The 1950s Sci-Fi Movie Quiz



By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

More than 500 sci-fi feature-length movies were released between 1948 and 1962 -- some remain standouts, some became cult classics, and all, for sure, deliver the right amount of kitsch. Test how much do you know about the Golden Age of sci-fi films?

Which movie does this tagline belong to: "A titanic beauty spreads a macabre wave of horror!"

This tagline is from 1958's "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman."


The idea of a "doomsday machine" was reused in a 1966 Star Trek episode -- what movie inspired it?

The energy-absorbing robot in 1957's "Kronos" led to the "Star Trek" doomsday machine.


Which was the first sci-fi space adventure to be made after World War II?

It took 18 days and a $94,000 budget to make "Rocketship X-M" in 1950.


Released within just one day of each other, which two movies shared sets and wardrobe?

1953's "Project Moon Base" and "Cat-Women of the Moon" shared some sets and costumes.


Known for shooting on shoestring budgets, director Edgar G. Ulmer filmed which of his movies in 6 days, with sets left over from 1948's "Joan of Arc?"

Ulmer shot "The Man From Planet X" in 6 days, with borrowed sets.


In what category did 1953's "The War of the Worlds" win an Academy Award?

The War of the Worlds won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.


Which was Warner Bros.' highest-grossing movie in 1954?

Warner Bros.' "Them!" was its highest-grossing movie of 1954.


Which film is a (loose) retelling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest?"

Forbidden Planet, set in the 23rd century, is a loose adaptation of "The Tempest."


Which British sci-fi comedy, starring Alec Guinness, centered around a chemist who invents an everlasting fabric?

It was 1951's sci-fi satirical comedy, "The Man in the White Suit."


Before giving us "Buck Rogers" and "The Bionic Woman" on the small screen, which director gave us nearly a dozen American sci-fi horror films?

Jack Arnold was one of the most prolific sci-fi/horror films directors in 1950s Hollywood.


In which Jack Arnold-directed movie is Clint Eastwood credited with his first speaking role?

Clint Eastwood's first speaking role is in "Revenge of the Creature."


The alien in which classic from 1951, set in 1982, is referred to as "an intellectual carrot?"

After examination, scientists in "The Thing from Another World" determine the alien is "an intellectual carrot."


In which '50s sci-fi Cold War story does a former Nazi scientist, now working for the Soviets, beam signals that God is on Mars?

Director Harry Horner addresses the Cold War in his '52 sci-fi film, "Red Planet Mars."


Which H.G. Wells classic story was remade by Steven Spielberg in 2005?

Steven Spielberg remade "The War of the Worlds" in 2005.


What awakens the 200-foot creature in Ishirô Honda's (Americanized) "Godzilla?"

He wakes because of atomic bomb testing.


Which of Ed Wood's movies was described as "the Citizen Kane of bad movies?"

Wood's 1954 "Plan 9 From Outer Space" was called "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" by Mystery Science Theater's Michael J. Nelson.


Which movie was almost called, "Sleep No More?"

Kevin McCarthy, who plays the character Dr. Miles Bennell, suggested the title, "Sleep No More," rejected by the studio that preferred "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."


What Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story is 1951's "Lost Continent," starring Cesar Romero, similar to?

The plot of "Lost Continent" is similar to that of Conan Doyle's "The Lost World."


True or false: The giant octopus in "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers " only has six arms.

True. Due to the movie's minuscule budget, stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen could only afford six arms for the creature.


Which writer penned "The Incredible Shrinking Man," as well as "I am Legend," "The Night Stalker" and the "Twilight Zone's" gremlin episode?"

Jack Arnold directed "The Incredible Shrinking Man," but it was written by Richard Matheson, who also went on to write other popular sci-fi.


Shortly after the launch of Sputnik, who conceived of and directed "War of the Satellites?"

Roger Corman, who also gave us "The Little Shop of Horrors" and "Pit and the Pendulum," directed 1958's "War of the Satellites."


Which was a primary theme in 1950s science fiction?

The Cold War and Communism, atomic bomb testing and contact with aliens were all popular themes of the time.


In which 1958 cult sci-fi film does 27-year-old Steve McQueen make his leading man debut?

Steve McQueen debuted in his first starring role as high schooler Steve Andrews in the 1958 film, "The Blob."


What was the name of the robot in 1951's "The Day the Earth Stood Still?"

The 9-foot-tall metallic robot's name was GORT, an acronym for Genetically-Organized Robotic Technology.


Return of the Fly takes place 15 years after the events of the original "The Fly," but how many years were between the original and its sequel?

Definitely not 15 years: 1958's "The Fly" was quickly followed by 1959's "Return of the Fly."


In which movie is Woody Woodpecker used to explain the basic principles of physics and space travel -- and the case for a moon mission?

1950's "Destination Moon" uses an animated Woody Woodpecker cartoon to explain how the science -- and private funding -- of a moon mission would work.


Which is the correct order of movies in director John Sherwood's "Creature from the Black Lagoon" trilogy?

The correct order is, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954), "Revenge of the Creature" (1955) and "The Creature Walks Among Us" (1956).


Donovan's Brain an adaptation of Curt Siodmak's 1942 novel of the same name, starred which first lady, before she was first lady?

Nancy Reagan, as Nancy Davis, starred as Janice Cory.


Which story was co-written by author Ray Bradbury?

1953's "It Came from Outer Space" was directed by Jack Arnold, and co-written by Ray Bradbury.


After his role in "Forbidden Planet," Robby the Robot made appearances in which TV series?

Robby made appearances in all of these TV series. He also appeared in films, including "Gremlins" and "Earth Girls Are Easy."


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!