Best 1960s Science Fiction Movies

Monday, March 21 by Wendy Adams

The best 1960s science fiction movies vary in quality. Some special effects were very advanced while others show audiences today how far modern special effects technology has come.

  1. “The Time Machine” Victorian Englishman H.G. Wells (Rod Taylor) builds a time machine in search of a Utopian world only to discover the ultimate result of full scale war. The cast includes Yvette Mimieux as Weena and Alan Young as Filby.
  2. “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” Admiral Harriman Nelson (Walter Pidgeon) sets out on an exposition in the atomic submarine Seaview when he is called upon to save the world after disaster strikes. The all-star cast includes Joan Fontaine as Dr. Susan Hiller and Barbara Eden as Lt. Cathy Connors.
  3. “Atlantis, the Lost Continent” Greek fisherman Demetrios (Sal Ponti) rescues shipwrecked Princess Antillia (Joyce Taylor) and takes her back to her homeland of Atlantis where he is enslaved. The King of Atlantis is under the spell of the evil sorcerer who intends to use the energy crystals to conquer the world. Some painful acting but otherwise great fun.
  4. “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” The Soviet Union and the United State detonate nuclea weapon nearly simultaneously that causes a shift in the orbit of the Earth and sends it towards the Sun. The solution to save the Earth is to detonate more weapons. Neatly told with the use of flashbacks. Edward Judd as Peter Stenning, Janet Munro as Jeannie Craig and Leo McKern as Bill Maguire.
  5. “Fahrenheit 451” Above average 1960s science fiction movie starring Oskar Werner as Fireman Montag, Julie Christie in a duo role as Clarisse and wife Linda Montag, and Cyril Cusack as the Fire Captain. The job of a fireman in this oppressive and controlled society is to burn books. Montag reads a forbidden book he confiscated and didn’t burn, which leads him into an underground world where he finds love and freedom.
  6. “Fantastic Voyage” Pure science fiction from the 1960s which won two Academy Awards for Special Visual Effects. Technology allows a submarine to be shrunk small enough to be injected into the vein of a comatose scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) who pioneered the shrinking process to save his life.
  7. “2001: A Space Odyssey” Spectacular special effect that won this 1960s science fiction movie an Academy Award, but the script left many movie audiences confused. The plot centers around a strange monolith found on the moon, a creepy computer named HAL, space traveler Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and a race to those who placed the monolith for the prize of ascending to the next level of evolution. 
  8. “Planet of the Apes” Astronauts traveling in deep hibernation awake to find they crash landed on a strange planet in the future. Colonel George Taylor (Charlton Heston) is taken captive by warrior apes with the ability to speak. On this planet, humans do not have the ability to speak. One of the most popular 1960s science fiction movies with several sequels to follow.
  9. “Captain Nemo and the Underwater City” Survivors of a sinking ship are saved from drowning by Captain Nemo (Robert Ryan). They are taken aboard his submarine Nautilus to the underwater city of Templemir, a city made of gold. The survivors are told they must live there forever until a plot is formed to steal gold and escape to home.
  10. “Marooned” Another 1960s science fiction movie that won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects, it's the story of American Astronauts Commander Jim Pruett (Richard Crenna), "Buzz" Lloyd (Gene Hackman) and Clayton "Stoney" Stone (James Franciscus) who become marooned in orbit leaving NASA to devise a rescue. Gregory Peck as NASA director Charles Keith.

COMMENTS

  1. March 21, 2011 11:55 pm

    Anonymous

    This list brings back some memories. Not sure that I agree with the rankings but they probably all deserve to be there.

    After over 50 years of reading sci-fi novels and watching sci-fi movies I decided it was time to give something back to the genre. Here’s a sample: http://www.goldenvisionsmagazine.biz/AlienHunter.html