Spindizzy Sixties
Plenty of gloss and dross from 1960s sci-fi filmmakers


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The Time Machine
D: George Pal (1960) 103m


The socialist overtones of the 1895 H G Wells novel go missing in this solid, if unspectacular, adaptation of his classic time-travel tale. Rod Taylor heads off into the future, visiting the three World Wars on the way. When he gets to the year 802,701 he falls in love with a pretty vacant member of the Eloi Race (Yvette Mimieux).





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Dr Strangelove
D: Stanley Kubrick (1964) 94m


Highly regarded dark comedy subtitled How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. A general orders an unauthorised nuclear attack on the USSR and the President does his best to avert all-out war. Peter Sellers is brilliant in multiple roles and the veteran cast turns in fine performances all-around. Cold War craziness.





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Fantastic Voyage
D: Richard Fleischer (1966) 100m


It's hard to lose when Raquel Welch shows off dangerous curves in a tight-fitting wetsuit. Medicos get microscopically miniaturised and injected into a scientist's bloodstream. Oscar-winning sets and special effects complement tense dramatic scripting and tight direction as the team learns all about arterial traffic jams.





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Fahrenheit 451
D: Francois Truffaut (1966) 111m


Based on the Ray Bradbury novel of the same title, Truffaut's only English-language film is somber yet effective. In the future, all books have been banned as subversive. A book-burning fireman is switched on to the joys of literature by a beautiful young teacher (Julie Christie) with fabulous eyes. Books turn out to be all in the mind.





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Quatermass & the Pit
D: Roy Ward Baker (1967) 98m


AKA Five Million Years To Earth, this is the best of the feature films based on the British TV serial. The unflappable Professor Quatermass investigates a Martian spacecraft that has been unearthed beneath the London subway system. Meanwhile, the city's population falls under the influence and goes on a mad killing spree.





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Planet of the Apes
D: Franklin J Schaffner (1968) 112m


A space shot goes wrong and the crew is propelled two-thousand years into the future. They end up on a planet where apes are the dominant species and humans are slaves. Rod Serling had a hand in the film and Charlton Heston shines in the starring role. While easy enough to guess, the resolution is nonetheless startling.





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2001: A Space Odyssey
D: Stanley Kubrick (1968) 139m


Widely regarded as Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001 is an entrancing visual extravaganza that is without peer. Humanity's four-million year history of contact with unseen aliens culminates in the discovery of an artefact on the Moon. An expedition tracks it to Jupiter. Things go awry when HAL, the on-board computer, turns nasty.





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Colossus: The Forbin Project
D: Joseph Sargent (1969) 100m


Based on the 1966 D F Jones novel, supercomputers run the American and Russian defence systems. America's computer, Colossus, gets ambitious and decides to have a chat with its Russian counterpart. They get together and take over the world. The moral here is never trust a supercomputer that talks behind your back.


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