Scifibabes of the 1940s
The 1940s and 1950s were, collectively, known as the "Golden Era" of Sci-fi. During this time science fiction gained wide public attention, particularly through literature.
Leaving the obvious talents of H.G. Wells and his historic literary counterparts behind for a moment, it was the Second World War and the creation of the Atomic bomb and other technological advances, which created a stimulus for this golden era.
Much of the films in the 1940s focused on the war and there is probably scope for a "war babe" site somewhere on the web, but it won't appear here. What this means is that the 1940s was rather short of sci-fi films and thus babes. In fact, the decade lists only 32 films made in the genre, a far cry from the next decade which boasts oer 180!
As a start, we had the Flash Gordon serial, of course, and if you haven't visited it yet, >>>go to the Dale Arden page.
The rest are fairly disappointing. The encouragingly-titled The Perfect woman (1949) was typically so, to be honest, as far as babes are concerned. I have nothing against the actress herself, who looks more attractive in other images I've seen. All the same, here's Patricia Roc as the "perfect woman".
One classic film serial created towards the end of this decade was King of the Rocketmen (1949) and starred Mae Clarke as Glenda Thomas, in what was described as "12 thrilling chapters about the most fascinating man that ever lived". The serial is a classic sci-fi production and noteworthy for the flying sequences which were made with dummies and very long cables! Worth seeing. The evil character was even called Dr Vulcan! Its difficult to find a good picture of Mae, and this one, although showing off her good looks, is commonly found, I'm not sure if its from King of the Rocketmen, or a shoot for it. I find it overly flattering of the character as in the serial Glenda is far less glamorous.
A busy lady, Linda Stirling starred in the films Manhunt of Mystery Island (1945) and The Purple Monster Strikes (1945). In the Republic serial, The Crimson Ghost (1946), she played feisty Diana Farnsworth, and whilst the image below is fairly representative, she does look better in colour (don't we all?).
Another busy actress, Anne Nagel appeared in Man Made Monster (1941), sometimes known as The Electric man, as June Lawrence. This image doesn't do her justice, as she was a very pretty actress. Shame that her life was dogged by her husband's suicide and a long bout of alcoholism...
Not on the wiki list is Captive Wild Women (1943). Here we have Acquanetta, also known as the Venezuelan Volcano, playing Paula Dupree, who is actually a gorilla with transplanted organs from two different women, including a human brain, of course.
The original organs, or if you want to be specific, glands, came from Dorothy Coleman played by Martha Vickers, who certainly has babe qualities in her own right.
However, the transformation was not a complete success, as Paula started to mutate back to her gorilla shape, killing the mad doctor who created her in the first place.
A year later, Jungle Woman (1944) followed and again we saw the exotic and beautiful Acquanetta (who by the way was born Mildred Davenport, but claims she was born on a native American reservation) playing Paula Dupree aka the ape woman. There was a further film in the ape-woman trilogy, The Jungle Captive (1945), although played by Vicki Lane this time. This film isn't listed as sci-fi by IMDb, but I don't see why - it included the same Paula Dupree character and follows the same storyline. It's difficult to find a good image from the film, so here's sultry Acquanetta in a movie poster for Jungle Woman.
Also not on the wiki list, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), too featured a small bevy of beauties from the decade. First we have the very lovely and very Swedish Ingrid Bergman as Ivy Peterson, a sensual young barmaid, unfortuntely killed by Hyde.
Also in the film was "sweater girl" Lana Turner, as Beatrix Emery.
Another notable babe at the time was the Black widow (1947) (not the Marvel character, who appears much later on) which starred Carol Forman as Somdra aka the daughter and agent of King Hitomu, and she looks pretty hot in her black costume. This was a serial made in the 1940s and re-shown as a TV series in the 1960s.
Carol also played the Spider Lady in the Superman (1948) serial. Spider Lady has a rather nasty weapon at her disposal, a web that gives a fatal electric shock.
To make up the numbers, here's the Invisible Woman (1940), played by Virginia Bruce (although personally, I can't wait to get to future versions of the character...).
Earlier on in the decade, Dr Cyclops (1940), featured a miniaturised babe by the name of Janice Logan as Dr Mary Robinson. What's interesting about this is the similarity to the 1960s TV series, the Land of the Giants, which we'll meet later..