What’s Your Favorite Pre-1960 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie?

The Thing (1951), Them!, and Forbidden Planet.

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  • tony payne

    Although voting for ‘The Thing’, I thought ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ and ‘Them’ to be of equal enjoyment. I am very surprised that ‘Them’ has attracted no votes at all at this time of the poll as it is such a good film. These films were great entertainment and most carried the ‘X’ certificate at the time of release which now seems laughable when compared to today’s crop of similar films. The one film not mentioned which I felt was grossly overlooked by the public was ‘IT – The terror from beyond space’. It was the original ‘Alien’ and is highly recommended to anyone who loves this genre. It is available on DVD.

  • Bill Donham

    I voted for “Them” because I have always thought the combination of the story and many of the lines of the characters made “Them” an exceptional movie. The process of finding the ants and then dealing with “Them” is believable and interesting. Edmund Gwenn was excellent in his role and delivered some lines that I believe to be memorable. One such line he spoke was “We haven’t seen the end of them. We’ve only had a close look at the beginning of what might be the end of us.” That line says a lot in a few words and delivers a much larger message. All in all, “Them” is one of my all time favorite movies.

  • bonnerace

    This was a tough vote for me. Although the movies THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE THING, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and WAR OF THE WORLDS are about even in my book, I must vote for Klaatu out of respect. That movie probably did more to change modern science fiction films than anything until Star Wars.

  • Steve Rothstein

    This was a tough one. I voted for The Thing. I’ve always loved this movie since I was a child. The scene in which they open the door and there’s the Thing – growling and swinging his arm which almost took off the door – made me almost jump out of my chair. To this day, I still love watching this movie. And those great lines at the end – “Watch the skies. Keep watching the skies.”
    My second vote would be for Them, for all the reasons mentioned by others above.

  • Bill Pentland

    Although I really liked (and still do) The Day the Earth Stood Still; and The War of the Worlds gave me bad dreams for years to come; no early sci-fi film affected me more than Forbidden Planet. I mean, it was flying saucers, robots, ray guns, invisible monsters, come on! Great stuff when your 6! When Walter Pidgeon and Leslie Nielson walk out on that bridge in the Krell machine? With the 20 mile sheer drop below? Terrifying! Not to mention Shakespeare writing the basic script. Still a classic and always #1 for those early films.

  • mike jaral

    out of all the polls, this was the hardest. to me they are all 4 star movies. I understand they have used some of these sci-fi in college classes on how to make movies. I had to vote for “them”, as it was one of the first movies as a teen ager that really stands out. but all of them bring back memories. my compliments to this poll, you nailed the best of that era.

  • Luigi NYC

    20 April

    Bill —

    I agree — THEM — was a masterpiece of science fiction for its time. What made it so enjoyable was the SUSPENSE in unison with the F/X and the fine actors — Edmund Gwenn / James Whitmore / James Arness / Fess Parker.

    (Second Choice) When Worlds Collide — good story and great F/X especially as to HOW the rocketship lifted off from Earth. I often wondered if the rocketships of today could lift-off in the same way !

    Your commentary was SUPERB !


  • Hank Zangara

    Science Fiction and Fantasy are really two different things. Sci-fi by definition is science-based, or an extension of what we know or might know from a future science (think Jules Verne, H. G. Wells or Philip K. Dick). Fantasy is not science-based at all, but simply a flight of fancy (think Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, Tolkien. or Rowling).

    Therefore, my favorite pre-1960 sci-fi film is “Forbidden Planet.” However, my favorite pre-1960 fantasy film is Ray Harryhausen’s brilliant “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.”

  • Carioca

    All of the choices are wonderful, but for me #1 has to be Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  • Anonymous.

    Favorite GOOD movie: FORBIDDEN PLANET.
    Favorite BAD movie: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.

    But those mechanical ants in THEM are pretty cheesy! Not at all believable. They barely move!

  • stephen Farris

    Gort vs Robbie…what a toss up. But Robbie WINS!!!!

  • Anonymous.

    HA! Robbie wins my big toe!!! Gort would turn Robbie into a lump of melted metal slag!

  • Bazbee

    I knew that Forbidden Planet was something special when I saw it as a kid but I didn’t really know why. Later, I gained a true appreciation of its intelligent premise and great visual and sound fx. Truly a landmark movie; no overt violence or weird-looking aliens but a genuinely challenging thriller with a pervasive sense of foreboding. Still a wonderful movie- along with The Day the Earth Stood Still- two of the greatest in the genre.

  • Bazbee

    The best thing about ‘Them’ is that it inspired the name of a great 60s band, back when Van Morrison was worth listening to.

  • ichthyus

    All of these are good, but Them! stands out. However, I find it hard to believe that “Creature from the Black Lagoon” was not included on the list. It’s a classic and easily as good as most on the list.

  • Martin

    The Thing although all are some of the best movies in the genre

  • Randy Dannenfelser

    Glad you asked for “favorite” and not “best”. I voted for When Worlds Collide as “favorite” although War of the Worlds and Forbidden Planet might have been in a two-horse race for “best”. And by the way — what happened to Godzilla?

  • Marilyn

    They don’t have FIEND WITHOUT A FACE on the list — love that movie with brains & spinal cords crawling around. I have a real dilemma — The Day the Earth Stood Still or Forbidden Planet — a real toss up.

  • Sam

    I think you should also add “Things to Come” and “Metropolis” to the list. Two Sci-Fi classics.

  • b ellen

    body snachers was the best to scare you….I still look at pea pods with a strange thought.

  • John F. Burton

    When I was a kid I was never a big sci-fi fan but I always did maintain an affinity for those explorer adventure-type flicks. Movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth, and later ones like The Lost World and the Land that Time Forgot, Mysterious Island and the Valley of Gwangi, I always really enjoyed. But for shere nail-biting, for me nothing topped Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Thanks to Don Siege’s no-nonsense direction and Kevin McCarthy’s frantic performance, compounded by the political allegory (which I didn’t realize until I got older) added up to a terrific thrill. I still look forwarded to watching it now and again.

  • Venton

    The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) is by far my favorite. Out of the ones listed I have to go with The Day The Earth Stood Still.

  • Frank

    If you notice, all the films on the list are from the USA — tsk, tsk. (I voted for “Them,” though “The Thing From Another World” was a close second.)

    Add to Sam’s excellent suggestions the lesser-known Fritz Lang film “Woman in the Moon,” a real sleeper, spectacular and rather moving….

  • Jack

    “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is the most intelligent science fiction movie ever made and the production values are of a high order. I keep wishing that it would come true because it increasingly seems that the only thing that may save this planet is a real-life (so to speak) Gort…as long as we don’t displease him, her or it. Klatu, barrada, nicto!!

  • Bill C.

    Tough vote. I agree that “The Incredible Shrinking Man” should have been on the list.

    Voted for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” but “Forbidden Planet” and “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” are great personal favorites.

    BTW – what makes “Sinbad” a science fiction picture? I would classify it as a pure fantasy picture, dealing as it does with magic and mythological creatures. Not much (if any) science in the picture.

    Similarly, although there is a definite “S/F” element to “The Thing,” I still think of that as primarily a horror picture – preoccupied as it is with a vampire creature who jumps out of the dark and kills people.

  • Johnny M.

    A Very Tough Poll! Many of my Fave’s in the list.But one not mentioned and I thought should is “This Island Earth”,I luv Sci-Fi and this Movie is in My top 10 of 50’s Sci-Fi Pics!

  • csjonesy

    Having grown up in the early 60’s when all of these and more were staples of broadcast TV and having collected a 100 or so 50’s sci-fi/horror/fantasy movies I have a pretty strong opinion on them. “It Came From Outer Space” is always at least a top contender and a few times #1 in past polls like this. Strange it isn’t even mentioned here…until now. So “THEM!” for me. The 1st one I remember ever seeing as a wee lad and still my fave. :o).

  • version

    good call Venton – The Incredible Shrinking man

    The FLY worked for me back then as did Forbidden Planet – as do all on the list.

    I might add The Invisble Man – it was entertaining, if more suspense than sci-fi.

  • Dr Morbius

    With it’s innovative soundtrack, special effects, intelligent script based on Shakespears The Tempest, a great cast, every boy’s dream home project – Robbie the Robot, a mad scientist and Anne Francis’ legs Forbidden Planet is not only the star of the era but a Sci Fi classic that stands up against any other Hollywood’s produced. I like pod people and giant spiders as much as the next guy but for sheer terror give me the power if the Id.

  • fred buschbaum

    WoW!, talk about Hobson’s choice! While I chose the Thing, The day the earth stood still is probably the best “moral” SiFi film ever made. I’ve watched all the films listed since my youth, and except for Sinbad, all are in my collection for occasional viewing. As to Anonymous’ comment about the ants, like Kong, they were state of the F/X arts for their time.The creature from the Black Lagoon,(have all three films, as usual the firat was the best), and Things to Come should have had a high place on the list. At 72 yrs., I still enjoy them all, (still waiting for ET come home!).

  • Dave W

    tonalities… by Louis and BeBe Baron…
    Forbidden Planet!
    However, Gort was by far a better robot. Robbie sounded like a cash register..

  • speedle

    Johnny M. brings up a good point. I wonder why “This Island Earth” is not on anyone’s list. I have always thought it had an interesting storyline, and the alien monster was pretty scary relative to other attempts at creature creation during that period.

  • BILL O.

    This was a tough choice. I voted for “The Day The Earth Stood Still” because it was the most intelligent of the bunch. “Forbidden Planet” comes in at a close second as it was also an intelligent film. All of the choices listed are good films.

  • Tintwistle

    I’m one of the few who voted for “Invaders from Mars.” I remember how chilling that film was to a kid, and I saw it over and over again on television. This was before color TV, so I always thought the movie was in black-and-white. I can still hear young David shouting, “Colonel Fielding! Colonel Fielding!” Oddly enough, for some reason I thought Hillary Brooke was VERY spooky, even though she was meant to be one of the good people.

  • Maxwell Starr

    This was, indeed, a very tough poll to narrow a vote down to one choice – especially when every film on the list contains fond memories from childhood. I chose ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ because it was loaded with so much cool stuff that defined what science fiction should be in my youthful mind – a spaceship, a formidable robot, mysterious science (the hand device with which one could explore the planets, the interior spacecraft’s communications center and the machine that restored life), a well told narrative and a strange, otherworldly musical score (thanks Bernard Herrman!). But, ‘The Thing from Another World’ runs a dead heat with DTESS – it’s a brilliantly crafted film and leads the pack of SF films that ramped up the scare factor of terror from Outer Space. ‘Invaders from Mars’ , ‘War of the Worlds’ and ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ all built on this theme. ‘Forbidden Planet’ gave the viewer a pulp fiction version of interplanetary exploration and contained another terrific robot. ‘Them’ is another brilliant film showcasing the possible, if not plausible, horrible consequences of Atomic Radiation fallout (more scare factor). Ray Harryhausen’s films are always fun and very watchable – ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad’ is peerless fantasy but, his B&W SF films should have been considered on your list, ‘Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’, ‘It Came from Beneath the Sea’, ‘Earth vs the Flying Saucers’ and ’20 Million Miles to Earth’. ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ (1959) is still, in my opinion, the best “inner earth exploration” SF film made. It is far better and more entertaining than the 3D offering of several years ago. Other fine pre-1965 SF films, not on the voting list, are ‘It Came from Outer Space’, ‘This Island Earth’, ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ and ‘Tarantula’. Also, some enjoyable low budget SF offerings include ‘The Angry Red Planet’, ‘Journey to the 7th Planet’, ‘It the Terror from Beyond Space’, ‘Not of This Earth’, ‘It Conquered the World’, ‘Attack of the Crab Monsters’, ‘The Monster that Challenged the World’ and ‘Day of the Triffids’. These and others insured lots of great Saturday matinees and sitdowns in front of the television. Good times, good memories.

  • Carl M.Schmidli

    I voted for “The Thing”. Although it was apparent that this movie was very low budget, The overlapping dialog which added to realism, and the sound score drove the suspense up to shock level . I love all of the early Sci-Fi movies and have a collection that I watch over and over.

  • John Goodwin

    All the films on the list are great films but your “movie cladistics” are a little shaky – “Journey to the Center of the Earth” belongs in classic Jules Verne adventure , whereas “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “The Thing” although technically “sci/fi” are really horror films -“7th Voyage” is fantasy etc. etc….
    probably we all love those films so much we balk at the idea of selecting a favorite….

  • Nonnie4242

    The Day the Earth Stood Still gave me nightmares for years. I would get to stay up until Midnight on Fridays to watch it every time it came on and it was one of my 1st VHS movies purchased. I remember when my children were 9 and 7 and we stayed up one Friday until midnight with sleeping bags and popcorn to watch “the” movie. When they saw Gort, they laughed and laughed and laughed! What to they know about classics?! Gort – Klaatu barrada nicktoe!

  • BobF

    I chose The Thing as it was always my favorite. Great dialogue (everyone talking at once made it not seem so scripted), great music (the eerie mixture of dissonant horns and the Theremin) and great direction by Howard Hawkes. All in all, I have to say that this list comes pretty close to my favorite 10 sci-fi flicks.

  • Rick Hirsch

    My video collection would not be complete without “The Day the Earth Stood Still’. The remake was of course a travesty. “Them” was also a good movie. All of these are classic in the sense that they have stories that border on real issues and are smart as well. They stand the test of time. I wish Klatu could have helped me with math when I was young. Live long and prosper.

  • Chuck Neumann

    A lot of great choices. I voted for “Forbidden Planet”. The effects for the time were great, the story and acting top notch. It was a Science Fiction “A” movie, rare before 1960. But I could vote for a number of others. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “The Thing”, “Them”, “Day the Earth Stood Still” and “War of the Worlds” were all great as well.

  • Jim

    A real toughie as they’re all great! Agree that The Incredible Shrinking Man, This Island Earth and It Came from Outer Space should have been included. I would also like to suggest the grandaddy of all Sci-Fi movies- Rocketship X-M. It has its own special moments.

  • Rick Daniels

    I voted for “The Day the Earth Stood Still” for the best, but “Invaders From Mars” was definitely the scariest.

  • JH West

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers was and is hard to turn away from. It seems as fresh today as then. One I remember from that time period was “The Beast from Hollow Mountain”–a man vs. dinosaur picture like ‘Gwangi’ and others. I can’t even find it listed today.

  • terradaloo

    I still get a creepy feeling when I watch “Invaders from Mars”. Something about that humming sound still scares me!

  • Hank Zangara

    Shame on you for not including King Kong (1933) on your list!

  • Louis Martinez

    If “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms” had been on the list I would have voted for it. Granted Edmund Gwenn was superb in “Them” but Cecil Kellaway was much better. AND, “The Incredible Shrinking Man” should have been on the list. I grew up in the 40’s and I saw all of these movies on the big screen. They were great!!!!!!!

  • Louis Martinez

    Next time just do a poll asking us to name our favorite pre-1960’s sci-fi movie or horror movie. I would rather tell you than pick from a list you think is satisfactory because this list came up really short, no pun intended.

  • BD fan

    I just couldn’t get over the 2 seconds Kevin McCarthy’s girlfriend fell asleep after all the hell they’d endured (and of all things, during a kiss — which turned out to be a kiss goodbye). In those seconds all of his hopes and dreams of life with her fell to oblivion. That was just awful, and the realization of it in his eyes was wonderfully acted. That’s why I chose the Body Snatchers … that and Kevin declaring at the film’s end, “you’re next!” Mmm, great stuff!!

  • Lee

    Forbidden Planet, is still one of the best “Science Fiction” movies ever made. The plot required some serious intellectual stretch and provided more than just space opera—plus really outstanding special effects for 1957.

  • Mr. Ed

    Your list passed my muster. Other survey reponders have also noted numerous movies not on your list (all great). Either by purchasing DVDs or taping off tv over the years, I have quite a collection of sci-fi from 50’s. Great stuff.

    By-the-way, I had to pick one as my best so I picked Forbidden Planet, with Them very close behind.

  • Hank Davis

    Looking over the list of movies, I was tsk-tsking at ones which were missing, but I see that other commenters have already lamented their absence, so I’ll second these titles which should have been on the list:
    This Island Earth (and damn the Mystery Science Theater morons for trashing it!)
    It Came From Outer Space (from a story treatment by Ray Bradbury)
    The Incredible Shrinking Man (from a novel by Richard Matheson, who also did his own script)
    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
    Attack of the Crab Monsters (the crabs look cheesy, but no cheesier than the ants in Them)
    Not of This Earth
    It Conquered the World
    Things to Come (screenplay by H.G. Wells)
    Destination Moon (George Pal’s first foray into sf, with Robert A. Heinlein co-writing the screenplay)

    Fantasy movies really should not have been lumped together with the sf movies. And there are plenty of fantasy movies in addition to the Sinbad movie which could have been added.

    One fantasy movie that could have been added would have been The Man Who Could Work Miracles (screenplay by H.G. Wells, from his short story)

    Another fantasy classic not included is Topper, with Cary Grant early in his career.

    And the Cocteau movie of Beauty and the Beast. (If you insist on the French language title, fill it in yourself . . .)

    I supposed The Wizard of Oz would have to be included, though people who have read the Oz books don’t realize how undernourished the movie is. And I’ll never forgive MGM for having the whole thing turn out to be a dream!

    And don’t forget, Dracula is a fantasy character, as is The Wolfman (and most other werewolf movies, aside from a few which posit a scientific basis for lycanthropy), and the original Karloff Mummy.

    However, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster are in the realm of science fiction. So the Karloff Frankenstein and its sequels should be on this list, though I suspect that whoever drew up the list was trying to steer clear of series franchises.

  • lemchek

    This list is to hard to choose from and I can’t pick just one. So, I’ll pick three: The Thing, War of the Worlds and Journey to the Center of the Earth. I saw The Day the Earth Stood Still once and it was a great movie but I’ve never had a desire to see it again. My choices are ones I’ll (against all good judgement) stay up past my bed time to see again and again even though I have to go to work or an interview or a final exam. That’s my test for favorite movies. Where’s Mysterious Island?

  • Richard Finn

    Wasn’t “The Blob” pre 1960? I voted for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” for the same reason most other picked it. But I still loved “The War of the Worlds”. “Them”, and “The Thing”. “Forbiden Plamet” never did it for me, last time I went to view it I fell asleep. Some of the others I missed but would now like to see them.

  • S. R. Orsulak

    My list is as follows, WAR OF THE WORLDS, FORBIDDEN PLANET, BEAST FROM TWENTY THOUSAND FATHOMS, THEM, THIS ISLAND EARTH, THE THING, DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH, INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, and new to the list GOJIRA (GODZILLA) the original Japanese film which I have on DVD. What a find this was and the message that the film has can hold true today.

  • Ron Wood

    What about This Island Earth. Great fun. I remember hitchiking 10 miles to another town to see this when it finally reached the neighbourhood theatres; then saw it again when it came to my hometown theatre.

  • M. L. Wirick

    For me it was a tough choice between The Thing and Them! I finally choose The Thing! One of these days, can’t we have a poll that has more than one answer?

  • ekim smada

    As I have stated on this forum before, “The Thing” is my favorite. I still say the overlapping dialogue just makes it so real. Every character in that movie is so believable. The remote location and the terror that they are all alone fighting for their lives against a creature from another world. Second choice for me would be “Forbidden Planet”. The scene where the steps to the ship are bending under the weight of an invisible unknown terror. Super creepy!

  • Kerry Baker

    I voted for The Day The Earth Stood Still, but really did love Forbidden Planet as well. But I thought that The Day The Earth Stood Still won over because it presented aliens in a positive light and was something of a metaphor about human fear of anyone not like us. It had a very clear message to treat those who are different with respect, and is still as relevant today as it was then. It remains a timeless film.

  • SteveinSedona

    Anybody recognize the fighter pilot who eventually killed “Tarantula?” None other than Clint Eastwood.

    “Did I fire five rockets or did I fire six? Do ya feel lucky – spider?”

  • john

    I picked “The Thing”, as my favorite movie of all. Saying that, “Forbidden Planet”, would be a very close second. In fact seven of the ten movies would be in my top ten.Most of Ray Harryhausen”s fifties classics would be top contenders too. Two movies barely mentioned would be very high on my list also. “The Blob” was just A fun, campy delight, with Steve McQueen playing a teenager! The other movie is “Fiend Without a Face”. This is a creepy, scary movie that’s not for the squeemish. Another cult favorite with plenty of eerie atmosphere.

  • Judith Roberts

    Actually I voted for Them but they were all great movies. For those of you who remember “The Thing” it was produced from a short story “Who Goes There” by Campbell which was written back in 1938. Unbelievably, the remake with Kurt Russell back around 1982 was more like the short story. It’s kind of weird that Campbell actually dreamed up an alien which could absorb a human and take it over back in 1938. I just goggled the title of the short story “Who Goes There?” and guess what? They are making another “Thing” movie which is due out this year! Didn’t know that. “War of the World” was probably the best one of the bunch and even though it’s been remade a number of times since, the original movie starring Gene Berry was better (even than the book). I have collected quite a few of the old movies and have every one listed on this page. I get tired of all the blood, guts and gore in current sci-fi movies and get tired of seeing everybody die in the end. What can I say???

  • Pete

    20000 Leagues Under the Sea. This movie started a love of the ocean for me.It should be on your list.

  • Bryan

    I had to vote for The Day The Earth Stood Stood Still! I, as usual, had a hard time choosing; this one, The Thing, and War of the Worlds. They were so great! I am such a big sci-fi fan, and these were some of the best, especially for their era!. The Thing was really good about having hidden the creature for so long in the movie! They actually made a bit of a mystery out of it, it was great!! I was actually beginning to suspect one of the scientists for a while! HA!

  • David in LA

    It was a tough choice-I love all of these films! I agree the The Incredible Shrinking Man and This Island Earth would have fit nicely into this list. How about a poll on the remakes of these classics?

  • Cindy Urban

    I still feel terror when I hear “Thermin” music,and see the cartoon outline of the monster in “Forbidden Planet” ! The Krell,the scary sounding alarm sirens going off while Walter Pidgeons’ mind destroys steel doors.What about the beautiful Ann Francis,handsome Leslie Nielson,lovable Robbie the Robot.I saw this movie as a kid on “The Million Dollar Movie” a N.Y. based show on WOR channel 9,remember that one? When T.V.was so cool…I love all the movies mentioned,but Forbidden Planet is my personal favorite.

  • Baz

    Maxwell Starr is rather dismissive of Forbidden Planet, describing it as a pulp-fiction view of interplanetary travel, while some other joker claims that he went to sleep watching it. Watch it again guys and this time – listen. Perhaps if you like your alien monsters served up on a plate, all tentacles,dribbling fangs and oozing slime, F.B. does fall short. The genius of the movie, apart from its philosophical exploration of the metaphor for Earth’s probable demise at the hands of its most intelligent species, is its engagement with our imaginations in order to provide the moments of high drama. No overt violence, just the suggestion of a “monster” generated from Mobius’ dark side. Even the set design invites us to imagine the size and shape of the long-extinct inhabitants of Altair 4. Impressionistic film-making at its best. The Day the Earth Stood Still, a brilliantly conceived response to the Cold War and a reminder that we are one species with just one chance to get it right, runs a very close second for me but why separate them?

  • DeMeio

    I have a problem here with semantics. Isn’t 99% of sci-fi fantasy? But all fantasy isn’t sci fi. I would say there’s only one fantasy on the voting list and it can’t compare with THE WIZARD OF OZ, TOPPER, Sabu’s THIEF OF BAGHDA or THE JUNGLE BOOK or so many more “fantasy” films..

  • Bill C.

    “Forbidden Planet” is far more than “a pulp fiction view of interplanetary travel.”

    The plot is based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and the film was one of the major influences on George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” (not called “A New Hope”).

    If we’re mentioning great fantasy films, just this week I re-watched “7 Faces of Dr, Lao.” Nearly forgotten now, it remains one of my favorite fantasy films (although nothing will ever top “Jason & the Argonauts”).

  • Bill C.

    Oops. I meant “NOW called ‘A New Hope'” (my fingers getting ahead of my brain).

  • RWJ

    Surprised ‘This Island Earth’didn’t make it. Certainly more intelligent than some on the list and production values, for the time, were impressive.

  • Gloria Briganti

    To me the most realistic and revelant was the original “The Day The Earth Stood Still”. As applical when it came out as applical today, seeing what condition the world is in today.

  • Jeff C

    Tough choice to be sure, but I voted for “Forbidden Planet”. It may well have been an inspiration for George Lucas and “Star Wars” but I always thought it more in line with the concept of “Star Trek”(an interplanetary space cruiser, jumps to light speed, even the principal characters being the stalwart captain and the ship’s doctor). It was a great movie for it’s FX as well as it’s engaging story line. However I also love many of the movies mentioned. “The Day The Earth Stood Still” is a classic and “War of The Worlds” was brilliant and much better than the remake and “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” resonated with me on a very personal level the last time I kissed my girlfriend (who are you? ran through my mind and I understood Kevin Mccarthy’s look of horror in a brand new way).
    Great pole and I’m glad someone mentioned “Frankenstein”(It’s alive, it’s alive) which I always considered more science fiction than horror, creating life out of inanimate material, if that isn’t science fiction I don’t know what is.

  • JanetDax

    Tough choice between Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still. However, Planet wins not only for story and lead actors, but also for supporting cast of Earl Holliman, Warren Stevens, and Richard Anderson.

    One of my favorites that didn’t make the list was H.G. Wells’ “From the Earth to the Moon”

  • Ed Tully

    I chose “The Day The Earth Stood Still” but it was tough to choose. “The Thing” was the best of the bunch when it came to having the “feel” of the classic ’50s “B” movie that most of the sci fi movies made back then had but at the same time it was a novel idea, a well written script and well acted. I watched the film again one night with friends in the dorm and for months afterward when we were together one of us would blurt out “An intellectual carrot – the mind boggles!”

    “The Invaders From Mars” has a special nostalgia for me because I’m from a big family and five of us watched that film one afternoon after school and howled at the costumes and the way the “invaders” ran through the tunnels. I guess it was due to the poor-fitting costumes but, if you ever watch this film, notice how the “invader minions” run through the tunnels as if they each have had an “accident”. Ever since then it’s been easy to break up my brothers and sisters at family gatherings just by mentioning “the doo doo men” movie! We’ve enjoyed many laughs at the expense of that cheesy film. I even bought a copy from “Movies Unlimited” for us to get together and watch although it’s not nearly as funny as we remembered it. I guess you just had to be there.

  • golden1

    I agree we mixed horror and sci-fi and fantasy. But the list is so great it’s impossible to pick a winner. Incredible Shrinking Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon definitely deserve to be on the list. And what about It Came from Beneath the Sea? And the Beast from 20,000 fathoms? And Invaders from Mars is such a classic of the era, even with it’s low budget effects. In the end, I closed my eyes and voted for The Thing. I think I’ll watch it tonight.

  • Gerald R Rotter

    I wish to thank Ray Harryhausen for every monster he brought to life on the silver screen and for the fear I enjoyed togather with hundreds of other screaming kids on those saturday afternoons many years ago.

  • frost1

    Here’s some Pre-1960 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies that you might not have seen yet.

    Woman in the Moon -1929 -Fritz Lang

    Georges Méliès A Trip to the Moon (1902)-(movies begin)

    The Lost World 1925 – Wallace Beery

  • Pat

    My favorite thing is reading all the comments on the poll. What a dialogue. The Day the Earth Stood Still – Michael Rennie is SO civilized and sexy. The Thing scared the stuffin out of me as did War of The Worlds. (To think we might have been conquered by those creatures with skinny fingers with suction cup finger tips.)Wasn'”It Came From Outer Space” in 3D?

  • Jay Albert Stockwell

    Ah,yes. Sitting in a darkened theatre waiting to get my pants scared off. For my money, the best of the lot is Forbidden Planet,followed by The Thing,and then The Day the Earth Stood Still. Mr.Spielberg admits Forbidden Planet was one of his childhood favorites,too.

  • Mark H.

    I’m somewhat surprised that “Conquest of Space”
    wasn’t on the list. It was very realistic for the
    time in which it was made and remains a favorite of

  • Ken, C.

    Very hard to decide. I agree with the top three choices as being the top three, but I had to go with The Thing, as I just think it’s more of an actor’s movie. Plus Ken Tobey deserves some kind of special recognition for all the 50s Sci Fi, including It Came From Beneath the Sea and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

  • Jim

    Pat…yes, It Came from Outer Space was in 3-D and so was Creature from the Black Lagoon and House of Wax.

  • Jackie

    What about “The Attack of the Giant Leeches ? ” This was another cheesy one ,but spooky none the less…I think everyone gets wiped out in this one.Also ” Leech Woman” was really neat..I really liked the old black woman..she has been in many flicks only I cannot recall her name..She played in a drama starring Jane Fonda and quite a few other good films!

  • JoJo

    1. The thing from Another World
    2. Them
    3. The Day the Earth Stood Still
    4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    5. The Fly
    6. War of the Worlds
    7. The Incredible Shrinking Man
    8. Tarantula
    9. Creature of the Black Lagoon
    10. Tarantula

  • JoJo

    No. 8 was supposed to be : Journey to the Center of the Earth

  • Bruce Reber

    My fave is Forbidden Planet, but I’d like to add a few that aren’t mentioned-The Incredible Shrinking Man, It Came From Outer Space, The Beast From 30,000 Fathoms, It Came From Beneath The Sea, Earth Vs.The Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles To Earth (the previous 4 featuring the awesome stop-motion animation of the late Ray Harryhausen), It Conquered The World, This Island Earth, Godzilla, Terror From The Year 5000, The Magnetic Monster, The Day The World Ended, The Creature That Challenged The World, Monster On Campus, Beast With a Million Eyes and The Monolith Monster. If anyone knows any I’ve missed please post them.

  • Mike

    You all need to watch….Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers!!!