me, why is the light is his room still working, and what does he need my real Boy Scout flashlight for ? Before Mr. Carpenter moved he checked that nobody was watching him. Satisfied that nobody was he turned off lights in his room, closed the door, and went downstairs. Quietly Bobby watched as Mr. Carpenter went through the front door. As Mr. Carpenter reached for the door Bobby darted into his room, put the shoe he had taken off back on, and put on his jacket.  Mr. Carpenter was like a man on a mission. looking this way and that, going up and down side streets.  Bobby wanted to know where he was going, but more than anything he wanted his real Boy Scout flashlight back ! Before he knew it he was back at the same park that housed the spaceship and Gort.

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Bobby remembered the Army had built some sort of temporary structure for the space ship and Gort. Mr. Carpenter moved quietly towards the wall that had a small window in it. He moved quietly like a cat. When he was in position he used the flashlight to shine light in front of Gort. Using a code Gort knew, was instructed to dispose of the guards. Slowly Gort walked towards the soldiers who watched in bewilderment.

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Gort reaches out, grabs them, and violently pushes them together. They aren’t killed, but just knocked out. Seeing this Bobby is terrified, but screws up the courage to follow along the wall to the tiny window.

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Not quite believing his own eyes, he watches as Mr. Carpenter speaks to Gort, then enters the space ship. Not quite sure what to do next he runs as fast as his legs will go back to the boarding house in sheer terror and fright.

Mr. Carpenter walks through the ship, eventually arriving at an area covered

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with dials, and seemingly ordinary lights. He contacts someone and outlines his plan, yet he does this in language we cannot understand.

Bobby is back at the boarding house. He’s confused, terrified, and angry. A person he thought was his friend has disappointed him in the worst way imaginable. His mother Helen, and Tom return from their date. Helen is more than surprised to discover her son still up, sitting in a chair, with a foul look on his face.

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Bobby–! What are you doing up at this hour?”. Bobby proceeds to tell his mother just what has transpired. Helen thinks her son has been dreaming of the space man, the space ship, and Gort. “I like Mr. Carpenter — but I’m scared, Mom”.

Mustn’t be frightened, darling — It was just a bad dream. Here – we’ll prove it to you”. Surprised at his degree of insistence she asks Tom Stephens to go upstairs to fetch Mr. Carpenter. She tries her best to convince her son it was all a bad dream. Bobby is very disappointed with Mr. Carpenter, and now his mother is making a truly horrifying night a great deal worse. He gives her a really dirty look than says “I’d never call you a liar. While Helen tries to push the “bad dream” theory Tom does some unauthorized snooping. He knocks softly at Mr. Carpenter’s door. Getting no answer, he tries the door, pushes it open and peers in. Then he steps into the darkened room. Tom snaps on the light and looks around the empty room. Glancing around, Tom’s eye is caught by a flash of something bright on the floor below the dresser. He stoops down and picks up a fair-sized diamond. He studies the stone curiously from various angles, and holds it up to the light. Thoroughly puzzled, he keeps the stone in his hand, switches off the light and goes out. Like any good Retriever he goes back down stairs to show off his discovery. “He’s not there. But look what I found in his room”. Helen asks if it’s real. Tom’s expression says he doesn’t have a clue. Then Bobby pipes up that Mr. Carpenter has a lot of diamonds, then digs into his pocket to show them two more. Tom offers up the simplest theory available. “I think he’s a crook”. Not knowing what to believe Helen has Bobby sleep in her room. As Bobby starts up the stairs she notices his shoes are soaked. Bobby has the last laugh. “Yeah — the grass was kind of wet.

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The Day The Earth Stood Still–Part 5

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After the visit to the Professors their next stop was one of some reverence. The next stop was Arlington National Cemetery. Mr. Carpenter was astonished to see so many graves, and saddened that there were so many crosses. He asks Bobby “Did all these people die in wars?”. When Bobby answers it’s apparent that most did die in some sort of military conflict. Mr. Carpenter is saddened that Bobby will have to grow up without his father. On to cheerier matters, Mr. Carpenter announces he would like to take Bobby to the movies. “Do you have to have money to go there?”. For a while Bobby wonders if Mr. Carpenter has any money. “My mother gave me two dollars”. Mr. Carpenter pulls what look like diamonds out of his pocket. Bobby gawks at them in disbelief. “Some places that’s what people use for money. They’re easy to carry — and they don’t wear out”. They agree to trade the diamonds for the two dollars.

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Bobby suggests not telling his mother about this little transaction. “She doesn’t like me to steal from people”. When Bobby gets up from the park bench they’d being sitting on he comes to the conclusion that he got the better deal.

Mr. Carpenters prediction came true. The request of Professor Barnhardt to see Mr. Carpenter came in the form of a burly gov’t agent appearing at the front door that very evening to collect Mr. Carpenter, and to take him to the residence of the Professor. Even though the Professors secretary told him that a small boy had been in his study, and Bobby answered the door when the gov’t agent arrived, the “invitation” was for Mr. Carpenter only.

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The actor playing the gov’t agent is given some of the most used, almost stereotypical dialog in the entire film.  “Mr. Carpenter come home yet?”,Tell him I’d like to see him”, “Your name Carpenter?”, and my personal favorite “I been looking for you all afternoon”. How many times have you heard some celluloid detective say these words or variations of them ? Probably too many. Well back to the movie…Mr. Carpenter is handed over to the military police, who in turn deliver him to Professor Barnhardt. An MP deposits Mr. Carpenter in the custody of Professor Barnhardt. The professor points to the blackboard and asks “You wrote this?”. Mr. Carpenter takes a deep breath and says “It was a clumsy way to introduce myself — but I understand you’re a difficult man to see. I thought you’d have the solution by this time. All you have to do now is substitute this expression at this point. The Professor nods his head in agreement, then asks about the other expressions. He also asks if he has tested this theory. Mr. Carpenter takes a gigantic leap of faith by saying what he does next.”I find it works well enough to get me from one planet to another.

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The Professor stares at him with awe. “My name is Klaatu. I spent two days at your Walter Reed Hospital. Room 309. My doctor’s name was Major White. If you are not interested – or if you intend to turn me over to your Army — we needn’t waste any more time”. The Professor, now convinced of Klaatu’s credentials, thanks the MP still in the hall, and tells him that he knows Klaatu. He moves to the comfort of the chair behind his desk. Klaatu thanks the Professor for his faith in him. “It isn’t faith that makes good science, Mr. Klaatu. Its curiosity. Sit down, please. I have several thousand questions to ask you. Klaatu pretends he didn’t hear the offer to sit down. “I would like to explain something of my mission here”. The Professor is thoroughly engrossed in what Klaatu has to say, and simply nods in agreement. The Professor is like a child who has found the door to the candy store unattended. Klaatu continues on. “We know from scientific observation that you have discovered a rudimentary kind of atomic energy. We also know that you are experimenting with rockets”. The Professor agrees thus far. “So long as you were limited to fighting among yourselves – with your primitive tanks and planes — we were unconcerned. But soon you will apply atomic energy to space ships — and then you become a threat to the peace and security of other planets. That, of course, we cannot tolerate”. The Professor thanks Klaatu for the history lesson, and asks  Klaatu for the real purpose for his journey to Earth. “I came here to warn you that, by threatening danger, your planet faces danger — very grave danger. I am prepared, however, to offer a solution. The Professor suggests a meeting encompassing the greatest minds on Earth, “Educators — philosophers — church leaders — men of vision and imagination”. He suggests this particular people because “It is not enough to have men of science. We scientists are too easily ignored — or misunderstood”. He asks what would happen should this group reject the offer. “I’m afraid you have no alternative. In such a case the planet Earth would have to be-–eliminated.

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Professor Barnhardt suggests a small demonstration might be used. Klaatu responds to leave the matter with him. He’ll think of something. The Professor emphasises the demonstration be dramatic, and not destructive. What he doesn’t say is that he’s very uneasy about what Klaatu will plan.

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