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Classic Science Fiction Films on DVD
What characteristics define Science Fiction movies? Visit the “Film Genres” page on the American Movie Classics (AMC) web site to find out!
Call Number: PT 2615 .A62 M47 2010
Publication Date: Produced 1927; DVD released 2010
This silent film created by German director Fritz Lang is one of the earliest movies to predict a dystopian future involving conflict between social classes, and the threat to human society posed by the increasing sophistication of robots. The special effects, such as using miniatures and mirrors, seem primitive by today's standards, but were groundbreaking in 1927.
The Day the Earth Stood Still by
Call Number: PN 1997 .A23 D39 2002
Publication Date: Produced 1951; DVD released 2002
Featuring a handsome humanoid alien and a faceless robot, this film asks the age-old science fiction question: Can't we (beings from different planets) all just get along? When it was previewed by studio censors, they objected to what they perceived as parallels between the seemingly immortal alien Klaatu and Jesus Christ, prompting a rewrite of a few scenes. Humanity's conflicting responses to the visiting alien -- trusting, peaceful diplomacy versus suspicious military hostility -- reflected the Cold War mood audiences were in when the film was released in 1951.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by
Call Number: PN 1997 .I58 2002
Publication Date: Produced 1956; DVD released 2002
The threat of an alien invasion of Earth is a timeless theme in science fiction, but this film kicks it up a notch. Not only have the aliens arrived, but they're replacing humans with exact duplicates, so nobody knows who's who anymore. Kevin McCarthy's square-jawed portrayal of a man slowly uncovering the horrible truth reminds us that it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
2001: A Space Odyssey by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .S26 T8 2001
Publication Date: Produced 1968; DVD released 2001
Based on a short story by legendary sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, this film is director Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece -- but back in 1968, many moviegoers just didn't get it. The slow pace and lack of space western "shoot 'em up" action did not appeal to a broad audience. But the film has since been embraced by fans of suspense-oriented dystopian epics, which warn us of the dangers of giving automated systems too much control over our lives.
Call Number: PN 1997 .A45 2003
Publication Date: Produced 1979; DVD released 2003
The first installment of a wildly popular franchise, this film was advertised with the tagline "In space, no one can hear you scream." But audiences were heard screaming plenty when the alien life form burst out of John Hurt's chest. Aside from the gory parts, this film exploits the nagging fear we all share of being helpless against an unseen enemy, and knowing that nobody is coming to the rescue.
Back to the Future [trilogy] by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .T55 B3 2015
Publication Date: Produced 1985; DVD released 2015
Who said science fiction has to be scary? This time-travel trilogy reached blockbuster status because it's so much fun, with endearing characters, cross-generational in-jokes, quotable lines, and of course, a time machine... made out of a DeLorean.
Now streaming: Films on Demand
In this dystopian vision of the 21st century, legalized assassination on a reality television show called the "Big Hunt" has replaced war. This Italian-language film pits Dr. No star Ursula Andress against Marcello Mastroianni, to find out who will be the 10th Victim. Or will they fall in love first?
Critical Insights: Stanley Kubrick by
Call Number: PN 1998.3 .K83 S73 2016 Print & Online
Publication Date: 2016
Noted for his breathtaking cinematography, groundbreaking use of music, and strict perfectionist style, Stanley Kubrick remains a cinematic giant today. This book analyzes the legendary director and his techniques in such films as the science fiction masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey."
We Don't Need Roads by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .B26 G35 2015
Publication Date: 2015
Long before Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled through time in a flying DeLorean, director Robert Zemeckis and his friend and writing partner, Bob Gale, worked tirelessly to break into the film industry with a hit. For the first time ever, this book tells the story of how these two young filmmakers struck lightning -- with the inside scoop from those who witnessed it. The text draws from more than 500 hours of interviews with Zemeckis, Gale, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Huey Lewis, and nearly 50 others who contributed to one of the most popular and profitable film trilogies ever made.
How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .S695 T39 2014
Publication Date: 2014
In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a space-fantasy epic. Some 40 years and $37 billion later, "Star Wars"-related products outnumber human beings, a growing stormtrooper army spans the globe, and “Jediism” has become a religion in its own right. Lucas’ creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic; it is one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. In this book, journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise’s death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Providing portraits of the friends, writers, artists, producers, and marketers who labored behind the scenes to turn Lucas’ idea into a legend, the text explains how a young filmmaker’s fragile dream beat out a surprising number of rivals to build a diehard, multi-generational fan base.