“Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!”

You’re an alien who has come to a backwater planet that is bent on it’s own destruction. You come with a message of peace and a gift for the President of the United States of America and for all your trouble you get shot for your efforts.

Thus begins one of the classic science fiction films of all time. Made in 1951 and directed by the versatile Robert Wise (who directed everything from crime movies like Born to Kill to horror like The Haunting to musicals like The Sound of Music). Michael Rennie stars as Klaatu an alien from outer space who has arrived with a message of peace and a warning for the people of Earth. After he is attacked by the army for brandishing a gift for the President – his robot Gort attacks the soldiers until Klaatu orders him to stop. The lesson seems to be not to arrive on Earth brandishing strange looking gifts.

After he is wounded, the U.S. places Klaatu in a holding facility. Klaatu later escapes from the army and decides to walk amongst the humans – trying to get an idea of what they are really like. Being the 1950’s and with the Cold War on – it looks the humans are a bunch of hateful, fearful idiots with the power to nuke themselves back to the stone ages. Almost 60 years later and not much has really changed.