Total Nerd The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies  

Ranker Film
248 votes 55 voters 1.6k views 20 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the best science fiction movies that were released before 1960.

Terrifying monsters and unwelcome space invaders frightened movie-goers in classic sci-fi movies. The best old sci fi movies are often based on famous novels, although some original stories dreamt up by modern masters thrilled on the big screen as well. This is a list of the top early sci fi movies including everything from King Kong to The Day the Earth Stood Still to Metropolis.

What films will you find on this list of the best classic science fiction films? In 1931, Boris Karloff took the title role in Frankenstein, a film based on Mary Shelley's novel of the same name. The movie went on to be included in the National Film Registry for its significance. Creature From the Black Lagoon is another scary sci fi film released before 1960. It's hard to discuss classic sci fi without mentioning Ed Wood's low-budget masterpiece, Plan 9 From Outer Space. Other top movies featured on this list include Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing from Another World, and The Blob.

It's up to you to decide with silver screen favorite deserves the top spot on the list. Give your picks a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and add any cult classics that are missing.

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Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
Frankenstein Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more

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King Kong is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
King Kong Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was from an ...more

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The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier 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 Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds Gene Barry, Ann Robinson 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

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Forbidden Planet is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classic 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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Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
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

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The Fly is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classic 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

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The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classic 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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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classic 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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Metropolis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
Metropolis Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Theodor Loos Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav ...more

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Them! is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classic 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

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The Incredible Shrinking Man is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classic 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 Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
The Invisible Man Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor The Invisible Man is a 1933 science fiction film based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897, as adapted by R. C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges, ...more

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Destination Moon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classic 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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The Blob is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classic 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

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A Trip to the Moon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
A Trip to the Moon Georges Méliès, Jehanne d'Alcy, Bleuette Bernon A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and ...more

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When Worlds Collide is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classic 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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This Island Earth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classic 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

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Plan 9 from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
Plan 9 from Outer Space Tor Johnson, Bunny Breckinridge, Joanna Lee 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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Lost Horizon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies
Lost Horizon Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Thomas Mitchell Lost Horizon is a 1937 American drama-fantasy film directed by Frank Capra. The screenplay by Robert Riskin is based on the 1933 novel of the same title by James Hilton. The film exceeded its ...more