History of Sci-Fi Cinema 4: “Just Imagine”

04-JustImagine-TitleJust Imagine (1930)
Written (story, dialogue and songs) by DeSylva, Brown & Henderson
Directed by David Butler
Starring John Garrick, Frank Albertson, Maureen O’Sullivan, Marjorie White
Fox Film Corporation

In undertaking this blog project, I expected to hit all the “biggies,” all the accepted (and expected) classics. But I also wanted to discover some of the rarer gems, some of the peculiarities, in the history of sci-fi. And boy, did I find one: a science fiction romantic comedy musical. In fact, its a movie I’d never heard of until putting together this list of films to review.

Made in 1930, this film begins with a request: Just look at how much progress 50 years can bring. Why, in 1880 we had nothing but horse-drawn carriages and good manners. Today, it’s all hustle and bustle. “Just Imagine” what another 50 years will bring: What will life be like in the far-flung future of 1980…? Continue reading

History of Sci-Fi Cinema 1: “Le Voyage Dans La Lune”

01-TripMoon-TitleLe Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)
Directed by Georges Méliès
Starring Georges Méliès, Bleuette Bernon
Star Film Company

As I begin my journey through the history of science fiction films, I wanted to start as close to the beginning as possible. There are other films earlier than this that nominally qualify as science fiction (some sources consider La Charcuterie mécanique from 1895 to be the first sci-fi film, but I really think that’s stretching it), but this is the first of major importance, the first to depict purely science fictional themes, and the first to reach beyond the confines of our planet. In fact, it’s one of the most influential films ever made from a technical standpoint.

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