Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Reader Top Ten Greatest Science Fiction Films: SGB

Regular reader and dear friend, SGB, presents our first Wednesday “Reader Top Ten” greatest science fiction films of the 1970s.

SGB writes:

“The '70s is a decade of science-fiction films that are still brilliant. Here is my list:

10.  BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY (1979) was released theatrically in March 1979.  This is still the best live-action version of Buck Rogers. I think this film [a.k.a. pilot movie episode "Awakening"] was superior to what changes ultimately happened during the production of season one and two. For this reason, I consider it a stand-alone film as was the 1980 Flash Gordon live-action film.

9.   WESTWORLD (1973) The Delos worlds were the ultimate vacation. HBO is prepping a 2014 new series based on this film.

8.   SUPERMAN:THE MOVIE (1978) Because it made us believe a man could fly.

7.   LOGAN'S RUN (1976) The premise of this dystopian utopia is fascinating.

6.   ALIEN (1979)

5.   SILENT RUNNING (1972)

4.   ANDROMEDA STRAIN (1971) "There is a wildfire..."

3.   BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970) Like Empire Strikes Back was to the Star Wars original trilogy, this is the impressive middle film of a perfect Apes trilogy with Planet Of The Apes (1968) and Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971).

2.   STAR WARS (1977) "A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away". I can never forget this boyhood experience of the summer of '77.

1.   STAR TREK:THE MOTION PICTURE (1979) This film ended the decade with a wonderful continuation of what had begun with the original series 1966-1969 and the animated series 1973-1974. My '70s boyhood experience regarding Star Trek was culminated on that premiere night of Friday December 7th, 1979. 

The runner-ups are: ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES(1971), SOYLENT GREEN(1973), OMEGA MAN(1971), DAMNATION ALLEY(1977), LAST DINOSAUR(1977) and MOONRAKER(1979)[which showed us in '79 what the N.A.S.A. Space Shuttle Orbiter fleet would be like in '81].  

SGB:   You and I have very similar tastes (we have six overlapping titles on our lists…), but I am especially happy to see the high placement of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which is making a strong showing thus far on reader lists.

I also appreciate how you contextualize Beneath the Planet of the Apes as a middle chapter, like The Empire Strikes Back.  Seeing the film in that fashion helps to take the nasty edge off the down-beat (and bloody, world-ending…) finale. 

Readers: don’t forget to send me your lists at!

1 comment:

  1. John, thanks for your thoughts on my list, especially regarding Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. I truly believe that the '70s science-fiction films are still relevant. I am sure that your Science Fiction & Fantasy Films Of The 1970s book proves that.



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