The Classic Sci-Fi Opening Dialogue/Narration Quiz – By Philip Smolen

All right my fellow Rogue Cinemaniacs. It’s time to prove your worth and answer this question – just how well do you know your classic sci-fi films? Think you can figure out a movie based on a little bit of opening dialogue or narration? Yeah, that’s how I feel.  It may not be as easy as it sounds.

When I sit down to watch a little bit of classic sci-fi, I can’t wait for the initial bit of dialogue or narration. It primes my psyche and lets me slip back into sci-fi childhood delirium all over again. So what you’ll find below are 20 opening bits of either dialogue or narration from some classic 1950s (and a few 1960s) sci-fi flicks. All you need to do is take out a sheet of paper and number it from 1-20. Then choose the letter that you think is the best answer from the film choices that follow the quote. For some questions, I have given you a clue by describing the character who is saying it. After taking the test, scroll down and tally up your score. Then take a gander at the handy dandy scorecard and see what famous 1950s cinematic scientist fits your score. And I’m sure that after you finish your quiz, you’ll quickly pull out a few DVDs or blu-rays and revel in some classic 1950s sci-fi mania! So good luck, and most of all, enjoy this nostalgic trip back to sci-fi nirvana.

1. Concerned general to his staff:  “At zero three hundred this morning, the expeditionary X-1 rocket ship missing for 61 days was cited by Mount Palomar drifting in orbit some 90,000 miles out in space. All attempts to establish radio communications have failed so far. We don’t know if anyone is left alive onboard. The MR-1 appears to be a dead ship.”

A. Rocket Ship XM (1950)

B. The Quatermass Experiment (1955/56)

C. The Angry Red Planet (1959)

D. Missile to the Moon (1958)

2. Search Team Member: “301-A to Car 5W. Code 1.”

 Law Enforcement Official: “5W to 301-A. Go ahead Johnny.”

Search Team Member: “I think we’re chasing the wind Ben. Maybe the guy who sent in that report drank his breakfast. We may as well call it… hey, wait a minute.”

A. The Cyclops (1957)

B. War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

C. Tarantula (1962)

D. Them (1954)

3. Concerned Weather Man: “Typhoon Number Eight in the Carolines has developed into an extra powerful type with the center wind velocity registering sixty meters per second and the maximum at more than eighty meters. It is moving north and approaching the Japanese mainland.”

A. Gojira aka Godzilla (1954/56)

B. Mothra (1961/62)

C. Radon aka Rodan (1956/57)

D. Varan the Unbelievable (1958/62)

4. Blunt Admiral: “Your goal gentlemen – Antarctica. Five million square miles of terra incognita. It’ll be your job to make it a little less incognita. Hammondson discovered the South Pole in 1911. Wilkins explored the coast in 1928. And Admiral Byrd flew over the South Pole in 1929 and once again in 1947. Now gentlemen, it’s your turn.”

A. The Thing from Another World (1951)

B. The Deadly Mantis (1957)

C. The Navy vs. the Night Monsters (1966)

D. The Land Unknown (1957)

5.  Proper British Gentleman: “How do you like it Eve?”

Eve: (looking at painting) “Lovely. What is it?”

Gentleman: “My impression of the coastline of Cornwall.”

Eve: “Oh Harry darling, you’ve painted the entire coastline of England and I’ve yet to see anything that looks like a wave.  Never mind. Keep on trying. I’m going for a walk.”

Harry: “You have absolutely no appreciation for modern art.”

Calm Alien Voice: “Ms. Wingate, Come with me please.”

A. The 27th Day (1957)

B. Invasion (1966)

C. The Earth Dies Screaming (1964)

D. Stranger from Venus (1954)

6. Somber Toned Narrator: “Since the world began, ever inventive man has constantly pushed forward into the unknown. One by one the frontiers of science have fallen before him. The science of speed, travel, radium. Now he stands on the threshold of a new age. A terrifying age. Man goes forward into the unknown, but how does the unknown react? The unknown planet…”

A. Cosmic Monsters (1958)

B. Cat Women of the Moon (1953)

C. Devil Girl From Mars (1954)

D. Ikarie XB aka Voyage to the End of the Universe (1959/61)

7. Nearly Frostbitten Civilian: “Hi Eddie.”

Eddie: “Hi ya Scotty. Cold enough for you?”

Scotty: “Oh, I’m only faintly alive. It’s 25 below!”

Eddie: “Know everybody?”

McPherson: “We haven’t met – McPherson.”

Scotty: “Hello”

Eddie: “Ned Scott – Captain Henreid. Scotty just got in today.”

Captain Henreid: “Care to join us?”

Scotty: “Wait until I count my fingers. I may have lost one.”

Eddie: “Scotty’s a warm weather man. We met at Akra. Quite a spot. A hundred and five in the shade and the women hardly wore anything at all, which was very intelligent of them.”

A. The Deadly Mantis (1957)

B. The Thing from Another World (1951)

C. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

D. The Space Children (1958)

8. Air Force Intelligence Officer: “No further contact from XRM.”

Newspaperman 1: “That means trouble, huh?”

Intelligence Officer: “Not necessarily. It could be radio trouble.”

Newspaperman 2: “What do the people at White Sands say about it?”

Intelligence Officer: “No comment.”

Newspaperman 3: “Look, Major, do you think they’ve crashed?”

Intelligence Officer: “We don’t think anything. We just don’t know.”

A. Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1955)

B. Queen of Outer Space (1958)

C. World Without End (1956)

D. The Angry Red Planet (1959)

9. Calm Intelligent Scientist: “And afterwards, these mysterious figures, faces masked in lead. These are ourselves, men, the kings of the earth. Trying to measure the extent of the destruction they themselves created. Since the beginning of the atomic age, we have had 143 explosions such as these you’ve seen on the screen. Now one millionth part of a gram of radium is the safety limit. The amount one human can tolerate. And yet with each of these explosions we are hurling into our atmosphere hundreds of tons of radioactive material.”

A. The Giant Behemoth (1959)

B. Gojira aka Godzilla (1954/56)

C. Gorgo (1961)

D. Curse of the Faceless Man (1958)

10. Narrator: “In the final decade of the 23rd century, men and women in rocket ships landed on the moon. By 2200 AD they had reached the other planets of our solar system. Almost at once there followed the discovery of hyper-drive, through which the speed of light was first attained and later greatly surpassed. And so at last mankind began the conquest and colonization of deep space.”

A. Ikarie XB aka Voyage to the End of the Universe (1959/61)

B. Flight to Mars (1951)

C. Spaceflight IC-1 (1965)

D. Forbidden Planet (1956)

11. Narrator: “This is the planet Earth, newly born and cooling rapidly from a temperature of 6,000 degrees to a few hundred in less than five billion years. The heat rises, meets the atmosphere, the clouds form and rain pours down upon the hardening surface for countless centuries. The restless seas rise, find boundaries and are contained. Now in their warm depths the miracle of life begins. In infinite variety living things appear and change and reach the land, leaving a record of their coming, their struggle to survive and of their eventual end.

A. Robot Monster (1953)

B. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

C. Monster from Green Hell (1958)

D. The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1961)

12. Annoyed B-Girl: “Those guys ain’t even giving us a hard look.”

Second Annoyed B-Girl (looking over at a table of five men): “Maybe they’re married or something.”

Annoyed B-Girl: “Well, Quiverling looked over and they certainly nodded.”

First Man at Table: “Hey Waiter! Mr. Farrell’s getting married in the morning. Give him a drink. Freedom on the rocks!”

Second Man: “I am married. Give me another drink! Everyone of us was married, is married or is about to get married, so give us all a drink.”

Third Man: “I’ll pass. I promised Marge I’d stop home.”

A. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

B. I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

C. I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1958)

D. Attack of the 50 ft. Woman (1958)

13. Agitated Man: “Well, it started, for me it started last Thursday in response from an urgent message from my nurse. I hurried home from a medical convention I was attending. At first glance, everything looked the same. It wasn’t. Something evil had taken possession of the town.”

A. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

B. The Brain Eaters (1958)

C. It Conquered the World (1956)

D. Not of This Earth (1957)

14. Easy Going Rural Doctor: “Hi Jack. What’s all the excitement about? Who’s sick?”

Sheriff: “Nobody. The boys found a man by the highway this morning.”

Doctor: “Run over?”

Sheriff: “No.”

Doctor: “Well then?”

Sheriff: “That’s why I called you doc.”

Doctor: “What’s it look like?”

Sheriff: “Like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

Doctor: “Who is it?”

Sheriff: “Well, he has the same general build as Eric Jacobs. But I’m not sure. There’s something about his face that says he’s Jacobs, but maybe he ain’t.”

A. The Monolith Monsters (1957)

B. Kronos (1957)
C. Tarantula (1955)

D. Fiend Without a Face (1958)

15. Radio Reporter: “This is Elmer Davis again. We still don’t know what it is or where it comes from, but there’s something there. It’s been tracked around the Earth by radar travelling at a rate of four thousand miles an hour. This is not another flying saucer scare. Scientists and military men are already agreed on that. Whatever it is, it’s something real.”

A.  Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

B. War of the Worlds (1953)

C. Devil Girl From Mars (1954)

D. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

16. Sackless Male Teenager: “Hey Carol, Carol, wait.”

Total Bitch on Wheels: “Hi Mike.”

Sackless Mike: “Hey come on this is Mike. Look, I remembered, see? Happy Birthday Carol.”

Bitch Carol (coldly): “Thanks.”

Sackless Mike: “Aren’t you gonna open it?”

Bitch Carol: “Not now.”

Sackless Mike: “What’s wrong?”

Bitch Carol: “It’s Dad. He didn’t come home last night.”

Sackless Mike: “So what. You know it doesn’t mean a thing. I mean you know how he is.”

Bitch Carol (Incensed): “What do you mean you know how he is?”

A. The Space Children (1958)

B. Earth vs. the Spider (1958)

C. Invaders from Mars (1953)

D. X- the Unknown (1957)

17. Narrator: “This is Operation Experiment. A secret base far north of the Arctic Circle. Experiment was the code name for this top priority scientific expedition. These men arrived here at X-day minus 60. It has taken them the two full months to get ready. Today is X-day.”

A. Rodan (1957)

B. The Monster that Challenged the World (1957)

C. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

D. The Black Scorpion (1957)

18. Wistful Astronaut: “And that completes my final report until we reach touchdown. We’re now on full automatic in the hands of the computers. I’ve tucked my crew in for the long sleep and I’ll be joining them soon. In less than an hour we’ll finish our sixth month out of Cape Kennedy. Six months in deep space. By our time that is. According to Dr. Hessline’s theory of time and a space vehicle traveling at the speed of light, the Earth has aged already 700 years since we left it, while we’ve aged hardly at all.”

A. The Wizard of Mars (1964)

B. The Time Travelers (1964)
C. The Human Duplicators (1964)

D. Planet of the Apes (1968)

 19. Narrator: “Man, during his brief existence on the Earth has met every challenge but one – the void of outer space. Having explored the world in which he lives in, he has turned his gaze to the heavens and has focused his attention on the timeless lure of the universe. Now a rocket probes high above the Earth and travels through a region of deadly radiation, agonizing heat and cold. What story will it tell? What message will it bring back? Then the signal. The rocket has returned! Radar antennas pinpoint the location. The search begins.”

A. Riders to the Stars (1954)

B. The Quatermass Experiment (1955/56)

C. Space Master X-7 (1958)

D. Missile to the Moon (1958)

20. World Renowned News Reporter: “This is Tokyo. Once a city of six million people. What has happened here was caused by a force, which up until a few days ago was entirely beyond the scope of man’s imagination. Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere in the world.”

A. Battle in Outer Space (1960)

B. Gojira aka Godzilla (1954/56)

C. Rodan (1956/57)

D. The Mysterians (1958/59)

Answer Key:

1. C 11. B
2.D 12. B
3. B 13. A
4. D 14. C
5. A 15. D
6. A 16. B
7. B 17. C
8. C 18. D
9. A 19. A
10. D   20. B

Official Classic Sci-Fi Crazed Scientist Scorecard

0-5 correct – Dr. Carrington (The Thing from Another World [1951])

Really? You can’t even correctly guess five of these classic bits of sci-fi dialogue? OK doc, I always knew you were obsessed with science, but you not knowing this stuff scares me. I mean, based on this score, you’re the type of guy who would thaw out an eight-foot alien and not even care if he killed some of your colleagues. You might even think that everyone should sacrifice themselves all in the name of scientific knowledge. Now I know that you don’t mean that…do you?

6-10 correct – Dr. Harold Medford (Them [1954])

Look, doc I know you forget things (like how to put on your glasses in the desert or how to use a two-way radio), but how can you forget what movies these lines of dialogue are from? You may not think that they are very important, but without this knowledge, mankind’s doomed to repeat its mistakes. Ah, never mind. On second thought, I think I’ll talk to your hot daughter because if she’s the type of doctor that takes care of sick people, I think I’ll get a fever real quick.

11-15 correct – Dr. Bernard Quatermass (The Quatermass Experiment [1955])

Yes, yes doc. You did pretty well on the quiz. You really do know quite a bit about these classic movies, as well as rocket science and different kinds of alien life forms, (you’re especially good at spotting aliens in human form),  but I think this quiz also highlights one of your fatal flaws – your arrogance. I know you think you’re always right, but you’re not, because if you were, you would have gotten a higher score on the quiz. So there! Nyeh, nyeh, nyeh, nyeh.

16-20 correct – Dr. Edward Morbius (Forbidden Planet [1956])

I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy! You are a master of classic sci-fi and can recognize these flicks from just a bit of dialogue! Wow, your intelligence is absolutely off the charts, doc. But let me ask you something. You’re just a regular guy (or gal), right? I mean, you’ve never had your IQ boosted by an alien intelligence machine, have you? Because if you have, you might have freed your id and its probably running around right now destroying everything it can get its hands on. Uh, what was that noise? Doc, can we please close those steel shutters? Doc? Doc?