Here are some favorite science fiction movies of the 1950’s. Can you name a few more?
1.) Invaders from Mars-1953.
This film was directed by William Menzies and released through Twentieth Century Fox. I loved this film as a child and still try to catch it when it’s on television. The basic storyline is a young boy; David Mclean is awakened during the night and walks to his bedroom window where he sees a space ship land in the sand pit near his house. Just about everybody in the town falls into the sand pit and are captured by the Martians. The Martians implant control devices in the necks of the poor earth people including David’s father, some military leaders and the chief of police.
This movie features some rather cool special effects for the time and many of the shots are from the point of view of the child (camera pointed up). This movie is still shown rarely on television but check Netflix to rent. A trailer for Invaders from Mars is available on YouTube.
2.) It the Terror from Outer Space-1958.
This film was directed by Edward L. Cohan and was released by United Artists. It was presented in glorious black and white. This movie is perhaps my favorite Science fiction flick of the nineteen fifties. The movie opens with a cigar shaped space ship and an announcer voice over. The announcer tells us that this is 1973 and the ship is on the surface of Mars undertaking a rescue mission. Well, as luck would have it, one of the crew members leaves a hatch open and the “monster” crawls aboard the ship. What makes this movie interesting is we don’t see the monster until later in the movie.
The ship is composed of a number of different levels and the crew members keep going to the next level of the ship as the monster breaks through each level below them. Nothing can stop the monster, not bullets, grenades or a bazooka. Not even “Enough electricity to kill a hundred men”. The exciting conclusion involves opening a door. I recommend this fun sci-fi flick as a must in your classic movie collection.
3.) The Thing-1951.
This film was directed by Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby. The Thing was released from RKO Radio Pictures. This is a great movie, if you haven’t seen it you need to, and if you have seen it you need to see it again. A group of scientist dispatched from Anchorage finds a flying saucer frozen under the ice. In the ice, they find a frozen creature and take it back to the research station. The creature is accidentally thawed out and goes on a murdering rampage. The creature is played by James Arness (Gunsmoke). You can’t tell who it is because he is in costume the whole time. You can catch the original trailer on YouTube.
4.) The Crawling Eye/The Trollenberg Terror-1958.
This film was directed by Quentin Lawrence. So why does this classic get two titles? It was released in America under the title The Crawling Eye and in Europe under the title of The Trollenberg Terror. Don’t know why. This flick stars Forest Tucker, Laurence Payne and Jennifer Jayne.
A radioactive cloud covers a mountain top in the Trollenberg mountain range. Mountain climbers are having accidents. Specifically being killed and dismembered. Forest Tucker is sent in to find out why. This is a cool movie that features a great 1950’s monster, a psychic and some dorky looking mountain climbers. Lots of fun!
There are a lot of great 1950’s sci-fi movies. How many more can you think of?