Saturday, April 2, 2011

Farewell To The Master!

I was lucky enough a week ago to be able to show The Day the Earth Stood Still to my classes. It took a few days, and it was something of a reward, but it was also a chance to involve them in a movie they would otherwise be indifferent to. Modern students have a disdain for black and white movies, and I never miss a chance to get one in front of them. They automatically close their minds to an overwhelming percentage of films simply because of this bias.

I approach the movie as the Christ allegory that it is, and that gets it under the scrutiny of my curriculum overlords. But this is a movie that is just good on its own merits and should be seen as film literature. That's a tougher sell in the modern world of education overwhelmed by testing requirements.

But I got this one in and they seemed by and large to really enjoy it. Some even commented on it and their behavior showed me they plugged into it in ways they didn't anticipate nor in many cases admit to.

But this movie has an origin. It's an adaptation of the short story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry G. Bates. If you'd like to read that original story just click on the title above.

That story, and not the film I hasten to add, was adapted to comics back in the Bronze Age by Roy Thomas for Marvel Comics. He got the impressive team of Ross Andru and Wayne Howard to do the art chores, and they gave the story a sleek modern interpretation.

Below is that adaptation done for an issue of Marvel's impressive science fiction comic Worlds Unknown.

Rich Buckler & Wayne Howard

Rip Off


  1. Awesome post dude. We read a science fiction short story every week at the Classic Science Fiction message board. If this short story is any good I'll be sure to pick it the next chance I get.

  2. Never read the short story, going to in just a moment though thanks. The movie is an all time classic though, Michael Rennie is so otherworldly in it that the Christ allegory is the only way to approach it. Andf yet another movie that was pointlessly remade, very badly, recently.

  3. The short story was effective primarily due to it's "surprise" ending. It would've made a helluva Twilight Zone ep.
    The 1951 film is a classic example of superb filmmaking on a tight budget and getting great performances out of a talented cast, even stiff-as-a-board Hugh Marlowe!
    The remake with Keanu as "Space-Surfer Dude Klattu" is a cgi-enhanced mess. Even Jennifer Connelly couldn't save it. (And I LOVE Jennifer!)


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