Highly influential in cinema history, the Free Cinema movement not only reinvented documentary in the 1950s but also spearheaded the British New Wave of social-realist feature films. Like Italian neorealism before and the French New Wave after, the British Free Cinema movement of the 1950s was dedicated to the belief that film should be a tool for personal expression, reflecting contemporary life, and inspiring social change.
As much as visuals inspire or interest me, I couldn't love a movie if it didn't have anything else going for it. For the most overrated, I'd go with Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; the only appeal of the film is the monster scenes which are to few and far between. I just finished a course in Adobe Illustrator and the instructor (in her mid-twenties) confessed that she had run across AIP Beach Party films on Netfix and became hooked on them. It pains me to say it, but with the exception of BEAST FROM 2,000 FATHOMS, Ray Harryhausen's B&W science fiction films of the fifties are extremely overrated, especially by some younger viewers.


An example would be Welles' Macbeth, a visually stunning movie I couldn't care any less about. The characters, except for Cecil Kellaway's, are some of the most boring this side of Deadly Mantis or The Land Unknown.
They seem to think that they're better than most other science fiction films of the era simply because the special effects are superior, even though the scripts are inferior and the acting (IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA excepted) isn't much better. OK I can't argue with Bill Warren's comments in Keep Watching the Skies nor some of the comments here but I was hit so hard by that film (I saw it on an early 1960s reissue) that I cannot be objective about it in the least. Do they still hold-up for younger viewers … and by younger, I mean folks in their 40s, 30s, and 20s … or are they for us older folks only? Curse of the Demon (I knew this was a really good film when I first encountered it on TV and I still love it), The Crawling Eye, and X the Unknown (I knew this was a really good film when I first encountered it on TV and I it made me think "if it's English and Sci-Fi it has to be good") are appreciated by nearly all here.


This movie COULD have been written by Murray Leinster, fitting in with his many stories about the "Forerunners" and the artifacts that space travellers would occasionally come across. I caught up with Forbidden Planet in 1977 as an adult so I was not quite as impressed as I would have been if I had seen it when it was new. Nothing wrong with him … it was past it's ability to amaze "sell date."Still it's fun to hear why something does and doesn't work for the crowd here.
Not because FP was ripping anyone off, but because it was so in tune with the style of storytelling popular at the time.



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