Thursday, September 15, 2005

Robert Wise Dead at Age 91:
One of Hollywood's last masters of cinema

Robert Wise, a four-time Academy Award winner whose epic 65-year career ranged from editing Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" to directing the quintessential 1960s musical "The Sound of Music" to launching the first "Star Trek" film, has died of heart failure at age 91.

Wise was one of Hollywood's most versitile and influential personalities.

In the 1950s, Wise virtually invented the concept of social consciousness in the genre with The Day The Earth Stood Still, a sobering tale about a powerful alien sent to earth with a warning to mankind - learn to live in peace, or to face the wrath of the galaxy's superpowers.

The film highlights the sheer pettiness of most political disputes, warfare, and the benefits of working together to build a better world (as opposed to simply finding new ways to kill one another.) It is just as relevant today as it was in 1951.

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