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The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s

Updated May 5, 2020 8.5k votes 797 voters 22.7k views106 items

List RulesVote up your favorite science fiction films that were released in the 1960s

The 1960s was an important decade in the development of the science fiction genre. Several major releases helped redefine sci-fi for a generation of movie-goers.


On this list of the greatest ‘60s sci-fi movies, you’ll find Stanley Kubrick’s opus
2001: A Space Odyssey. This film, with its minimalist dialogue and pioneering use of music and ambiguous imagery, remains one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time, and features one of the most iconic sci-fi “characters” of all time - the supercomputer Hal. Another classic sci-fi movie on this list is Planet of the Apes. Starring Charlton Heston, this movie has been parodied, referenced, and remade many times over the years. At the time, the special effects were considered revolutionary.


Fans of Godzilla will be happy to see several films featuring the green monster on this list of the best ‘60s sci-fi movies. In addition, this list features a film by legendary French New Wave director Francois Truffaut.
Fahrenheit 451, based on the novel of the same name, was Truffaut’s only English-language film. Vote up the best '60s 
sci-fi films below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
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  • 1
    Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    297
    74

    Planet of the Apes

    Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison

    Released1968

    Directed byFranklin J. Schaffner

    Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    251
    57

    The Time Machine

    Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor

    Released1960

    Directed byGeorge Pal

    The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine – is a 1960... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    310
    88

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Fantastic Voyage is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    179
    59

    Fantastic Voyage

    Raquel Welch, James Brolin

    Released1966

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Per salvare la vita di un celebre scienziato, vittima di un attentato, alcuni medici si fanno... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Mysterious Island is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    107
    44

    Mysterious Island

    Herbert Lom, Joan Greenwood

    Released1961

    Directed byCy Endfield

    Mysterious Island is a 1961 science fiction adventure film. Based very loosely upon the novel... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Se is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    129
    72

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

    Barbara Eden, Joan Fontaine

    Released1961

    Directed byIrwin Allen

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an American science fiction film, produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    134
    81

    Fahrenheit 451

    Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack

    Released1966

    Directed byFrançois Truffaut

    Fahrenheit 451 is a 1966 British Dystopian science fiction drama film directed by François... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    The Last Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    112
    64

    The Last Man on Earth

    Vincent Price, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart

    Released1964

    Directed bySidney Salkow, Ubaldo Ragona

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  • 9
    First Men in the Moon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    97
    56

    First Men in the Moon

    Peter Finch, Martha Hyer

    Released1964

    Directed byNathan H. Juran

    First Men in the Moon is a 1964 British science fiction film directed by Nathan Juran and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Village of the Damned is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    116
    74

    Village of the Damned

    George Sanders, Barbara Shelley

    Released1960

    Directed byWolf Rilla

    Village of the Damned is a 1960 British science fiction film by German director Wolf Rilla.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Robinson Crusoe on Mars is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    111
    74

    Robinson Crusoe on Mars

    Adam West, Paul Mantee

    Released1964

    Directed byByron Haskin

    Robinson Crusoe on Mars is a 1964 independently made color Techniscope science fiction film... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Quatermass and the Pit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    86
    52

    Quatermass and the Pit

    Julian Glover, Barbara Shelley

    Released1967

    Directed byRoy Ward Baker

    Quatermass and the Pit is a 1967 British science fiction horror film. Made by Hammer Film... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    The Absent-Minded Professor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    91
    68

    The Absent-Minded Professor

    Fred MacMurray, Keenan Wynn

    Released1961

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    The Absent-Minded Professor is a 1961 American film distributed by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Marooned is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    68
    49

    Marooned

    Gene Hackman, Gregory Peck

    Released1969

    Directed byJohn Sturges

    Marooned is a 1969 Eastmancolor American film directed by John Sturges and starring Gregory... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Nutty Professor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    91
    76

    The Nutty Professor

    Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens

    Released1963

    Directed byJerry Lewis

    The Nutty Professor is a 1963 American comic science fiction feature film produced, directed,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Day of the Triffids is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    88
    76

    The Day of the Triffids

    Howard Keel, Carole Ann Ford

    Released1962

    Directed byFreddie Francis, Steve Sekely

    The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British film based on the 1951 science fiction novel of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Children of the Damned is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    58
    46

    Children of the Damned

    George Sanders, Ian Hendry

    Released1964

    Directed byAnton Leader

    Children of the Damned is a 1964 science fiction film, a thematic sequel to the 1960 version... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Mysterious Island is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    52
    42

    Mysterious Island

    Richard Crane, Gene Roth

    Released1951

    Directed bySpencer Gordon Bennet

    Mysterious Island is the 46th serial released by Columbia Pictures. It is an adaptation of the... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Mothra is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    67
    64

    Mothra

    Takashi Shimura, Kyōko Kagawa

    Released1961

    Directed byIshirō Honda

    Mothra is a 1961 kaiju/tokusatsu film from Toho Studios, directed by genre regular Ishirō... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Barbarella is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    100
    105

    Barbarella

    Jane Fonda, Anita Pallenberg

    Released1968

    Directed byRoger Vadim

    Barbarella is a 1968 French-Italian science fiction film based on Jean-Claude Forest's French... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    King Kong vs. Godzilla is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    66
    67

    King Kong vs. Godzilla

    Mie Hama, Akiko Wakabayashi

    Released1962

    Directed byIshirō Honda

    King Kong vs. Godzilla is a 1962 crossover Japanese science fiction Kaiju film produced by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Journey to the Far Side of the is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    58
    63

    Journey to the Far Side of the Sun

    Herbert Lom, Ian Hendry

    Released1969

    Directed byRobert Parrish

    Doppelgänger is a 1969 British science-fiction film directed by Robert Parrish and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    The Day the Earth Caught Fire is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    53
    58

    The Day the Earth Caught Fire

    Michael Caine, Leo McKern

    Released1961

    Directed byVal Guest

    The Day the Earth Caught Fire is a British science fiction disaster film starring Edward Judd,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Dr. Who and the Daleks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    63
    75

    Dr. Who and the Daleks

    Peter Cushing, Roy Castle

    Released1965

    Directed byGordon Flemyng

    Dr. Who and the Daleks was the first of two Doctor Who films made by Amicus Productions in the... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Die, Monster, Die! is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1960s
    7
    1

    Die, Monster, Die!

    Boris Karloff, Nick Adams

    Released1965

    Directed byDaniel Haller

    Die, Monster, Die! is a 1965 horror film directed by Daniel Haller. The film is a loose... more on Wikipedia
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