love the early sci-fi films, some ruined by remakes some improved. but you carnt really beat them. this list was very hard to put down. missed out some popular choices on purpose coz i believe these films i have chosen are much better.
1. Blade Runner (1982)
Dir: Ridley Scott
Whether you prefer the original theatrical version (with a bored-sounding narration and without the famed unicorn scenes) or the director's cut of a few years later (sans narration and unicorn duly re-inserted), Blade Runner was the runaway favourite in our poll.
The story revolves around Harrison Ford's policeman, Rick Deckard, and his hunt for four cloned humanoids, known as replicants, in a dystopian version of Los Angeles. Replicants have been deemed illegal and Deckard is a blade runner, a specialist in exterminating them.
The film is loosely based on Philip K d*ck's short story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? "Blade Runner is the best movie ever made," says Stephen Minger, stem cell biologist at King's College London. "It was so far ahead of its time and the whole premise of the story - what is it to be human and who are we, where we come from? It's the age-old questions."
It also discusses consciousness with an attempt to formulate a way to tell a human from a machine. The Voight-Kampff empathy test is used by the police in the film to identify the replicants - who have memories implanted and are programmed with artificial emotions. "The Voight-Kampff empathy test is not far away from the sort of thing that cognitive neuroscientists are actually doing today," says Chris Frith of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College, London.
Debates rage on whether Deckard himself is a replicant. Ridley Scott says that he is artificial, but Harrison Ford argues that during filming Scott told him Deckard was human. Whatever the answer, it is a worthy winner also because of the quality of the film-making: Vangelis' brooding score, Rutger Hauer's replicant's seminal "I've seen things..." speech and that shot of the future LA cityscape, which kicks off the story.
2. logans run (1976)
The novel was adapted in 1976 as a film, directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York as Logan 5 (not 3), Jenny Agutter as Jessica 6, and Richard Jordan as Francis 7. The film only uses the basic premise from the novel (everyone must die at a specific age, Logan runs with Jessica as his companion while being chased by Francis). However, the world is post apocalyptic and people now live inside a huge domed city and are unaware of the world outside, believing it to be a barren, poisonous environment. The motivations of the characters are also quite different in the film. The age of death is 30, and instead of reporting to a Sleepshop, citizens must take part in a ritual called "Carrousel" in which they are vaporized with the chance of being "renewed". Logan is a 26-year-old Sandman, sent by the computer to find and destroy Sanctuary. The computer alters his palm flower (here called a "life clock") to show him as approaching Lastday, and he becomes a runner and escapes from the city. Sanctuary turns out not to exist (or at least is never actually found), and the only other person that Logan and Jessica encounter outside the city is an old man (Peter Ustinov) who lives with a large number of cats in the Senate Chamber of the largely intact ruins of Washington, DC. Logan kills Francis, who is simply a Sandman in the movie and not a rebel leader, and leads the old man back to just outside the domed city, returning to try to lead a revolt against the culling. No one believes or listens to him or Jessica, and instead he is captured by Sandmen. In his interrogation by the computer, his honest information that there is no Sanctuary causes the computer to malfunction and self-destruct. As the young population leave the confines of the burning and exploding Domed City, they meet the Old Man outside - the first time they have seen anybody of that age.
3. Alien (1979)
Dir: Ridley Scott
Remembered for the iconic scene of an infant creature bursting bloodily through John Hurt's chest, but Alien was about much more. An interstellar mining vessel takes onboard a lifeform with concentrated acid for blood and two sets of jaws, which then messily dispatches the crew.
Praised for the gothic set design and Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of reluctant hero Ellen Ripley, it is notable for its underlying themes of motherhood, penetration and birth. But for UCL space physiologist Kevin Fong it's the mundanity of the crew's lifestyle that makes it stand out.
"For the first time we got the idea that, in the far-flung future, people who live and work in space might be a bunch of Average Joe slobs sitting around with leftover pizza, smoking and playing cards to pass the time," he says. "It captures much of what long duration space flight is about now: dirty, sweaty and claustrophobic with long periods of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror."
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Dir: Stanley Kubrick
A very close second, this mystifying story came out of a collaboration between Kubrick and science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke. It achieved enormous fame for its then revolutionary special effects.
Spacecraft consultants Frederick Ordway and Harry Lange, who had worked for Nasa, persuaded companies such as Boeing and IBM to supply prototypes and technical documents for use in the film. Astronauts visiting the set at Borehamwood referred to it as "Nasa East".
Aubrey Manning, emeritus professor of natural history at Edinburgh, praises 2001 for "the brilliance of the simulations - still never done better despite all the modern computer graphics. The brilliance of using Brazilian tapirs as 'prehistoric animals'. The brilliance of the cut from the stick as club, to the space shuttle. Kubrick declaring that once tool use begins - the rest is inevitable. Hal: the first of the super computers with its honeyed East-Coast-Establishment voice."
5. War of the Worlds (1953)
Dir: Byron Haskin
Famously adapted for radio by Orson Welles, HG Wells' tale of a Martian invasion of Earth became another cold war movie.
"The idea that there could be life that's developed in completely other circumstances in a completely different world which you would never recognise. That's a very appealing idea," says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, California.
6. Terminator (1984)
Dir: James Cameron
Robots from 2029 send a relentless cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back to 1980s Los Angeles to assassinate the mother of a future human rebel. One of a few films to deal with problems of time travel, such as the grandfather paradox: if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather, you wouldn't exist so wouldn't be able to travel back in time to...
The sequel featured another cyborg made of shapeshifting metal. "Despite the incoherent fictional science, it is a perfect piece of film-making in its genre, which I would call 'action movie' rather than 'sci-fi movie' if it were not for the fact that there are very few, if any, movies that genuinely deserve to be called sci-fi," says David Deutsch, quantum physicist at Oxford.
7. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Dir: Robert Wise
Set amid the cold war paranoia of postwar America, a flying saucer lands in Washington DC and a humanoid alien, Klaatu emerges, accompanied by his robot, Gort.
Klaatu (who pronounces: "I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it") tries to convince the world's leaders - and when they won't listen, scientists - to stop the rush toward mutual destruction.
It is cited by Beagle 2 project leader Colin Pillinger as one of his favourite sci-fi films. "During the showing, the cinema manager pulled a classic Orson Welles stunt and stopped the film to announce that a spaceship had landed."
8. the day of the triffids (1962)
A film version was produced in the UK, and released in 1962.
In 1975, Marvel Comics adapted the story in the magazine Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction.
A television serial version was produced by the BBC in 1981, and repeated on BBC Four in 2006, 2007, and 2009. It starred John Duttine as Bill Masen.
In December 2009, the BBC broadcast a new version of the story, written by "ER" and "Law & Order" writer Patrick Harbinson. It stars Dougray Scott as Bill Masen, Joely Richardson as Jo Playton, Brian Cox as Dennis Masen, Vanessa Redgrave as Durrant, Eddie Izzard as Torrence, and Jason Priestley as Coker. An estimated 6.1 million people viewed the first episode. The elements of repopulating the Earth and the plague were overlooked in this adaptation; another difference in the plot was that the Earth was blinded by a solar flare.
In September 2010, Variety announced that a 3D film version was being planned by producers Don Murphy and Michael Preger.
A sequel, The Night of the Triffids, taking place 25 years after Wyndham's book, was written by Simon Clark.
9. planet of the apes (1968)
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter and Linda Harrison. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973, all produced by Arthur P. Jacobs and released by 20th Century Fox. The series was followed by a remake in 2001 and a reboot in 2011.
The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.
The script was originally written by Rod Serling but had many rewrites before eventually being made. Directors J. Lee Thompson and Blake Edwards were approached, but the film's producer Arthur P. Jacobs, upon the advice of Charlton Heston, chose Franklin J. Schaffner to direct the film. Schaffner's changes included creating a more primitive ape society, instead of the more expensive idea of having futuristic buildings and advanced technology. Filming took place between May–August 1967, mostly in California and Arizona, with the opening scene shot at Lake Powell, Utah. The film's budget was approximately $5,800,000.
The film was released on February 8, 1968, in the United States and was a commercial success, gaining $32,589,624 at the international box office. The film was groundbreaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers, and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short-lived television show, animated series, comic books, various merchandising, and eventually a remake in 2001 and a reboot in 2011. In particular, R
10. E.T. (1982)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison and starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote. It tells the story of Elliott (played by Thomas), a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.
The concept for E.T. was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents' divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the stalled science fiction/horror film project Night Skies. The film was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of US$10.5 million. Unlike most motion pictures, the film was shot in roughly chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast.
Released by Universal Pictures, E.T. was a blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time—a record it held for ten years until Jurassic Park, another Spielberg-directed film surpassed it in 1993. Critics acclaimed it as a timeless story of friendship, and it ranks as the greatest science fiction film ever made in a Rotten Tomatoes survey. The film was re-released in 1985, and then again in 2002 to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary, with altered shots and additional scenes.