Dystopian Films Sorted by Decade
Dystopic fiction takes place in a futuristic universe where society is controlled through oppressive methods and the illusion of a perfect society is maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopian movies and books feature societies that are dysfunctional and characterized by general suffering of the people. They take place in universes that are the opposite of utopias.
This is a copy of the early BBC television release of 1984 starring a young Peter Cushing as Winston Smith, a man tired of the oppressive government. Big Brother is always watching in a world where individual thought, actions, and feelings are a crime. When Winston breaks the law by falling in love with Julia, he seeks to join a small band of government resistors. Faithful to the book, a live TV production.
- PR Studios (04/27/2009)
- Running time: 107 minutes
- Peter Cushing, Andre Morell, Yvonne Mitchell, Donald Pleasence
George Orwell’s landmark novel is the basis of this eerie, darkly satiric tale whose futuristic world is divided into three sections following an atomic war. London, capital of the Oceania sector, is where Winston Smith is a clerk for “Big Brother,” the totalitarian government that keeps a close watch with all of its subjects. When Smith carries on a forbidden love affair with Julia, officials try to brainwash the couple into abandoning their free will.
Stars: Edmond O’Brien, Jan Sterling, Donald Pleasence, Michael Redgrave
Director: Michael Anderson
Note: this movie was also remade in 1984 starring William Hurt
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Probably the best of all the 50’s science fiction films. Commander John Adams and his crew arrive on a distant planet to find out the fate of a group of scientists sent there decades earlier where they discover the 2 sole survivors, Dr. Morbius and his daughter Altaira who was born on the remote planet. Soon, Adams begins to uncover the mystery of why Morbius and Altaira were the only survivors and the immensely powerful terror that is attacking his crew.
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly
Director: Fred M. Wilcox
The Blu-ray version contains several extras:
- Deleted Scenes and Lost Footage
- Two Follow-Up Vehicles Starring Robby the Robot:1958
- The Invisible Boy
- The Thin Man TV Series Episode “Robot Client”
- TCM Original Documentary Watch the Skies! Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us
- Two Featurettes:
- Amazing! Exploring the Far Reaches of Forbidden Planet and Robby the Robot: Engineering a Sci-Fi Icon Excerpts from The MGM Parade TV Series
- Theatrical Trailers of Forbidden Planet and The Invisible Boy
- Warner Home Video (09/07/2010)
- Blu-ray, G (General Audience)
- Running time: 98 minutes
- Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Evil has taken possession of the small town of Santa Mira, California. Hysterical people accuse their loved ones of being emotionless impostors; of not being them selves. At first, Dr. Miles Bennell tries to convince them they’re wrong …but they’re not. Plant-like extraterrestrials have invaded Earth, replicating the villagers in giant seed “pods” and taking possession of their souls while they sleep. Soon the entire town is overwhelmed by the inhuman horror, but it won’t stop there. In a terrifying race for his life, Dr. Bennell escapes to warn the world of the deadly invasion of the pod people.
Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones, Larry Gates, King Donovan
Director: Don Siegel
- Olive Films (07/17/2012)
- DVD, NR (Not Rated)
- Running time: 80 minutes
- Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones, Larry Gates, King Donovan
Note: remade in 1978 and 1997
On the Beach (1959)
The war is over. Nobody won. Only the inhabitants of Australia and the men of the U.S, submarine Sawfish have escaped the nuclear destruction and radiation. Captain Dwight Towers takes the Sawfish on a mission to see if an approaching radiation cloud has weakened, but returns with grim news: the cloud is lethal. With the days and hours dwindling, each person confronts the grim situation in his or her own way.
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson
Director: Stanley Kramer
- Kino Lorber films (08/26/2014)
- DVD, NR (Not Rated)
- Running time: 134 minutes
- Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson
Note: remade in 2000 starring Armand Assante and Rachel Ward
When Worlds Collide (1951)
As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.
Stars: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hanson, Tim Barr>, John Hoyt
Director: Rudolph Mate
Producer: George Pal
- Paramount (10/24/2017)
- DVD, NR (Not Rated)
- Running time: 82 minutes
- Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hanson, Tim Barr, John Hoyt
Last update on 2019-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API