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Uploaded on Oct 17, 2010
The soundtrack was composed in August 1951 and was Bernard Herrmann's first soundtrack after he moved to Hollywood. Herrmann chose unusual instrumentation for the film: violins, cellos, and basses (all three electric), two theremin electronic instruments (played by Dr. Samuel Hoffman and Paul Shure), two Hammond organs, a large studio electric organ, three vibraphones, two glockenspiels, marimba, tam-tam, 2 bass drums, 3 sets of timpani, two pianos, celesta, two harps, 1 horn, three trumpets, three trombones, and four tubas. Unusual overdubbing and tape-reversal techniques were used, as well. 20th Century Fox later reused the Herrmann title theme in the original pilot episode for Irwin Allen's 1965 TV series Lost in Space. Danny Elfman noted The Day the Earth Stood Still's score inspired his interest in film composing, and made him a fan of Herrmann.
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American science fiction film that tells the story of a humanoid alien visitor who comes to visit the Earth with a warning, accompanied by his powerful robot, "Gort". Robert Wise directed this film, and its leading actors and actresses were Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe, and Hugh Marlowe. "Gort" is also a primary character in this motion picture, but he is portrayed as a completely mechanical man. The writer of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Edmund H. North, based his screenplay on Harry Bates's short story "Farewell to the Master" (1940).
Julian Blaustein produced this film for 20th Century Fox, and its cinematography was executed by Leo Tover. Nearly all of the action takes place in Washington, D.C., where the alien spacecraft lands, and then remains without moving for almost the entire motion picture.