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Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us (2005)

Directors Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron discuss the science fiction movies of the 1950s that influenced them.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Narrator (voice)
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Dr. Harold Medford (archive footage)
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Orville (archive footage)
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Dr. Edward Morbius (archive footage)
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Altaira Morbius (archive footage)
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Robert Graham in 'Them' (archive footage)
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Klaatu (archive footage)
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Storyline

'Stephen Spielberg', Ridley Scott, James Cameron and George Lucas discuss the importance of science fiction films and the influence of the genre. Following the end of World War II, new kinds of enemies appeared, those that could not be seen such as the atom or the fear of the unknown such as that resulting from the cold war. Movies became metaphors for those fears and science fiction films took many forms. They include giant bugs such as the ants in Them! (1954) or inanimate object such as in The Monolith Monsters (1957). In The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) the terror comes from everyday life - a cat, a spider - as the man gets smaller and smaller. Science fiction involving space travel required more imagination. Destination Moon (1950) and Rocketship X-M (1950) were early attempts at taking a serious look at space flight and its implications. Then there were encounters with aliens, some benign, such as Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) or aggressive aliens as ... Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Release Date:

5 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Watch the Skies!  »

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1.33 : 1
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Crazy Credits

Credited actors with the "archive footage" attribute are specifically identified by an interviewee or the narrator as film clips in which they appear are seen. See more »

Connections

References Blade Runner (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Documentary
19 August 2005 | by (Lincoln, Nebraska) – See all my reviews

Despite the previous reviewer's screed, this is a well paced and interesting documentary with lots of clips from classic 1950s sci-fi films that influenced Spielberg, Lucas and others in their more recent efforts. I agree that Spielberg's films aren't even in the same league as the films discussed here, such as William Cameron Menzies' brilliant INVADERS FROM MARS, to name just one of the many titles examined, but this is still a remarkably good overview of 1950s paranoid sci-fi. Yes, it turns into a commercial for the tepid remake of WAR OF THE WORLDS during the last fifteen minutes; you can turn that off. The rest is surprisingly good, and it's nice to see contemporary filmmakers remember the films that inspired them, even if they can't begin to match the originals.


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