Who (or What) Is Your Favorite ’50s Film Alien?

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  • OZ ROB


  • Gary B

    I would have to include one of the most disturbing aliens of the 50′s….Eros (deftly played by that consumate thesbian Dudley Manlove) from the classic combination of great script AND WAY AHEAD OF THEIR TIME special effects…the horrifying truth of grave robbers from Outer Space that is “Plan 9 From Outer Space

  • Marty

    My favorite alien was the carrot creature from IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, which unfortunately is still not available on DVD.

    • Bruce Reber

      As I posted on The Goofiest Movie Monster Of All Time poll, the alien in ICTW looked to me like a giant, mutated cucumber. I have the 1965 remake of ICTW titled “Zontar, Thing From Venus” on DVD. Like you, I’m also waiting for the 1957 original, starring Peter Graves and Lee Van Cleef, to be put on DVD.

  • Gord Jackson

    I was actually torn between Klaatu (for whom I voted) and the little-green-men-with cabbage-sized-heads of INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN probably because the fun was in their injecting their teenage victims with alcohol, thus making them drunk and totally unbelievable to local authorities when said victims talked about seeing those ‘little green men.’ The lower half of a 1957 American International Pictures release, by today’s standards it is quite slow (at only 72 minutes) with some incredibly wooden acting in places. But it was (and is) still a lot of fun, a welcome antidote from the much scarier (and infinitely superior) top half, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF. It’s a pity they aren’t yet available of DVD, preferably in that originally-released package.

  • RON

    Where is the greatest of them all………………….IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE?

  • Movie Fan

    I remember a movie about these huge eyeballs with tentacles. My friends and I would watch a local weekend TV show, called Fear Theater. They’d have a host dressed like Dracula or Psycho Scientist or some other such character. The host would give commentaries on the movie, push the latest trendy products, etc. When they showed “The Crawling Eye,” we were rolling on the floor, laughing at the dumb looking monsters.

  • ganderson

    “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto” — which is Andromedan for “no contest.” Michael Rennie’s Klaatu is the best 1950′s alien. Rennie’s performance captured a wide-eyed wonder and innocence while being, at the same time, wise, benevolent and threatening all in one. He was chosen for the part because of his other-worldly sophistication in both speech and appearance and for his unfamiliarity to American audiences (this was his first U.S. role). (Claide Rains was also a choice, but he was well-known in America and, therefore, would have missied some of Rennie’s sense of mystery.) His assumed name, ‘Carpenter,’ reinforces the strong Christian analogy in Klaatu’s story which offers both urgency and familiarity to Klaatu’s message to Earth. Good quote: “I am impatient with stupidity, My people have learned to live without it.” Klaatu is by far the strongest and most engaging and sympathetic character on the ballot and so I cast a strong vote for Klaatu . . . but with a distant second-place to the James Arness’s vegetable alien from ‘The Thing from Another World.” (Which raises another great movie quote: “An intellectual carrot – the mind boggles!”)

  • hypatiab7

    I, of course, voted for Klaatu. As far as this list is concerned, he is the only fully developed character and an excellent one. But, since the rest of the list seems to consist of monsters
    and invaders, how about the shadow critters in “Teenagers From Outer Space”. Talk about
    a cheap monster. Also, why was Exidor from “This Island Earth ignored but the mutated insect
    wasn’t? And, what about Robbie the Robot or the Id Creature from “Forbidden Planet”?
    And, how about John or Oswald Cabell from things to Come”?
    This should have been three lists – one for actual aliens, one for robots and one for monsters.
    Don’t play around with sf and fantasy fen!

  • Gary B.

    Oh…How About that infamous alien from the 50′s Joseph McCarthy…from the frightening b-movie “Tail Gunner Joe From The Planet Crucible” He came down to Earth to homoginize the planet under the guise of ridding mankind of his (and of course our) arch enemies…The Reds.

  • weelittlepeople

    That was a hard one because I liked so many of them – at least 6 of them but you forced me to pick one – the scariest for me was Thing.

  • http://www.pbrsd.org/ jnojr

    WHAT??? No “Green Slime”???

    • Gary Clure

      That movie was on TCM a few years ago, at 3:00 AM one morning. I hadn’t even seen it in TV listings since I saw it as a kid, probably 40 years ago.

  • rickcard

    The Thing was badass! Even if you tore an arm off him he’d still be ready to slap you head off! And those claws are still the creepiest ever!

  • Johnny Sherman

    Movie Fan (below) mentioned a local tv weekend show called Fear Theater that only aired scary movies. The don’t-miss show in my area was called Project Terror (“Where the strange and the terrifying emerge”), shown late Friday night.
    I was wondering if anyone else on this site also had such a program they remember.

    • Mark Lovejoy

      “Shock Theater” aired on local TV channel 22 on late Saturday nights IIRC. A man named Barry Horowitz (pretty sure) played Dr. Creep. He dressed in black, had white makeup on, wore a hat and cape. What I liked about the show was the campy movie-break plots–a scene where someone is being attacked by a carnivorous plant on film, and Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” was playing.
      Sometimes other staff members participated in skits–Dr. Creep playing Ray Steven’s Ahab as “Ahab The Arab” played, while a nubile female played Fatima of the Seven Veils in a parody.
      I actually met him once in my home town on a cold, blustery day with my wife. Why he was there I can’t remember. I don’t think I asked for an autograph. Asked what killed the show, he said “Ratings.”

      • Jackie


        We,in Virginia Beach,Virginia had a “Shock Theater”,too on Friday nights after the 11:00 news.It opened with a scary guy named ‘Ronald’( the host) coming out of a coffin to open the show ( He was’ Bungles ‘the Clown ) every day at 4:00 for the little ones. He was also our local meteorologist. I met him at a Hamburger place way back in the day when I was 16. He was very nice and most people did not know that Bungles and Ronald were one and the same.I wish we could get together and watch some old horror flicks. I have some on VHS tapes.

    • Randy

      Yes – in St. Louis (don’t remember which station) we had Creature Feature. It had all sorts of campy monsters and sci-fi movies. On Saturday afternoons the same station had Bowery Boys or Abbott & Costello, Joe E. Brown, W.C. Fields, etc.

    • Bruce Reber

      On WDCA channel 20 in the Washington, DC metro area we had Count Gore Devol, a guy with a strange resemblance to Dracula (complete with black cape, makeup and fangs) who hosted horror movies every Saturday night at midnight. I don’t remember the name of the show, but it was on from about 1970 til 1986 or so. I waited all week for the Count, with all those great (and sometimes not so great) sci-fi and horror flicks, and him doing humorous little skits during the breaks.

  • dave ford

    i thought, war of the worlds,was the best, and wasnt even mentiond

  • Jim

    It has to be Klaatu. Not only is The Day The Earth Stood Still the best movie on this list, but Klaatu endures as something iconic: a well meaning alien attempting to enlighten and pacify this foolish, foolish species of human beings.



    • Bruce Reber

      Oooh, gotta love those little blond kids with “the eyes that paralyze” from TVOTD!

  • Denham

    This is really a tough question to answer because so many of the film aliens are great in their own way. The pods were creepy. James Arness as The Thing had those killer claws. And who could not love the Saucer Men? I voted for the Ymir because Harryhausen’s work gave it such fluidity and power and very nearly a personality.

  • Frosty

    Mankind, The little octopus guy in the globe in the movie, “Invaders From Mars”.

    As a kid, this guy gave me the creeps.
    And why was he called “Mankind”?

  • Gayle Feyrer

    The Creature From The Black Lagoon!

  • fbusch

    This from someone who grew up in the ’50′s.,seems like a spread out field. Monsters and mayhem, with no good message, or benign aliens just passing through. As monsters go, James Arness’ Thing was the scariest. Klatu the nicest, and Gort the most terrifying, (in his unstoppable allpowerful silence). all the rest were just good fun. P.s. It came from Outer Space had a good message once once you got past the snail tracks and Kurt Russel’s remake of The Thing was a lot closer to the original short story that both were taken from, (that scared the crap out of me one dark and windy night),. (I think film technology in the years between them made a great difference.

  • Ethan Chase

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  • Cap’nWill

    James Arness as the creature “GREAT”, but then again I’m a Keith Tobey and James Arness fan. The Creature from the Black Lagoon”??!!! Two words for that film, Julie Adams!!!!! Iwas in love for life even at the wise old age of ten. Will

    • SteveF

      Was the Creature, REALLY, an alien? I thought he was a mutant.

      • Bruce Reber

        It was an amphibian/fish from the prehistoric era, not an alien from space.

  • Shari Pfister

    Michael Rennie as Klaatu – so cooool and the sparkly spacesuit was to DIE for!! :-)

  • Mario Flowers

    forbidden planet(1956) robbie the robot

    • Bruce Reber

      Maybe the Id also, seen only when it hit the force field, and which was the cause of the destruction of the Krell and Dr. Morbius!

  • DJD

    Women of Venus from Abbott and Costello go to Mars

  • SteveF

    The Blob…say it at a drive-in, with two of my date’s brothers in the back seat…I married her, any way…lol

    • SteveF

      I meant “SAW” it…TYPO

    • Bruce Reber

      “The Blob” had 2 huge things going for it – Steve McQueen and that cool theme song “Beware Of The Blob!”

  • GrizzlyIX

    GORT was a bigger deal as an ‘alien’ than his master,Klaatu, and,besides,as he was built on another planet, ‘Robbie the Robot’ from ‘Forbidden Planet’ out-alien’s most any other candidate on THIS list! ! ! !

    • hypatiab7

      Gort and Robbie weren’t aliens. They were robots.

  • Phil

    I wish I knew the name of this movie…It was 50′s horror movie, and what I remember about it ,there was this hand crawling around and it had a eye on top of it well this hand was a real terror to this one town where it decided to roam …the only part of the movie I remember ,2 kids were necking in the woods, and the hand tore the convertible top of the car and got inside and I think one of the teens escaped the other one didn’t make it!

    • simon

      invasion of the saucer men, great film

  • Jonathan

    A two-way tie. The Body Snatchers (“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”) and Eros and Tanna (“Plan 9 from Outer Space”). Okay. It’s a three-way tie.

  • Jeff Schwartz

    No question about it
    Tor Johnson in the Beast of Yucca Flats
    In the running for the Worst Movie Ever Made

    • Bruce Reber

      What about Ed Wood’s infamous “Plan Nine From Outer Space”? The consensus among many (including me) is that’s THE worst movie ever! BTW, TJ was in PNFOS also!


    The Thing (James Arness)- scariest “thing” I ever saw. Nightmares. No contest!

  • David Churchill

    The original Klaatu is still the best. And Gort was awesome! Robby the Robot is definitely next!

  • Nils Goering

    James Arness as THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD impacted me most from the 1950s batch of science fiction films. A humanoid plant creature with the power of a squad of men who thrives on the blood of humans. Weird! Scary! Awesome! It was everything I feared about a visitor from another planet. The film is brilliant in every way. Klaatu and Gort are close second favorites. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is another brilliant film but with a more benevolent visit to Earth than the Thing. I like the CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON very much but, in the storyline, he’s not an alien and no less a creature of Earth than a crocodile. But my ultimate favorite film alien was the strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond mortal man. He’s planet Krypton’s last son – Kal-el a.k.a. SUPERMAN! After two serials and a feature film he zoomed into the hearts of me and thousands of others via weekly television adventures. He’s everything I hoped about a visitor from another planet.

  • Capoman

    Actually his name was Gort, not Klatu.

    • Nils Goering

      Klaatu was the humanoid visitor (Michael Rennie’s character) Gort was the robot

    • hypatiab7

      Actually, the alien’s name was Klaatu. The robot was Gort.

  • william

    “I Married A Monster From Outer Space” The very best alien design ever!

  • WORF

    The tri color eye people from Mars. “War of the Worlds” followed by Jim Arness “The Thing”
    I hate “the day…” Too much leftist drivel, both the original and the recent remake.

  • John David Stewart

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers! Those pod people were the creepiest, especially Dana Wynter when she gets converted.

  • ronotee

    I must concur that worst Sci Fi movie has to be Beast of Yucca Flats- Tor Johnson was given complete ad-lib instruction, it appears, with the grunting and rock-tossing scenes. Narrative style of movie is a dead giveaway that there was no script (or sound equipment available). Makes Ro-Man look like Oscar material……..

  • disqus_vY6v21vnbs

    Personally, I have always thought Forbidden Planet (1956) was way ahead of it’s time. Leslie Nielsen, Ann Francis and Walter Pidgeon starred. The story was great and the special effects were second to none. A modified version of Robby the Robot was used as well. The film was all about the imagination and brilliantly executed. Of course the main monster was the “id” an invisible terror conjured up by Dr. Morpheus’s subconscious mind. When the “id” was finally revealed, it was a site to behold in 1956. It is still vivid in my mind, as well as the characters names. It’s just one of those films created during a time of Monster-Mania that stood out from the crowd.

    • Christine Harrison

      I wanted to vote for Robby the Robot and was very surprised to see he wasn’t on the list. I’ve always loved this film for the sheer quality of the plot and production. It has an unusual story – based on Shakespeare’s “Tempest” – and an intriguing mix of horror and comedy (who could resist Robby making sixty gallons of alcohol?!). It’s also gorgeous to look at. This is a film that ticks all the right boxes and still holds up today.

  • Bruce Reber

    The aliens in “Earth Vs.The Flying Saucers” deserve a spot on the list-they had to wear those “exosuits” because their bodies had atrophied, they needed helmets to amplify their sight and hearing, and they shot laser beams out of their hands to blow up things and kill people. On board one of the saucers there was that big white rose thing that came down and drained the info and memory out of a person’s brain so that they could store it in their “Infinite Memory Indexer” I think it was called. EVTFS was one of stop-motion-animation master Ray Harryhausen’s best movies IMO-the finale when all those saucers were attacking (and then crashing into) Washington, DC are pretty awesome.

  • BobClay

    Where is ‘Forbidden Planet’ ? … just about the best SciFi film of that decade.

  • tomduck

    wore, so the day the earth stood still was leftist drivel! i guess haveing the world on the brink of destuction is ok! that was the way it was back then ,i was there! the whole theme was , we can blow ourselves apart ,BUT dont take it into space! as usual you right wingers try to make a mountian out of a molehill. personally i wish INDEPENDENCE DAY happens. maybe WE WILL LEARN TO GET ALONG!!!