From literature to movies, the 1950s was a great era for science fiction. Every year of the decade featured a fresh wave of sci-fi movies from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, The Incredible Shrinking Man to Robot Monster and Plan 9 from Outer Space. That’s why in this article, we are going to list down the best sci-fi movies of the 50s.
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Directed by one of the hardest working men in sci-fi cinema, Jack Arnold, The Incredible Shrinking Man movie was a great adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel of the same title. It is even perhaps one of the most moving sci-fi movies in the 1950s.
The movie follows the story of a strapping businessman named Scott Carey, who was played by Grant Williams, and his encounter with a cloud of oxygen while he was on a holiday on his yacht. Little did he know that the cloud of gas will have an awful and irreversible effect on his body. The changes started gradually and Carey’s height begins to decrease. Carey’s relationship with his wife slowly decrease along with his height and he was forced to accept the fact of what happened to him.
Destination Moon was a film about the first journey to the moon. The film was produced by George Pal and it was released 19 years before the actual moon landing took place. Destination Moon is known for its concentration on scientific facts rather than monsters or aliens and its attempt to imagine what the moon landing might look like is surprisingly accurate.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Invasion of the Body Snatchers might just be the greatest movie that emerged from the 50s. It follows the story of Dr. Hill, who was played by Kevin McCarthy, an excellent doctor who noticed an unusual absence of emotion in his patients. Then he realizes that the entire planet was being invaded by a race of plant-like aliens who plans to replace all human being with thoughtless replicas.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
This film might just be one of the defining movies of the 50s. it was directed by Robert Wise and it starred Patricia Neil, Billy Gray, Michael Rennie, Hugh Marlowe, and Sam Jaffe. The Day the Earth Stood Still is about Klaatu, ahumanoid alien visitor who came to Earth with his powerful eight-foot-tall robot to deliver an important message that will greatly affect all of humanity. This movie was selected for preservation in 1995 by the United States National Film Registry because they said this movie is historically, culturally, and aesthetically significant.
Forbidden Planet might just be one of the 1950s most ambitious and lavish sci-fi movies. This is about a rescue team that is headed by Commander John Adams who arrived on the planet named Altair only to discover that a sinister Doctor along with his nubile daughter and their robot are the only inhabitants of the deserted planet. But it’s not long before that Adams and his crew was set upon by a huge and invisible monster.
Invaders From Mars
This 1953 sci-fi film was directed by William Cameron Menzies and it starred Helena Carter, Morris Ankrum, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson, and Jimmy Hunt. It is about a young boy named David McLean who witnessed a brightly lit flying saucer that disappeared underground in a sand pit just behind his home. When he told his father the next day, his father investigates the sand pit and he came back as a changed man. Soon, David’s mother and other people began to act the same way. David asked the police for help and he was overheard by Dr. Pat Blake who took him to an astronomer named Dr. Stuart Kelston who believed that the strange happenings are an invading frontline that came from Mars.
This Island Earth
This Island Earth is known for its special effects sequences that its plot which is about a scientist couple,who was portrayed by Rex Reason and Faith Domergue, that was whisked of on an unusual journey to an alien world. There they met its race of big-brained aliens and a giant mutant with claws for hands. Even if it is not the greatest sci-fi movies in the 1950s, it is still fun to watch because of its special effects that were filled with style and color.
It Came From Outer Space
It Came From Outer Space is a black-and-white sci-fi film that was released in 1953 and it was directed by William Alland. It starred Charles Drake, Barbara Rush, and Richard Carlson. This movie is about an astronomer and his fiancée who were innocently stargazing in the desert when a large burning object just fell to Earth. They went to the crash site and discovered a round alien spaceship before it was completely buried in the sand. When they tell what happened to the local sheriff and newspaper they were assumed to be a crackpot. But it was not long before strange things started to happen and the people started to believe them,
Them! was directed by Gordon Douglas and it starred Edmund Gwenn, James Whitmore, Joan Weldon, and James Arness. Them! was one of the first, and well made, giant monster themed movies that thrived during the 1950s and beyond.
The film is about a race of giant ants who eats people in New Mexico and it’s up to a local policeman along with a pair of entomologists to put a stop to the threat.
The War of the Worlds
This is the first film adaptation of an H.G Well’s classic alien invasion novel. It was directed why Byron Haskin and it starred Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. However, in the movie, the storychanged its setting from Victorian era-England to 1953 Southern California where Earth was suddenly invaded by Martians and scientist searches for the alien’s weakness that can stop them.