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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1950

Sci-fi movies of 1950: Not too many sci-fi films were released in 1950, but Destination Moon made a big impression, affecting movie makers and movie goers for years afterward.

Destination Moon -- a seriously imagined rocket trip to the moon.

The Flying Saucer -- a low-grade spy story with soviet and American agents seeking a scientist's secret saucer-aircraft.

Rocketship XM -- A moon mission goes awry, landing on Mars, where a prior nuclear holocaust reduced martian civilization to rubble and cave dwellers.

7 comments:

ANNA K DONAHUE said...

I'm looking for a classic sic-fi/horror film but can't remember the name. Does this sound familiar? It starts out with a young couple walking through a burned out landscape and ends with a hilarious and exciting chase scene that goes on forever. A green, glowing meteor infects the evil scientist who gradually is overcome with an entirely green, glowing body as he chases the screaming young woman around. As I remember it was in black and white except for the green but not sure.

Nightowl said...

Anna,
That doesn't sound like any of the movies I've watched from the 50s or early 60s -- the black & white era. I'm wondering if it might have been a television episode of Outer Limits or one of those series. I've not watched all of those, so can't say definitively. Maybe search episode lists and synopses of those? Just an idea.

ANNA K DONAHUE said...

Found it and you will want to check this out. My description wasn't very accurate but definitely worth watching for the extended conclusion. I didn't realize that Karloff was in it. Should have remembered "Die, Monster, Die" !! I did not see the year it was released as a double feature with "Planet of the Vampires"
http://classicscifi.blogspot.com/2010/08/die-monster-die.html

Nightowl said...

Anna, glad you found your movie. I have to admit, it wasn't ringing any bells from your description. DMD is a curious sort of film. Karloff makes it, despite all the stereotyped haunted-house cliches.

John Drake said...

Howdy “Golden Age” Movie Fans,


This is my wordy take on the science fiction films of the 1950’s.


Post war technological advances were abounding.

The cold war was heating up.

Folks were looking to technology and scientists, for the answers to most questions.

Science and engineering fields were booming, crude technology (by today’s standards) was bringing about “miracles”.

“Men of Science”, using little more than slip sticks (slide rules) were coming up with wonder inventions.
My favorite example is the Bell Labs “solar battery” of 1954.


Enter the movie industry.

Science fiction movies were a shoe in for the times.

Some movies used “real” science, some used make believe science – who cared at the time.
Novels and short stories of the time used the same “sciences” – it’s all good to me.

Our society was going through many upheavals and “B” science fiction movies were just the trick for escapism.

Science almost always “saved the day”, as well as the world.


Enter the current movie experts (a.k.a. schmoes ) who view this Golden Age with disdain.

They feel powerful by bad mouthing something they neither understand nor care about.

Especially when they are commenting about films they have never seen – just repeating what some other “expert” has posted.

With few exceptions, there were little special effects – remember the 1950’s technology is not today’s technology.

The production values were usually kind of lean.

The acting varied from great to barely passable.

There is a reason that dvd’s of these movies are still selling today, they are good, and sometimes great entertainment.


It could be that I am not too sophisticated.

I watch them for what they are - not condemn them for what they are not.

Ruby, our pit bull mix, is not a lap dog – nor is she a guard dog. She is 72 pounds of the most loving dog I have ever seen. Just ask anyone who knows her.

Would you bad mouth her for being neither?

Or appreciate her for what she is?


That said, pop in a dvd, nuke some popcorn and have a good time.


John


As a side note.

With the internet, any weasel can spout off on any subject and the sheep will follow.

I get to deal with that in my business.

John Drake said...

Howdy Film Fans


This is an addition to my earlier post.


I have looked at a number of science fiction review/blog websites.

It is sad to see what they say about Golden Age movies.

Most of these are filled with vitriolic comments.

It seems like a bunch of spoiled little kids lashing out because the world is not what
they think it should be.

Civility is a dying concept.

If this is the direction we are going, I feel extra bad for our grandchildren.


Rant over.


Let's escape to the movies,

John

Nightowl said...

Hi John,

I appreciate your viewpoint on Golden Era sci-fi. It does seem too easy for later generations to scoff at 50s sci-fi. Folks who went through their childhood seeing high-tech CGI effects -- and for whom the original Star Wars was ancient history -- the 50s tend to be seen with derision.

MST3K, while it had its amusing moments, seemed to 'teach' kids to see 50s B films as only good for mockery. Granted, there were some things worthy of mockery -- such as the giant bird model in "The Giant Claw" -- but even that film creeped me out as a kid. What the model lacked, the imagination filled in.

Perhaps, modern folk have atrophied imaginations. CGI has spoon-fed them so long, they cannot lift a spoon on their own.

Enjoy 50s films for what they are -- a window into another place and time.

-- Nightowl