The Day the Earth Stood Still

Plot hole: In the scene at Arlington cemetery, Klaatu asks Bobby if it costs money to go to the movies. Bobby states he has $2 his mother gave him, which Klaatu trades for two diamonds. That being said, how in the world did they get from NW DC to Arlington in Virginia, and then on to the Lincoln Memorial at the Mall in DC? Much too far to walk, and Bobby made no mention of money he had before to take a bus or cab. (00:30:30)


Revealing mistake: As Klaatu enters the control room of the spacecraft for the first time, we see the right side panel revolve so he can enter. Once inside, it is the other side of the panel which closes.

Factual error: When Bobby is doing his math homework, Klaatu looks over his shoulder and says: "All you have to remember is, first find the common denominator, then divide." Division of fractions doesn't require a common denominator. In fact, the original script says "subtract". (00:47:55)

Continuity mistake: In the newspaper headlined 'Step up Hunt for Spaceman' the photo on the right shows Klatu and Gort on the hull of the ship. This shot is a still from the end of the film. (01:07:36)

Revealing mistake: When the spaceship is going to take-off, every scientists are trying to escape, but there's a man wearing a light colored suit and hat who seems more interested in pushing the chairs everywhere than escaping. He even pushes a chair in another row. The director obviously told the actors to push some chairs to create more excitement in the scene, but he seems to take that too seriously. (01:31:05)

Dr Wilson

Revealing mistake: In a few scenes the stitches holding together the front and back halves of Gort's "metal" body can be seen.

Continuity mistake: Just after Klaatu gets shot, Gort is seen melting the clear glass/plastic/cement material he was encapsulated in. When Patricia Neal begins to approach the space ship, the camera shows Gort still melting the material with it almost down to his ankles by this time. The next shot shows Ms. Neal looking at him, but when the camera goes back to Gort, the cement he was encased in is suddenly back up around his waist. How did it get back up when moments before it was down around his ankles?

Continuity mistake: When the power goes out there is a scene where it shows all the cars not being able to work, although in the background there is a movie marquee with the lights on.

Character mistake: At the beginning of the film, the British radar-man says it's moving at 4,000 mph. Then says it must be a Buzzbomb. As a British radar man, he'd know that the Buzzbomb, or V1 rocket, only flew at 360 mph - 75% were shot down by the RAF.

Paul Rybak

Continuity mistake: At the end when the spaceship is about to take off the people rush away from their chairs in fear of the launch. After the ship launches there are no chairs anywhere on the field, just the people.

Revealing mistake: After Gort takes out the guards and Carpenter passes by him, Gort turns around to follow, and the zipper for the costume is visible.

Other mistake: As the UFO approaches and flies over the park, the camera pans to the right with the UFO in the upper left corner of the shot, tracking it. As it does, the UFO passes over the heads of two women, who are gazing at a spot behind where the UFO is when they should be turning their heads to the right, watching the descent.

Movie Nut

Factual error: When Michael Rennie is standing in the shadows at the boarding house, Mrs. Crockett turns the TV off with the channel selector knob, instead of the on/off/volume knob. (00:24:20)


Factual error: When Bobby and Klaatu are leaving the Lincoln Memorial, Klaatu asks Bobby where Professor Barnhardt lives. Bobby responds, "near where my Mom works, at the Department of Commerce." There is no residential neighborhood as depicted as the location of Barnhardt's house anywhere near the Department of Commerce. (00:32:05)


Continuity mistake: After the power comes back on, a newspaper front page has Klaatu pictured with the president standing just outside the entrance to the saucer's dome, and Gort standing about five feet in front of Klaatu in the same place. But early in the film, Klaatu was on the ground with the president, and Gort never preceded Klaatu coming out of the saucer.

Klaatu: Perhaps before deciding on a course of action, you'd want to know more about the people here - to orient yourself in a strange environment.
Mrs. Barley: There's nothing strange about Washington, Mr. Carpenter.
Klaatu: A person from another planet might disagree with you.
Mrs. Barley: If you want my opinion, he came from right here on Earth. And you know where I mean.
Mr. Krull: They woudn't come in spaceships, they'd come in airplanes.
Mrs. Barley: I woudn't be too sure about that.

More quotes from The Day the Earth Stood Still

Trivia: In order to make Gort's body appear seamless, two different costumes were created, one that opened in the back for front shots and one that opened in the front for rear shots. Unfortunately, as someone has already pointed out on this site, it was sometimes rather difficult to co-ordinate which suit was needed for which shot and thus there are several times in the film where Gort's seams can be seen.

More trivia for The Day the Earth Stood Still

Question: For such and advanced species, wouldn't Klatu's people know that "reducing Earth to a burnt out cinder" (for its warlike ways) would also punish those billions of innocents who have no say in the policies of their governments or military? Wouldn't it be more effective to police the earth and neutralize any weaponry that we shot into space?

Answer: They said, how they handle their earth problems is no concern to them, it's only if they bring it to outer space and other worlds, they would take drastic measures to ensure that did not happen.

More questions & answers from The Day the Earth Stood Still

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