Classic Science Fiction Movies
1960s Science Fiction
The 1960s science fiction movies are again a mixed bag representing most of the standard sub-genres, but some of the Cold War tension is still present as, for example, in "Fail-Safe" (1964) and "Marooned" (1969). The single most important science fiction movie of the 1960s (and perhaps of the entire 20th Century, in my view) is "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). Here are my "Top 10" science fiction movies of the 1960s, plus a way-out "Honorable Mention."
The Time Machine
(1960 - 103 min) *****
Plot: An inventor journeys forward in time to find that mankind has evolved into a placid race of people enslaved by vicious mutants called Morlocks. (Based on the novel by H.G. Wells.)
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
(1961 - 105 min) ****
Plot: A futuristic nuclear submarine is hampered by onboard intrigue in its mission to neutralize a deadly radiation belt surounding the Earth. (Led to a long-running TV series of the same name.)
(1964 - 111 min) ****
Plot: Because of a computer glitch, a U.S. bomber is accidentally sent to nuke Moscow, plunging the United States and Russian governments into a decision-making crisis.
(1966 - 111 min) ***
Plot: In a future Earth, where books are off limits, a "fireman" assigned to burn them has a change of heart and joins a community intent on preserving some of the most famous works. (Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury.)
(1966 - 100 min) ****
Plot: Scientists take the ultimate step of miniaturizing themselves and a small submarine so that they can enter a patient's body to perform micro-surgery from the inside. (Based on the novel by Isaac Asimov.)
Planet of the Apes
(1967 - 112 min) *****
Plot: Astronauts land on a strange world where humans are kept as slaves by the ape rulers. (If you haven't already seen it, watch for the shocking ending! Eventually led to a short-lived TV series of the same name.)
2001: A Space Odyssey
(1968 - 139 min) *****
Plot: Man's evolution from the Stone Age to the Space Age culminates in the journey of two astronauts to Jupter, where they contend with their homocidal computer, HAL, and the enigmatic black monolith. (Based on a short story and the novel by Arthur C. Clarke.)
Five Million Years to Earth
(1968 - 98 min) ****
Plot: Deadly creatures from outer space are discovered buried beneath the London subway system.
(1969 - 134 min) ****
Plot: Reality-based story of three American astronauts who are stranded in space and the efforts that are mounted to try to rescue them. (Based on the novel by Martin Caidin)
Journey to the Far Side of the Sun
(1969 - 92 min) ****
Plot: On the other side of the sun, astronauts find a planet that mirrors Earth in almost all aspects. (Also known as "Doppleganger.")
(1968 - 98 min) **
Plot: A 41st Century space heroine has a series of psychedelic and erotic encounters in space. (Based on a French comic book.) [Note: "Barbarella" is pure fantasy, but I couldn't resist including it in this directory for no other reason than that Jane Fonda makes a spectacularly beautiful astronaut, even if this is one role she probably wishes everyone would forget about.]
1996-2015 Arnold E.
van Beverhoudt, Jr.