Sir Arthur C. Clarke may not be a name you’re easily familiar with. However, rest assured, he is arguably one of the most prominent early figures in the formation of the science-fiction genre. His vision and intellect set the foundations of the scene and the writer had a significant role to play in some of the most iconic concepts in history.
Clarke was a person who triumphed the idea of space travel and can only be described as a passionate futurist. He has a lasting legacy spearheaded by the moment he co-wrote the screenplay for one of the most influential films of all time; Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Given his unbinding commitment to science and science fiction writing, Clarke worked under the moniker of ‘Prophet of the Space Age’ and was held in significantly high acclaim as many credited him as the dominant figure alongside the likes of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein who, combined, have the acclaim of being described as science-fiction’s “Big Three”.
While some of his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey has since suggested an ability to predict the future of technological advancements, Clarke also had the foresight of preempting core elements of future concepts most famously with his take on future communication which appears strikingly familiar to The Internet’s core basis.
“These things will make possible a world in which we can be in instant contact wherever we may be,” Clarke said back in 1964. “Where we can contact our friends anywhere on earth, even if we don’t know their actual physical location. It will be possible in that age, possibly 50 years from now, for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London.”
Given Clarke’s significant role in the genre of science-fiction, his opinion on films and books by his fellow colleagues became a recurring theme in most interviews he conducted. While he often remained coy on providing specific lists, one journalist caught Clarke on a good day back in 1984 and he seemingly offered a list of sci-fi films he considered to be his favourite—at least at that moment.
Appearing on the set of director Peter Hyam film, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Clarke listed the likes of Fritz Lang’s brilliant Metropolis a major reference and a film that fronted his list. From there, he goes on to somewhat predictably reference 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as the likes of Frankenstein, King Kong and more.
See the full list, below.
Arthur C. Clarke’s 12 favourite sci-fi films:
- Metropolis – Fritz Lang, 1927.
- Things to Come – William Cameron Menzies, 1936.
- Frankenstein – James Whale, 1931.
- King Kong – Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933.
- Forbidden Planet – Fred M. Wilcox, 1956.
- The Thing from Another World – Christian Nyby, 1951.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still – Robert Wise, 1951.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick, 1968.
- Star Wars – George Lucas, 1977.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Steven Spielberg, 1980.
- Alien – Ridley Scott, 1979.
- Blade Runner – Ridley Scott, 1982.