1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11: Hostile Aliens, Hollywood, and Today's News

1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11: Hostile Aliens, Hollywood, and Today's News

1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11: Hostile Aliens, Hollywood, and Today's News

1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11: Hostile Aliens, Hollywood, and Today's News

Excerpt

1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11 is far more than a well-researched summary of science fiction films. Author Melvin E. Matthews, Jr. examines one of America’s most popular film forms and provides a thoughtful interpretation that should tantalize not only fans of the science fiction genre but also sociologists, film historians, and politicians.

The most memorable sci-fi films of the fifties were primarily entertainment vehicles. The bigger the monster, the bigger the box office. However, Matthews has looked far beyond the films’ gross receipts and found a fascinating sociological correlation between sci-fi and society.

In the 1950s, when I did It Conquered the World, the headlines were dominated by threats to America and to civilization — including the Cold War, the McCarthy hearings, and atomic development. Mankind’s future was at stake and Matthews probes deeply to show how the sci-fi movies of our era reflected America’s hysteria and how that hysteria is related to current world events.

Matthews’s thesis is supported by astute observation and keen interpretation of our era’s films, especially Invasion of the Body Snatchers, It Came from Outer Space, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The War of the Worlds.

In addition, Matthews’s two years of research has resulted in a bonanza for Sci-fiers. He describes in detail how film costume and special effects wizards designed and created virtually every significant sci-fi alien, monster, and mutant that audiences have so enjoyed — and feared.

Beverly Garland . . .

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