July 7, 2017

Celebrate the 110th birthday of Robert A. Heinlein with a look at some of the movies his books inspired


Today marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Robert A. Heinlein, author of such beloved novels as Stranger in a Strange LandThe Moon is a Harsh MistressHave Space Suit—Will Travel, and a great many more. Heinlein’s massive popularity changed our language and literature in numerous ways: he invented the word “grok,” which changed the way dorks and Blossom talk forever, and has often been credited with coining the phrase “speculative fiction,” in a 1947 essay in the Saturday Evening Post. Late in life, he was a vigorous advocate for Ronald Reagan’s loony Star Wars defense project. (Charles Manson was once widely believed to have claimed inspiration from Heinlein’s writing, too, but this is disputed.) He won four Hugo Awards, and, in 1975, the first Science Fiction Grand Master Award.

Besides his many books and magazine publications, Heinlein has also been known to generations of American TV-watchers and moviegoers as the creator of any number of the worlds, sometimes creepy and sometimes adventure-laden, visitable through screens across the country. Here, then, are some of the goofiest—and most fun—Heinlein adaptations to grab eyes and send pulses racing over the past seventy years.