Decollete blondes are more touching

The Day the Earth Stood Still, the original version of 1951 is a classic of science fiction. I recently saw it with some friends, on the recommendation of my husband who is a specialist of this genre among us cine fans. It has all the ingredients you expect of a film of its kind in the fifties: fear of aliens’ threats, special effects that now appear ridiculous, a pacifist message and characters with moral integrity. However, precisely the choice of the characters displays a contradiction that is interesting to comment here.

The female protagonist is a still young widow and mother who lost her husband in the war and educates alone her little son. She works as a secretary and has a quite formal and somewhat gullible boyfriend with whom she maintains a reserved but serious relationship. Here are some pictures of the young mother, in the type of clothing she wears throughout the whole film.

I swear that not for a second we see a centimeter more of her skin than in this photo. Perhaps something more of her legs in the final scene where she confronts the robot. Even there she wears the same dress, and we can only see what her skirt leaves free below the knees.

That’s why we are surprised to see the posters that originally promoted the film in various countries all over the world. There we enjoy a quite different sight than what we see on the screen.

The robot is as it appears in the film, perhaps somewhat exaggerated in size. But the girl underwent a tremendous change. Not a single trait has remained from the young / mother / widow / secretary / virtuous (even if we, female viewers have criticized her – for envy, sure – for having left the little Bobby alone for all the night while going out with the boyfriend) and, last but not least, brown co-star…

Apparently, blondes in decolleté and in trouble are more dramatic and – who would deny it – more touching, i.e. they are more suitable to produce a certain “pathos” and to attract people to the cinema than well-covered brunettes.

The question is why the advertisers, knowing this, did not intervene earlier to include a decollete blonde in the plot. Or at least a decollete brunette as in the only half-fraudulent poster below.

We can assume, then, that in the early 50s the marketing had not the (super) power to intervene in the creative stages of the film as they do nowadays. But they also had no problem with blatantly lying as here, where they present an advertising image that the viewer, innocently caught by the hook, would have never seen in the film…

However, apart from blondes or brunettes, the fact is that the most attractive feature of the film has been throughout the years the metallic… Gork? Gorp? Who knows his name? And who remembers the word one had to tell him to stop his project of destroying the Earth? We should not forget it, just in case, although we are not decollete blondes…

2 comentarios:

TC dijo...


Well, what girl would not want to show a bit of skin to a well mannered robot. I believe it happens every day.

The robot's name, by the way, is Gort.

There has been, over the years, quite a bit of debate about what Klaatu said and what it meant.

Was he talking to Gort or to us?

Was he trying to save us from ourselves, while there was still time?

Klaatu later returned on the internet to explain a bit. He revealed that in the film he had actually been speaking Sumerian.

At any rate, on the momentous first anniversary of your first seeing this film, my message to you is:

Klaatu Barada Nikto

y besitos,


Julia dijo...

Thank you, Tom!
I'm sorry I haven't seen your comment before...
That day was my birthday so your message is even more fitting for the occasion! :-)