Total Nerd The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies  

Ranker Film
5.4k votes 642 voters 13.1k 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. 
list ordered by

1
204 40
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

2
189 36
Forbidden Planet is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

3
182 35
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum This film 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 film is a ...more

4
174 37
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

5
153 31
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

6
166 40
Them! is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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
112 31
Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added 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
104 32
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

9
101 31
When Worlds Collide is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

10
103 33
This Island Earth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

11
107 37
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

12
117 45
The Blob is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

13
98 34
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

14
97 34
The Incredible Shrinking Man is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

15
87 31
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

16
89 36
It Came from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

17
84 34
20 Million Miles to Earth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

18
78 32
Invaders from Mars is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

19
80 42
Godzilla, King of the Monsters... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

20
64 31
Tarantula is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

21
55 29
It Came from Beneath the Sea is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

22
54 30
Destination Moon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

23
55 35
It! The Terror from Beyond Spa... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

24
29 13
5 million miles to earth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
SuzanneCooke added 5 million miles to earth

25
55 39
On the Beach is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

26
50 38
The Curse of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

27
50 43
The Deadly Mantis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

28
49 42
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

29
41 35
I Married a Monster from Outer... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

30
35 30
Rocketship X-M is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

31
36 35
The Monster That Challenged th... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

32
36 35
1984 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

33
45 45
Rodan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

34
34 34
Fiend Without a Face is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

35
34 34
Revenge of the Creature is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

36
30 30
Invisible Invaders is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Danny Sims added 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.

37
25 26
Beginning of the End is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Danny Sims added 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

38
30 33
The Revenge of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

39
35 39
The Mole People is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Alan Napier, John Agar, Nestor Paiva The Mole People is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Virgil W. Vogel.

40
23 27
Flight to Mars is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Cameron Mitchell, Marguerite Chapman, John Litel Flight to Mars is a 1951 American Cinecolor science fiction film, produced by Walter Mirisch for Monogram Pictures, directed by Lesley Selander, and starring Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell ...more

41
26 31
The Abominable Snowman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

42
29 35
Invasion of the Saucer Men is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

43
26 32
Return of the Fly is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

44
28 35
The Creature Walks Among Us is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

45
27 34
The Giant Claw is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added 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

46
22 28
Giant Gila Monster is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added 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

47
30 38
Not of This Earth is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

48
44 56
Plan 9 from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
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

49
25 35
The Killer Shrews is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Tommi Welchoff-White added 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

50
22 32
The Mysterians is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '50s Sci-Fi Movies
Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Yumi Shirakawa The Mysterians, released in Japan as Chikyū Bōeigun, is a 1957 Science fiction Tokusatsu film directed by Ishirō Honda and produced & released by Toho Studios. It is notable for being the ...more