It Came from Outer Space ★★★

I happened to flip by TCM last night just as this film was starting. It's one of the 1950's science fiction films worth watching that I had not seen yet.

While the special effects will look incredibly dated to anyone watching now, the plot itself was ahead of its time in that the aliens were neither there to hurt us or to help us. In fact, Spielberg credits this film with being the main inspiration for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

And while it's not acknowledged anywhere, the classic film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which came out a few years later, had to have been inspired by this film, too. They just made the aliens malevolent again in that later film.