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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.


Richard Schickel
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Mark Hamill ... Narrator (voice)
Steven Spielberg ... Himself
George Lucas ... Himself
Ridley Scott ... Himself
James Cameron ... Himself
Edmund Gwenn ... Dr. Harold Medford (archive footage)
Lou Costello ... Orville (archive footage)
Walter Pidgeon ... Dr. Edward Morbius (archive footage)
Anne Francis ... Altaira Morbius (archive footage)
James Arness ... Robert Graham in 'Them' (archive footage)
Michael Rennie ... Klaatu (archive footage)


'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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Release Date:

5 July 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watch the Skies! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorac Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This documentary can be found on the 'Forbidden Planet 50TH Anniversary Two-disk Special Edition' DVD. See more »

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 »


References The Space Children (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

one needs to dare to reach the skies
17 November 2009 | by dromascaSee all my reviews

I am a great fan of science fiction and I am still wondering how it comes that I did not enjoy so much this film. Having four of my preferred directors - Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron - arguably the best or among the best quartet of directors of the genre getting together to talk about the science fiction films of the 50s and 60s and how these influenced their careers and their work - this is golden material and an opportunity that can be turned into an unique experience for fans like me. And yet, despite bringing these four giants together, and despite picking all or almost all the right movies of the genre and of the time to talk about them the film results in quite a boring sub-hour, with the classical talking faces interleaved with clips from the film, and especially with quite a confusing and uninspiring line of text. After too little historical context setting at the beginning the documentary slides into an enumeration of the various themes which fails to be interesting or to build up any original ideas. It looks almost like the four directors where respectfully left to tell their stories and then the film was assembled in the cutting room. I expected more interaction between the four, they seldom seemed to be in a dialog, and their ideas had too little continuity. I have to many questions to ask Spielberg if I ever meet him, almost none was asked and answered in this interview. Yet the most valuable parts are his, especially when he retells the stories of his experiences watching as a kid some of the cult movies of his time - he seems to be by far the more candid and more open of the four.

The key of science fiction is imagination. This is a very non-imaginative documentary about the most imaginative genre in cinema.

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