Science Fiction Movies: Then (1950s) And Now

1950s | March 10, 2019

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). Source: (bfi.org.uk)

There are many different tastes in movies with varying genres including drama, comedy, romance, action, and science fiction. Science Fiction movies started out very primitive and quite a low budget. In fact, all genres started out as low budget movies, but science fiction especially did.  Since its inception, it has changed dramatically to what we call science fiction today. Yesterday’s science fiction movies would be comedies today, because of their very basic scene development and limited props. The majority of the early science fiction movies seemed to be quite obsessed with outer space, landing on the moon, aliens or Martians, or any other creatures from outer space.     

The Thing From Another World (1951). Source: (midnitereviews.com)

In this 1951 science fiction movie, a flying saucer is found buried in ice and the “alien” pilot is frozen. Once he is thawed out, this creature or thing begins feeding off of the blood of animals in the area. Throughout the movie, he is never really shown much. Using the technology available at that time, the suspense for the viewers was built up using sound effects. The rest relied on the imagination of the viewers.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Source: (moviecitynews.com)

This 1956 movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is about a town that was taken over in an unusual way. Something called “pod people” were replacing the people in the town. People began noticing that their family members were different. They looked the same but were completely without any kind of emotions. The movie was remade in 1978 and also in 1994.

When Worlds Collide (1951). Source: (pinterest.com)

When Worlds Collide was based on a novel that was written in 1932. This apocalyptic movie was about the destruction of the earth. A doctor and his daughter attempt to warn the United Nations, who at first don't believe them, that a star called Bellus is going to collide with earth. To escape the coming destruction, he wants them to build an ark (spaceship) to fly people to another planet in order to keep them safe. The ark is finally built but, of course, only a select group of people are chosen to fly in it. Consequently, those not chosen take up weapons to try to force their way on board before it takes off.  

Cowboys and Aliens (2011). Source: (vulture.com)

As time progressed, technology improved and better quality movies were produced. Action scenes became much more entertaining such as in Cowboys and Aliens. This movie starred the ever popular Harrison Ford. When first asked about being in the movie, he was not really thrilled at the title. The movie became a box office hit with $36.4 million when it opened in 2011. This movie was also based on a novel. The movie is about the cowboys trying to save a group of the townspeople who were abducted by aliens.  

Star Trek Beyond (2016). Source: (comingsoon.net)

The Star Trek crew come together once again for yet another movie. Star Trek fans look forward to each and every movie that comes out which is once every few years. The producers always deliver using the most up to date modern technology. There is always a lot of great action as well as acting in the Star Trek movies. In this particular movie, the crew members have been kidnapped and it is up to Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Chekov, Scotty, and Jaylah, a scavenger whose help they enlisted, to rescue them.

Science fiction has come a long way from the 1950s. With so many technological advances today, whatever the imagination can dream up, it can be reproduced in the movies. It is amazing though that even today, science fiction still focuses mostly on outer space.

Tags: movies, 1950s and today

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Penny Chavers


Penny, besides writing, loves to spend her time with family and friends. In her spare time, she also enjoys playing the piano, board games, and taking online classes on topics that interest her.