Most Influential Sci Fi Movie

Posted by: Kate

Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/20/07 03:59 AM

OK, which sci fi movie has been the most influential as far as setting the agenda for other sci fi movies and creating a compelling vision of the future?
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/20/07 05:55 AM

I would have to add one more to the list: The Last Starfighter. It set the mark for special effects and marked the first use of computer graphics in motion pictures on a large scale. It has influenced the development of computer graphics and special effects in a big way. It brought a Cray supercomputer to its knees in the making of the film. Techniques learned in the making of The Last Starfighter were applied to all the films that came after, including Star Wars. smile
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/21/07 07:22 PM

I've seen some of the movies listed, but I don't have a clue about how agenda-setting each has been. I'm in the "Don't ask me, I only work 'ere" category.

Regarding visions of the future:

I was probably 5 yrs old (10 yrs after WWII) when I first saw Things to Come. For many years after those were the things that I expected to come.

The Time Machine (first version, that followed the book closely), could be something like the future in outline, if not in detail.

I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey shortly after it's release, and as much as I enjoyed it (having previously read the book), it was too unrealistic in terms of human behaviour and interaction to represent a vision of our future.

Star Wars - a comic strip style series not to be taken seriously.

Alien was very convincing. I can easily pursuade myself that it could happen.

I would like someone to make a film of Olaf Stapledon's 'Last and First Men'. On second thoughts, it would probably have to be serialised for TV - say, 10 episodes of 2 hrs each. That could get my vote! As it is, I'll go with Alien.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/25/07 10:22 PM

I have six of these in my DVD collection!

Consider this a "Write In" vote for Fail Safe. An excellent "what-if" film that is shamelessly overlooked in Sci-Fi discussions.
Another one, although a bit of a stretch, in terms of suspending disbelief, is "AI", a little-known flick from Spielberg. It's a look at how humans may disappear to be replaced by Artificial Intelligence as the world's dominant "life form".

On your list, I'd have to go with TDTESS.
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/26/07 05:42 PM

I remember seeing "AI". It was a nice little film, good special effects and an intense look at the rise of artificial intelligence and how the society reacts by demonising the AI. There is a parallel to racism and it is examined in detail. A truly good film that didn't get much press at the time.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/26/07 08:46 PM

"AI"? is that the one with the boy robot in search of the Blue Fairy? No, seriously smile. I missed the start and end, but it looked very good. If that's not "AI", I'd like to know what it is so I can search for it.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/27/07 04:13 AM

What about "Enemy Mine"? The book is OK too. It explores the idea of difference and having to compromise in order to survive, as well as gender issues.
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/27/07 11:12 PM

That's exactly the movie. It was a combination quest/love story with twists on humanity. It made a very good point about racism, as well.

Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/28/07 03:26 AM

Many thanks, Amaranth. I'll now be on the lookout for it.
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 02/28/07 10:23 PM

You can find it on Amazon.

Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/07/07 04:30 AM

Its difficult to answer your question absolutely Kate.
May ones answer is coloured by ones own characteur?
One might answer 'Aliens' if you tended to be a little pessimistic. Prehaps 'Space Odessy' or Time machine' if a little optimistic?
Metropolis, smacks of Unionised heavy work, not for us humans, under a yoke.
But a very good film nevertheless. It reminds me a little of 'Modern Times' that starred Charlie Chaplin, that came much later, which had a lot of tongue in cheek comedy as well.
We need more people to vote, for a definate answer
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/07/07 05:57 AM

I'm going in to bat for Enemy Mine again, since everyone ignored my last vote! The whole basis of this movie is that that the repulsive weird alien and the human astronaut have to learn to cooperate if they (or their "line" ) were to survive. It has its modern parallels today. The proposition is that our enemy can be an honourable being, and we do not lose our own honour exploring such a possibility. I think it's a very good film.
Posted by: Mitthrawnuruodo

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 04/05/07 12:50 AM

I do not know if the original "King Kong" satisfies as sci-fi, but that movie and Journey to the Center of the Earth are some of my favourites.
Posted by: Wayne Zeller

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 04/05/07 10:05 PM

The question, though, isn't "What's your favorite" or even "Which one influenced/predicted the future the most". It includes the phrase, "as far as setting the agenda for other sci fi movies."

On that parameter, I would have to go with Star Wars, hands down.

As science fiction goes, it's not to be taken too seriously. As a piece of cinematic art that influences those who come after, it has never had an equal. George Lucas' vision was WAY ahead of it's time. The actors were running around with green screens, mostly thinking, "I can't believe I got dumped into this stupid thing." Nobody but George understood what was being made. And then it hit, and the world of science fiction movies has never been the same since.

(With all that said, Blade Runner rules!) smile


Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 04/09/07 06:44 AM

OK I'll give up on Enemy Mine and put my vote in for Star Wars- for all the reasons listed and because I really like it and could watch it any time--again.

I still like EM though and its VERY timely message of looking for common ground with our enemies and not just emphasising the differences. Now there's a relevant suggestion and if it's not the agenda then it should be!
Posted by: Mitthrawnuruodo

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 05/01/07 03:04 AM

I think "Alien" creates a compelling vision of the future. There is no "force" (whatever that is) and seems realistic. A vast slew of space/horror movies followed in the heels of Alien. From decent- "Predator", to horrendous- "Jason X"...
Posted by: BrianPatrix

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 06/25/07 01:09 AM

I'm downloading Enemy Mine and Fail Safe now. 7 hours. Are they from 1985 and 2000?
I wanna root for THX 1138. The theme of "Dystopia" returns in the Matrix, Equilibrium etc.
I also wanna root for TRON and Dark City and A Scanner Darkly (all 3 kind of dystopic) and other various Philip K. Dick adaptations, however bad some of them may be.
Posted by: MikeBinOK

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 07/01/07 05:59 AM

Star Wars was basically a Western, but it pretty much ruined science fiction movies for twenty years. Hollywood (which wasn't much for good sci-fi anyway) decided that all you needed for science fiction was to spend all the money on special effects, and don't worry about plot.

Metropolis had wondrous special effects (they still hang in there 80 years later!), but had a plot--A confusing plot I admit, but a plot.

For science fiction, I still maintain the best actual science fiction movie (as opposed to a story with ray guns and rocket ships) was "The Day the Earth Stood Still.". But I did vote for Metropolis!
Posted by: BrianPatrix

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 07/29/07 12:24 PM

i have now seen Fail Safe and Enemy Mine, I have since then also seen Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind and Impostor. I don't necessarily agree with people who rag on about action SF. And Serenity/Firefly is an excellent example of western SF.
There are all kinds and if it's good, its good and if not, its not.
And what are you on about Star Wars? It soooo had a plot, there's a decaying Evil Empire and the local farm boy discovers he's a destined hero, to save the beautiful princess. We call that Space Opera, see Niven's the Mote in Gods Eye.
Posted by: BrianPatrix

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 07/29/07 12:29 PM

if you know how to handle torrents you can also find it like that, for free!! :):) I dunno about you but i don't feel like giving my 10 bucks to an enterprise that makes 100 million dollars.
Posted by: MikeBinOK

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/04/07 07:47 AM

Originally Posted By: BrianPatrix

And what are you on about Star Wars? It soooo had a plot, there's a decaying Evil Empire and the local farm boy discovers he's a destined hero, to save the beautiful princess. We call that Space Opera, see Niven's the Mote in Gods Eye.

Check back on what I read...I didn't say Star Wars had no plot, I said that the movies that tried to copycat it decided that all they needed was special effects, and they didn't bother to have interesting plots!

I agree that Star Wars had a plot, but stand by my statement about it being a Western with Ray Guns. Watch the original Star Wars, then watch John Wayne's "The War Wagon" and see if you don't agree!

Don't get me wrong, I loved the original Star Wars trilogy and still like them a lot.
Posted by: TheFallibleFiend

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/06/07 06:47 PM

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" was a great movie for its time. The theme was something that should resonate with religious people - don't worry about "stuff" cause there's a higher power looking out for the welfare of the galaxy. I keep a copy at home and watch it from time to time, but my kids aren't fond of it.

I like Metropolis better, but I'm not sure how much it affects current SF.
Posted by: Wolfman

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/06/07 08:04 PM

At the time of its release I thought that "Blade Runner" would create a wave of films dealing with Artificial Intelligence, but it never happened. That was also adapted from a little Phillip Dick novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". I read that in a single sitting, as a High School Junior on a Basketball trip on a bus. It really makes you think, especially the last 60 pages or so. Not a good way to get "psyched" to play Ball!

Strangely, a few years later I was travelling South-North in Germany by train. I noticed a passenger sitting in a seat just ahead of me reading "Traumen Androiden Von Elektrisken Schafen?"

I was dissappointed in the film version because it omitted so much. In the book, Deckard was married to a woman named Iran. They lived out a rough existence on a small salary (in San Fran, not LA) and. like most Americans, resented the flow of immigrants into the country. There were so many immigrants that the common language on the street was a mish-mash of English/Japanese and Arabic. Real animals are almost completely extinct so people keep android animals. Deckard himself has an Electric Sheep that he keeps on the roof of his building. He was offered $6,000 to terminate 6 Replicants. Errr... 6 large was a lot of money in 1968! The film also deleted two minor characters who I thought were pivotal The first was named Buster Friendly, a Game Show Host who gave peole hope. The other was Mercer who had established a new religion after the Nuclear War. I kept waiting for one of them to show up. Nope. But THE OWL showed up! That was Deckard's dream, to one day have enough money to buy an Electric Owl. After the War radiation was killing everything, people were leaving for the Off World Colonies.

In the end Deckard retreats to Oregon with his wife. Climbing a path on a hill, he finds a toad, and is ecstatic that he actually has a real, living animal, something only the very priviledged could own. But that night his wife realizes that it too is a replicant. Decckard goes to bed happy, deluded, but happy, and his wife orders android flies for the toad, to keep him happy.

Oh, it's an incredible Book, it makes you think about things like the Human Condition, Technology and Religion. Very few books do that.
Posted by: Kate

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/08/07 10:38 AM

Speaking of Phil Dick, have you read "Lies Inc" or "Counter-Clock World"? CC World is a real head-trip and would make a great film.

Unfortunately though, while his concepts are mind-blowing, his writing can be a bit crap - well, a lot crap actually. It's a pity he didn't have better narrative skills to complement his grand ideas. Just my 0.02c.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/09/07 04:24 AM

Why do I feel that in the Androids/ Sheep book the Deckard character was also left questioning his own human status? I liked both the film and the book, but they are both very different really, (but the book is more interesting). And stop getting stuck into Star Wars (esp the first, the original and best), it was a western, it was fun, I would have made that movie if I could have... BUT nothing on this planet will convince me that Luke and Laia were ever intended, in the future, to be found to be to be brother and sister in the way they were portrayed in that first episode!!! No Way!!!
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/10/07 06:53 PM

I'll take the liberty of stretching the thread a wee bit.

This was the most influential sci-fi for me, but it wasn't a movie, it was a radio broacast: Journey into Space

First broadcast in 1953, in the UK it was the last radio programme to attract a bigger evening audience than television. It could even have served as a model for Star Trek (and 'Q' in particular). From Wiki:

Although Journey Into Space was primarily an entertaining science-fiction adventure, it often touched on deeper moral issues, many of which were very thought-provoking. A recurring theme throughout all three series was the lack of respect which humans often demonstrate towards the Earth and each other. At times, a non-human intelligence (such as the Time-Traveller or the Martian), being much older and more advanced than mankind, would rebuke the main characters for mankind's selfish and destructive tendencies.

In Operation Luna, a good example is the diary entry which Doc unintentionally writes while being influenced by the Time-Traveller on the Moon:

... We should never have come. Man has no right here, no right to carry the secrets of this planet back to Earth, back to terrestrial beings who can neither understand them nor appreciate them, and in consequence will only attempt to destroy them, rip them to pieces, tear them apart, as they have already begun to destroy their own planet ...

Another example is Mitch's speech while possessed by the Time-Traveller on the Moon:

... Why do you interrupt the peace of your sister planet? ... Already you are tearing your own planet to pieces, destroying it, and now you mean to do the same here ...


Wonderful stuff, even for a 4yr old.
Posted by: Mr. Wizard

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 09/30/07 02:11 AM

Star Wars is a classic hero myth, like the Potter films, but I doubt it would have been made if not for 2001. Does Dr. Strangelove qualify?
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 09/30/07 05:02 AM

Why do you think that 2001 is so influential? Star Wars is definitely the archetypal quest myth- it has all the features including the maimed hero, as does Harry Potter, but so do many other novels and movies. 2001 may have influenced the setting by popularising the notion of science fiction film, but I think it had a different message entirely. While 2001 was a sort of history of humans of Earth and looked to its own future- Star Wars was set on 'a galaxy far, far away' and the action does not intend to apply specifically to Earth. This is important as imagination runs free in Star Wars, fantasy is given full flight and ideas are limited only by the budget!
Posted by: MikeBinOK

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/01/07 01:26 AM

2001 was influential partly in making science fiction movies "respectable". Kubrick was a major director, and if he was going to make a science fiction film, it was more difficult to dismiss science fiction as a fringe genre suitable only for teen-aged movie goers. A lot of later science fiction movies wouldn't have been able to get funded if Kubrick hadn't ventured into the field.

And I think it is a pretty cool movie, though by being set in the "near future" it hasn't aged well. A common risk of doing that.
Posted by: Rallem

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/02/07 01:44 AM

I voted for 2001: A Space Odyssey because I was a child then and remember how it sparked the minds of my classmates who were allowed to see it. My family was poor so I didn't go to theaters to see movies then. I am sure Metropolis was a fine motivator of its time since I think it was the original sci fi movie, but it was too far before my time to know for sure. The Last Star Fighter was a fun movie and I own a copy for my personal library, but I would not say it was all that influencial.
Posted by: big fat pig

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 01/16/08 02:54 AM

why isn't star wars on the list? lol star wars was the funniest ever(entire series) i loved it.
Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 07/05/08 12:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

Its been a long time since we had a worthy update to Sci-Fi Movies. There is an update to one of the most famous films of all time, Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis'
It was always a difficult film to understand, but now everyone will be able to see this film in its entirety and understand it.

For one fifth of the original version of this silent film was edited and shortened by the American Paramount Co: back in 1927.
Ever since then the original has been lost for over 80 years.
Until the original was found an Argentinian Museum in 1992.

The film was taken to Germany, where it has been restored. It will soon be available for the public to see, and understand, for the first time ever.
The new added scenes now make sense of the film, and show the fights of the bizarre "gynoid" robot. Love scenes between Freder, (the leaders idealistic son) and the underworlds beautiful leader Maria, are also new. It also brings in the "thin man" who is paid to spy on the leaders son, and Freder's mother.
The full techno-sexual violent imagery has been restored, the reasons that this epic film was cut, in the first place.

Posted by: MikeBinOK

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 07/06/08 01:51 AM

The above site claims to have stills of some of the discovered footage. Quality leaves something to be desired, though I suspect they will work wonders on this using the video equivalent of Photoshop to clear it up.

I'm a big fan of this film, and am quite excited. Maybe the full plot will now actually make sense!!!
Posted by: Arcturus66

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 07/06/08 03:07 AM

"I wanna root for THX 1138"
I just *grinned* so big that something fell off. While possibly not being so influential for latter works, it was somewhat 'prophetic' (IMO) and a nice dystopia. On that note, I recommend Terry Gilliam's Brazil or, for lighter viewing, the forever-considered-a-B-rate futuristic Cherry 2000.

That one fits very well, considering some of the current news blurbs.
Posted by: Arcturus66

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/09/08 12:23 AM

Subtopic? I check this topic months later and not one has mentioned The Quiet Earth.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/09/08 10:27 AM

Hi, Arcturus66. I'm ever on the lookout for engrossing sci-fi movies, but they do seem few and far between - I have a deficiency, i.e. a complete inability to appreciate the Star Wars type. I visited, and The Quiet Earth looks promising. What did you like about it?
Posted by: yourmaker316

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 11/30/08 02:08 PM

I am a big fan of 2001. The other books would have made awesome movies.

I'm actually going to put my vote in for Star Trek. Sure there are outragous ideas but the point is it was/is a huge for modern technology, like the flip phone, and it has a realistic time line for how we got there. It's long which is very real.

Star Wars was cool but little science.

Alien is cool, but the plot kind of covers the science be hind it.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is coming out with a remake. I hope it's good.

Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 12/29/08 10:37 PM

Unfortunately it's not! It's just an arcade game for most of the movie, and Keanu Reeves, who I think is very attractive indeed, is beyond expressionless. I know the role demands it, but he is supposed to be acting it!

( Plaintive whine here) -- Why do they remake really good movies? The original in black and white is a truly remarkable movie.
Posted by: qraal

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 01/07/09 11:09 PM

2001 set the standard stylistically and broke-away from the V2/UFO spaceship design paradigm that dominated all through the 1950s/60s. Spaceships became Deep space-ships that looked functional, instead of like missiles or hub-caps.
Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 01/09/09 01:34 PM

Yes, I think you're right qraal. Although the Star Trek craft combined hub-cap with missiles; but they can be excused, as they also served as landing craft!

Which brings me to mentioning that I've recently finished watching the entire Star Trek Voyager series, which I think is brilliant. One could attack the program on the grounds that it isn't agonisingly realistic. But why be concerned over that? It's a visual delight, thoroughly absorbing as the central characters develop throughout the 26 episodes, and all-in-all excellent entertainment. This is the kind of space soap that I like. The end titles of the final episode were a sad sight.
Posted by: stereologist

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/19/09 03:05 AM

Two movies that have not been mentioned are:
Demon Seed

Kronos, made in 1957, is about an alien that comes to consume the world's resources. It appears as a meteorite and becomes a big robot.

Demon Seed, made in 1977, is about artificial intelligence and a computer that seeks to preserve itself by taking over a computer controlled house and constructing machines to make its escape.
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/20/09 05:44 AM

rede- the repeats of Voyager have just finished on pay tv here! Originally they were on at 3am on free to air and I would forget to record them. I really enjoyed watching it, and the themes still had universal appeal. They were always interested in examining real time problems. I was sad to see it finish too as I think it had some of the most interesting characters in SF TV. ---though I have to put in a word here for Piccard and Data in The Next Generation.

There is talk of a prequel with the characters from the 2 series meeting at "The Academy", but I hope that's just a baseless rumour as I really dislike prequels!

Posted by: redewenur

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/20/09 08:26 AM

At the the risk of sounding like a Star Trek addict - okay, I confess, I am - last night, I watched the Next Generation episode with Data's daughter. Oops, I'll rephrase that! I mean I watched the episode in which Data creates a daughter. I see what you mean about Picard and Data. Patrick Stewart plays his role brilliantly, and Brent Spiner is great as an innocent Pinocchio too. I think both series examine ethics, human nature and society very successfully without becoming turgid. Bootiful.
Posted by: Singh001

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/27/09 10:32 AM

Great stuff. I'm a big fan of Sci Fi Movies.

Posted by: worldmaker

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 03/30/09 04:38 PM

Most of the movies suggested seem to have been more reflections of their time -

2001 reflecting the bursting optimism of the 1960.
Blade Runner reflecting the dystopia of the 1980s.
Star Wars the vacuous 1970s.

On this basis Metropolis stands out as a truer and more influential attempt to show or warn or the future of mankind in the hands of despots, turning man into automotons to the corporate machine.

Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 05/17/09 06:30 AM

I have now seen the new Star Trek movie and I owe it an apology. It had great story-telling and lots of in-jokes and explanations for all sorts of quirks in the original TV series, as in the reason for the hostility of 'Bones' for Kirk, and the friendship of Spock and Kirk for eg. It certainly managed the prequel idea MUCH MUCH better than Star Wars, partly I think because there was no obvious leap in filming technology (such as graphics) and so it was more possible to accept the early characters as the same people as they were in the 70s, or was it the 60s? I really enjoyed it and give it 4 stars ****!
Posted by: Rambo Finch

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/25/12 03:02 PM

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars
The Matrix
Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Above are some best sci-fi movies which i have seen and would like to share with all.............
Posted by: Bill S.

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 08/25/12 07:42 PM

See comment on "James Cameron's Avatar and Climate Change". It applies here as well.
Posted by: Rambo Finch

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/06/12 08:17 AM

The Most Influential Sci Fi Movie according to me are:

The Thing (1982)
The Terminator (1984)
District 9 (2009)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
V for Vendetta (2006)
Stalker (1979)
Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
The War Game (1965)
Star Trek (2009)
Avatar (2009)
The Truman Show (1998)
Posted by: Ellis

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/07/12 11:09 PM

'Looper' is REALLY good! ---(Note the suggestion of rather patronising surprise!)
Posted by: Mike Kremer

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/16/12 09:40 PM

I am very surprised that no-one has yet mentioned

"A.I.Artificial Intelligence"

The amazing Sci-Fi Film, that Speilberg produced and dedicated to his friend Stanley Kubrick.

It showed the problems the very first Android Boy programed in human history to feel Human emotions,
....had living with with both Humans and their Robots.
All alone, 2000 years later, on an Earth devoid of Human life, he is found by a group of Aliens.

Unique Sci-Fi picture of the future, that can tug at your heart strings at times. Well worth watching.
Posted by: Amaranth Rose II

Re: Most Influential Sci Fi Movie - 10/17/12 04:01 AM

A.I. was an amazing film. It touched on many facets of human life and our relationship to others. How we view machines, and the ability of machines to relate to us in different ways. How we deal with machines that are sapient and adaptable in a disposable mind-set.