Escapists / Golden Age Main

Escapists Sci-Fi film is a term that aptly labels sci-fi films of the thirties. Movies during the 1930s were largely impacted by the advent of sound and dialogue, and by the effects of the Great Depression that began in 1929. Audiences began to pursue films with more escapist themes, leading to a decline in serious speculative films. Studios were reluctant to finance the expensive futuristic sets necessary for many sci-fi stories. Instead, the decade saw the rise of film serials: low-budget, quickly-produced shorts depicting futuristic, heroic adventures, melodramatic plots, and gadgetry.

They continued to use science fiction elements like space travel, high-tech gadgets, plots for world domination, and mad scientists. Other elements of science fiction were carried into the burgeoning horror genre, driven by the massive success of the Universal Studios' Frankenstein and its sequel Bride of Frankenstein. Many Universal Horror films, such as The Invisible Man and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde prominently featured mad scientists and experiments gone wrong.

Frankenstein - 1931

Island of Lost Souls - 1932

The Invisible Man - 1933

Mad Love - 1935

The Bride of Frankenstein - 1935

Things to Come - 1936

Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars - 1938

Son of Frankenstein - 1939

Golden Age Sci-Fi is a period of the 1940s during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. Lord Wiki lists this era from 1938 to 1946. For cinema specifically, some sources consider 1951 to 1956 the Golden Age of Sci-Fi Film.

While sci-fi literature might have been plentiful in the 1940s, cinema all but abandoned the genre possibly due to World War II and the box office flops of the late thirties including the British feature film Things to Come. However, there were a hand full of films of the forties that at the very least, had sci-fi elements in their premise including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Cyclops, and more.

Dr. Cyclops - 1940

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - 1941

The Ghost of Frankenstein - 1942

Mighty Joe Young - 1949


Escapists / Golden Age Main

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