Total Nerd The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies  

Ranker Film
4.3k votes 545 voters 10.5k views 56 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite science fiction films that were released in the 1950s

On this list of the best 1950s sci-fi movies, you will see a significant crossover between horror and science fiction. The science fiction films of the decade contained elements of horror, and the horror films of the ‘50s often contained a sci-fi bend. A prime example of this trend is Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, which can also be found on our list of the best ‘50s horror movies.


One of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made is the 1951 classic
The Day the Earth Stood Still, the story of an alien visitor and the dire consequences that ensue. Other notable ‘50s sci-fi films on this list include The Incredible Shrinking Man, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Forbidden Planet.


Another iconic sci-fi film on this list that features elements of the horror genre is
The Blob, starring Steve McQueen. The Blob was featured at drive-in theaters around the country, and remains a popular throwback sci-fi film even to this day. Vote up the best '50s sci-fi movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

1
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Forbidden Planet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Forbidden Planet Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon Forbidden Planet is a 1956 American science fiction film from MGM, produced by Nicholas Nayfack, directed by Fred M. Wilcox and starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren ...more

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The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman The Thing from Another World is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film produced by Howard Hawks' Winchester Pictures Corporation, released by RKO Pictures, and directed by ...more

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158 37
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more

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H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum The War of the Worlds is a 1953 American Technicolor science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced by George Pal, directed by Byron Haskin, and starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. The ...more

5
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The film ...more

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131 36
Them! is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Them! Leonard Nimoy, James Arness, Fess Parker Them! is a 1954 American black-and-white science fiction film from Warner Bros. Pictures produced by David Weisbart, directed by Gordon Douglas, and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan ...more

7
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Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added Creature from the Black Lagoon Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Julie Adams Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit ...more

8
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This Island Earth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
This Island Earth Russell Johnson, Faith Domergue, Coleman Francis This Island Earth is a 1955 American science fiction film directed by Joseph M. Newman. It is based on the novel of the same name by Raymond F. Jones which was originally published in the ...more

9
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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers Paul Frees, Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is a 1956 American science fiction film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Charles H. Schneer and Sam Katzman, directed by Fred F. Sears, and starring Hugh Marlowe ...more

10
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When Worlds Collide is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
When Worlds Collide Paul Frees, Stuart Whitman, John Hoyt When Worlds Collide is a 1951 American Technicolor science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced by George Pal, directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, ...more

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The Blob is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Blob Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Lee Payton The Blob is an independently made 1958 American horror/science fiction film directed by Irvin Yeaworth. In the style of American International Pictures, Paramount Pictures released the film as a ...more

12
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 American Technicolor adventure film starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre. It was the first CinemaScope science fiction film and ...more

13
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The Incredible Shrinking Man is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Incredible Shrinking Man William Schallert, Paul Langton, Billy Curtis The Incredible Shrinking Man is a 1957 science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold and adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson from his novel The Shrinking Man. The film stars Grant Williams ...more

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The Fly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Fly Vincent Price, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall The Fly is a 1958 American science fiction-horror film produced and directed by Kurt Neumann. The screenplay was written by James Clavell, from the short story of the same name by George ...more

15
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It Came from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
It Came from Outer Space Russell Johnson, Richard Carlson, Dave Willock It Came from Outer Space is a 1953 American black-and-white science fiction film, the first in the 3-D process from Universal-International. It was produced by William Alland, directed by Jack ...more

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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms Lee Van Cleef, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a 1953 American science fiction monster film from Warner Bros., produced by Jack Dietz and Hal E. Chester, directed by Eugène Lourié, and starring ...more

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Invaders from Mars is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Invaders from Mars Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson Invaders from Mars is a 1953 American science fiction film independently produced by Edward L. Alperson Jr., directed by William Cameron Menzies, and developed from a scenario by Richard Blake ...more

18
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20 Million Miles to Earth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
20 Million Miles to Earth Ray Harryhausen, William Hopper, Joan Taylor 20 Million Miles to Earth is a 1957 American science fiction giant monster film written by Bob Williams and Christopher Knopf from an original treatment by Charlott Knight. The film was produced ...more

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Tarantula is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tarantula Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday, Alan Napier Tarantula is a 1955 American science fiction film from Universal-International, produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, and starring John Agar, Mara Corday and Leo G. Carroll. The ...more

20
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Godzilla, King of the Monsters... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Raymond Burr, Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is a 1956 Japanese American science fiction kaiju film co-directed by Terry O. Morse and Ishirō Honda. The film is a heavily re-edited American adaptation, ...more

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Destination Moon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Destination Moon Dick Wesson, Warner Anderson, John Archer Destination Moon is a 1950 American Technicolor science fiction film independently produced by George Pal, directed by Irving Pichel, and starring John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers, and ...more

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It Came from Beneath the Sea is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
It Came from Beneath the Sea Faith Domergue, Kenneth Tobey, Ian Keith It Came from Beneath the Sea is a 1955 American black-and-white science fiction and giant monster film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Sam Katzman and Charles Schneer, directed by Robert ...more

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It! The Terror from Beyond Spa... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
It! The Terror from Beyond Space Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Dabbs Greer, Richard Benedict It! The Terror from Beyond Space is an independently made 1958 American black and white science fiction film produced by Robert Kent, directed by Edward L. Cahn, and starring Marshall Thompson, ...more

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The Curse of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Curse of Frankenstein Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the ...more

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On the Beach is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
On the Beach Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial On the Beach is a 1959 American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama film from United Artists, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and ...more

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5 million miles to earth is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
SuzanneCooke added 5 million miles to earth

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Rodan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Rodan Akihiko Hirata, Yumi Shirakawa, Kenji Sahara Rodan, released in Japan as Sora no Daikaijū Radon, is a 1956 Kaiju film produced by Toho Studios. It was the studio's first Kaiju movie filmed in color. It is one of a series of "giant ...more

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Invisible Invaders is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Danny Sims added Invisible Invaders John Carradine, John Agar, Jean Byron Invisible Invaders is a 1959 science fiction film starring John Agar and John Carradine. It was produced by Robert E. Kent, directed by Edward L. Cahn and written by Samuel Newman.

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The Deadly Mantis is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Deadly Mantis Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Pat Conway The Deadly Mantis is a 1957 science fiction film produced by William Alland for Universal-International. It was directed by Nathan Juran from a screenplay by Martin Berkeley, and starred Craig ...more

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I Married a Monster from Outer... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
I Married a Monster from Outer Space Maxie Rosenbloom, Bess Flowers, Tom Tryon I Married a Monster from Outer Space is a 1958 American black-and-white science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced and directed by Gene Fowler Jr. and starring Tom Tryon and Gloria ...more

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Fiend Without a Face is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Fiend Without a Face Marshall Thompson, Michael Balfour, Kynaston Reeves Fiend Without a Face is a 1958 independently made British black-and-white science fiction film from Amalgamated Productions, released by MGM, produced by John Croydon and Richard Gordon, and ...more

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Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Yvette Vickers, Allison Hayes, Roy Gordon Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a 1958 American low-budget science fiction feature film produced by Bernard Woolner for Allied Artists Pictures. It was directed by Nathan H. Juran from a ...more

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The Revenge of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Revenge of Frankenstein Peter Cushing, Lionel Jeffries, Arnold Diamond The Revenge of Frankenstein is a 1958 British horror film made by Hammer Film Productions. Directed by Terence Fisher, the film stars Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Michael Gwynn and Eunice ...more

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Not of This Earth is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Not of This Earth Beverly Garland, Paul Birch, Morgan Jones Not of This Earth is a 1957 American black-and-white science fiction film produced and directed by Roger Corman for his Los Altos Productions, starring Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, Morgan Jones, ...more

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Rocketship X-M is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Rocketship X-M Lloyd Bridges, Hugh O'Brian, Noah Beery Rocketship X-M is a 1950 American black-and-white science fiction film from Lippert Pictures, the first outer space adventure of the post-World War II era. The film was produced and directed by ...more

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Giant Gila Monster is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added Giant Gila Monster Fred Graham, Shug Fisher, Don Sullivan The Giant Gila Monster is a 1959 hot rod/monster/science fiction film, directed by Ray Kellogg and produced by Ken Curtis. This low-budget B-movie starred Don Sullivan, a veteran of several low ...more

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The Monster That Challenged th... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Monster That Challenged the World Tim Holt, Hans Conried, Gordon Jones The Monster That Challenged the World is a 1957 science-fiction monster movie, about an army of giant mollusks that emerge from California's Salton Sea. Directed by Arnold Laven, the film ...more

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1984 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
1984 Donald Pleasence, Michael Redgrave, Edmond O'Brien 1984 is a 1956 film, based freely on the novel of the same name by George Orwell, depicting a totalitarian future society. This is the first cinema rendition of the story, directed by Michael ...more

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Revenge of the Creature is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Revenge of the Creature Clint Eastwood, John Agar, Nestor Paiva Revenge of the Creature is the first sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon, being the only 3-D film released in 1955 and the only 3-D sequel to a 3-D film. It premiered in Denver on March 23, ...more

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The Mole People is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Mole People Alan Napier, John Agar, Nestor Paiva The Mole People is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Virgil W. Vogel.

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The Creature Walks Among Us is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Creature Walks Among Us Rex Reason, Jeff Morrow, Ricou Browning The Creature Walks Among Us is the third and final installment of the Creature from the Black Lagoon horror film series from Universal-International, following 1955's Revenge of the Creature. ...more

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The Giant Claw is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added The Giant Claw Mara Corday, Jeff Morrow The Giant Claw is a 1957 science fiction giant monster film about a giant bird that terrorizes the world. Produced by Sam Katzman and released by Columbia Pictures, The Giant Claw was directed ...more

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Beginning of the End is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Danny Sims added Beginning of the End Peter Graves, Peggie Castle, Richard Benedict Beginning of the End is a 1957 American science fiction film directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Peter Graves and Peggie Castle. The film is about an agricultural scientist who has ...more

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Plan 9 from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Plan 9 from Outer Space Tor Johnson, Bunny Breckinridge, Joanna Lee Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 American black-and-white science fiction thriller film released by Distributors Corporation of America. The film was written, produced, directed, and edited by ...more

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Return of the Fly is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Return of the Fly Vincent Price, Dan Seymour, Brett Halsey Return of the Fly is the first sequel to the 1958 horror film The Fly. It was released in 1959, and directed by Edward Bernds. Unlike the preceding film, Return of the Fly was shot in black and ...more

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The Abominable Snowman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
The Abominable Snowman Peter Cushing, Forrest Tucker, Robert Brown The Abominable Snowman is a 1957 British horror film directed by Val Guest. Made by Hammer Film Productions, it is based on a 1955 BBC television play, The Creature, written by Nigel Kneale, who ...more

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Invasion of the Saucer Men is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Invasion of the Saucer Men Frank Gorshin, Raymond Hatton, Gloria Castillo Invasion of the Saucer Men is a 1957 sci-fi horror and comedy film starring Steven Terrell and Gloria Castillo and personally produced by James H. Nicholson for his American International ...more

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The Beast of Hollow Mountain is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added The Beast of Hollow Mountain Guy Madison, Patricia Medina, Eduardo Noriega The Beast of Hollow Mountain is a 1956 Weird West movie about an American cowboy living in Mexico who discovers his missing cattle are being preyed upon by an Allosaurus. The Allosaurus would ...more

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The Killer Shrews is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added The Killer Shrews Ken Curtis, James Best, Ingrid Goude The Killer Shrews is a 1959 science fiction film directed by Ray Kellogg. It was filmed outside of Dallas, Texas back-to-back with The Giant Gila Monster by producers Ken Curtis and Gordon ...more

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The Cosmic Man is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Leonardo Tressoldi added The Cosmic Man John Carradine, Bruce Bennett, Paul Langton