50 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1970s

From cosmic head trips to adventures in galaxies far, far away

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43. 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century' (1979)

In the wake of Star Wars, studios scrambled to reverse-engineer the formula, trying to figure out if it was the space travel, the special effects, or the callbacks to old serials that were drawing such huge crowds. Glen A. Larson placed his bets on all three: The Battlestar Galactica producer updated the 1920s pulp hero Buck Rogers for a TV series that he launched with a pilot movie, which got a theatrical release six months before the NBC show debuted. Square-jawed stud Gil Gerard plays the hero: a NASA shuttle-pilot who's frozen in the Eighties and wakes up in the year 2491, where he's embroiled in a war between Earth and a warrior race called the Draconians. The film manages to sprinkle everything with disco glitter — especially Twiki, Buck's wisecracking robot buddy who's like C-3PO after a weekend at Studio 54. NM

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