The Day the Earth Stood Still

Factual error: The electrical power grid fails, depicted by a series of shots of city blackouts and equipment shutdowns. When the power goes out, the lights of an oil refinery go out as well as the flare. In actuality the exact opposite happens to a flare when powered equipment such as compressors and cooling devices fail simultaneously. The flare is not an electrically powered device and is designed to stay lit during power outages. All excess pressure is immediately vented to the flare stack within a second, causing an enormous flame and smoke cloud that will be visible for several miles.

Factual error: As Klaatu is walking down the train platform at Newark Penn Station, in the background you can see signs that say "VIA". VIA is the national railway of Canada and does not have a presence in New Jersey. This scene was filmed in Canada, as evidenced by the signs on the platform and the 1950s style streamlined passenger cars on the track. Neither Amtrak nor NJ Transit uses those type of cars in their trains.

Revealing mistake: When the guys are seen piloting the UAV's, they are using Saitek X52 Pro joysticks. These are commercially available controllers for Microsoft Flight Simulator. These were obviously used as props. Even if the army did use these for some reason, they weren't turned on in the movie (the buttons glow green when turned on).

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Trivia: When Klaatu is shown on the tv as an escaped convict, the phone number shown to call to report him is not the usual 1-800-555 number, rather it is 1-800-472-0391 which is the Alaska Weather Information Hotline.


Polygraph Operator: I'm going to ask you a series of control questions. Are you currently in a seated position?
Klaatu: Yes.
Polygraph Operator: Are you human?
Klaatu: My body is.
Polygraph Operator: Do you feel pain?
Klaatu: My body does.
Polygraph Operator: Are you aware of an impending attack on the planet earth?
Klaatu: You should let me go.

Klaatu: There are some things I can't do.
Jacob Benson: But you have powers.
Klaatu: I'm sorry.
Jacob Benson: Please. Please!
Klaatu: Jacob, nothing ever truly dies. The universe wastes nothing. Everything is simply, transformed.
Jacob Benson: Just leave me alone.

Klaatu: If the Earth dies, you die. If the human race dies, the Earth survives.

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Question: If Klaatu chooses to save the policeman that he injures/kills, and seemingly has the power to do this as many times as he wishes, why does he let the man using the Polygraph die?

Chosen answer: He wasn't sensitive enough to earth people at that time. He came for a job.

Anastasios Anastasatos

Question: When Klaatu and Professor Barnhardt are writing on the black board together, are they solving something that we just haven't solved yet, and so answering this question is hopeless, or does anybody know what it is they are supposedly solving, it looks to be something to do with an event horizon.

Chosen answer: As in the original 1951 movie, Professor Barnhardt has an equation on the board that suggests (theorizes) that space travel through inter-dimensional universes is possible. Klaatu solves the mathematical equation thereby proving that, not only is it possible, but that's how he got there. This was brought out in the original movie.

CCARNI Premium member

Answer: The equation Klaatu finds on the professor's blackboard is real - an in joke for mathematicians: the "Three Body Problem" seeks to account for all possible relationships among three objects in space (Landon 85).

Question: Exactly what Bach music plays at Professor Barnhardt's that Klaatu seems to be impressed so much by? And, what Latin phrase is shown hanging from the wall in his (Nobel?) prize plaque?

Chosen answer: The Latin phrase on the Nobel prize: "Inventas Vitam Juvat Excoluisse Per Artes" means "Let us improve life through science and art"

CCARNI Premium member

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