The Eternal Future of the 1950s

Essays on the Lasting Influence of the Decade’s Science Fiction Films

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About the Book

Science fiction cinema, once relegated to the undervalued “B” movie slot, has become one of the dominant film genres of the 21st century, with Hollywood alone producing more than 400 science fiction films annually. Many of these owe a great deal of their success to the films of one defining decade: the 1950s.
Essays in this book explore how classic ‘50s science fiction films have been recycled, repurposed, and reused in the decades since their release. Tropes from Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), for instance, have found surprising new life in Netflix’s wildly popular Stranger Things. Interstellar (2014) and Arrival (2016) have clear, though indirect roots in the iconic 1950s science fictions films Rocketship X-M (1950) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and The Shape of Water (2017) openly recalls and reworks the major premises of The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954). Essays also cover 1950’s sci-fi influences on video game franchises like Fallout, Bioshock and Wolfenstein.

About the Author(s)

Dennis R. Cutchins is a professor of English at Brigham Young University. He’s a former Alcuin Fellow and former associate director of honors. He is currently working on ways to apply cognitive brain research to adaptation studies. Dennis R. Perry is a professor emeritus of English at Brigham Young University. He specialized in American literature and film adaptation.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Dennis R. Cutchins and Dennis R. Perry
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 40 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8785-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4927-6
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Consistently engaging, this volume’s essays make a thoughtful and important contribution. I’m delighted with the focus and range of material and perspectives and am excited to see this work take its place in the body of scholarship on 1950s science fiction films.”—Dr. Cynthia J. Miller, senior faculty, Emerson College

• “Unique, fascinating and well-written…helpful to other scholars of sci-fi yet at the same time accessible to general readers.”—Dr. Aeon J. Skoble, Bartlett Chair in Free Speech and Expression, Bridgewater State University