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The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s  

Ranker Film
8.4k votes 936 voters 21.8k views 72 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
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
Forbidden Planet is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
4
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
5
Them! is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
6
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
7
Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
9
The Blob is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
10
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
11
This Island Earth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
12
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
13
When Worlds Collide is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
14
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
15
The Incredible Shrinking Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
16
20 Million Miles to Earth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
17
It Came from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
18
Invaders from Mars is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
Godzilla, King of the Monsters... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
It Came from Beneath the Sea is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
21
Tarantula is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
22
On the Beach is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
23
It! The Terror from Beyond Spa... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
Destination Moon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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
25
The Deadly Mantis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s
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