TAGS 1950s, 50s, sci-fi
CATEGORIES Features
In the final decade of the Golden Age of Hollywood, sci-fi films shot onto the screen with great special effects, 3D and a mixture of adventure, horror and science fiction in the story lines. Many of our greatest directors today were influenced by these films, including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron.

While modern audiences might at first disregard classic sci-fi theater as cheesy B-movie productions, many of the films from the 1950s stand the test of time and can rival their modern remakes.

Here's a list of the best 10 Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s, with some honorable mentions. In the final decade of the Golden Age of Hollywood, sci-fi films shot onto the screen with great special effects, 3D and a mixture of adventure, horror and science fiction in the story lines. Many of our greatest directors today were influenced by these films, including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron.

While modern audiences might at first disregard classic sci-fi theater as cheesy B-movie productions, many of the films from the 1950s stand the test of time and can rival their modern remakes.

Here's a list of the best 10 Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s, with some honorable mentions.

10. 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'(1959)
A group of scientists make a quest into the depths of the earth in this sci-fi adventure film. Noted for its special effects, it was based on the book by Jules Verne and directed by Henry Levin.

9. 'The Blob' (1958)
High schoolers can't get anyone to believe their story of a meteor and giant ameoba-like alien until the creature consumes large portions of their small community. This American horror/science fiction film marked Steve McQueen's debut in a starring role. Directed by Irvin Yeaworth.

8. 'War of the Worlds'(1953)
In this H. G. Wells' classic, earth is invaded by glowing spaceships from Mars. With their death beams, the Martians blast through most of the major cities of the world. Director: Byron Haskin

7. 'Godzilla' (1954)
Tokyo, Japan, meets a 400-foot-tall, fire-breathing prehistoric lizard awakened by nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. The creature Godzilla eventually made appearances in 28 Japanese films, numerous comic books, video games, novels and even in the American remake. Directed by Ishiro Honda.

6. 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' (1954)
A man-fish creature rises from the Amazon swamps to wreck havoc on a team of scientists while falling in love with one of the female team members, Kay. Originally shot in 3-D, Jack Arnold made his directorial breakthrough as he guided spectacular underwater scenes, most notably the chilling yet beautiful scene of the creature following Kay as she swims.

5. 'The Thing from Another World' (1951)
One of the great science fiction classics, this film begins with a group of US scientists and servicemen stationed in the North Pole as they investigate the crash of a flying saucer and its "pilot." Directed by Christian Nyby.

4. '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' (1954)
Directed by Richard Fleischer and adapted from the Jules Verne classic, Disney produced some of the best special effects of the 50s with this riveting tale. Captain Nemo commands a high-tech submarine far below the ocean's surface and encounters unknown wonders that include the unforgettable scene when an enormous squid attacks the ship. Academy Awards: Best Special Effects, Best Art/Set Direction.

3. 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' (1951)
Using a documentary style that hooks the viewer in, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' depicts the arrival of an alien ambassador and his deadly robot Gort, who warns earthlings to stop their warring ways or else. Great dialogue, pacing and score add to this classic, making it a must-see movie to watch today. Director: Robert Wise

2. 'THEM!' (1954)
Sci-fi at its best! Gigantic ants attack in the New Mexico desert after being mutated by nuclear testing. State police, entomologists and the U.S. military battle it out with the ferocious insects. One of the first "nuclear monster" movies and the first "big bug" film, 'THEM!' was directed by Gordon Douglas.

1. 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' (1956)
In Don Siegel's sci-fi masterpiece, a doctor visiting rural Santa Mira encounters people convinced their loved ones are imposters. As an allegory on both McCarthyism and Communism, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Considered Siegel's best film, it's among the most riveting sci-fi films ever made. The film also received a 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, who calls the film "one of the best political allegories of the 1950s, 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror."

Other contenders for a slot on the Top 10, these honorable mentions are well-worth adding to the library: 'The Incredible Shrinking Man,' 'Forbidden Planet,' 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,' 'It Came From Outer Space,' 'Earth vs. The Flying Saucers,' 'Invaders from Mars,' 'Tarantula' and '1984.'