The idea of the Golden Record is already epic enough, and since movies that include sentinent alien species are always popular, it suprises me that apparently there is no popular movie about humans finding one from another species.

There doesn't even have to be any aliens themselves involved, just finding the record and decyphering it would already seem to make for a sufficient story. One could imagine some family-friendly crossover of the Da Vincy Code and Odyssey 2001 maybe, or any other kind of film.

So, has the idea of humans finding another species' "Golden Record" ever been treated in film?

  • 7
    Would Contact meet your criteria? "Arroway discovers a signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers, apparently sent from the star system Vega [....]. Arroway's team discovers a video hidden in the signal: Adolf Hitler's opening address at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. [...] Arroway finds the signal also contains more than 63,000 pages of indecipherable data. [...] The pages reveal schematics for a complex machine that is determined to be some kind of transport for a single occupant." Feb 5 '19 at 12:55
  • Do video games count? The Slylandro in Star Control 2/Ur-Quan Masters sent out automated probes to make contact with other aliens (they messed up a bit on the programming side, but the intent was sincere.)
    – Steve-O
    Feb 5 '19 at 14:12
  • @AnneDaunted while the fact that Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan worked on the movie is awesome, it looks like it doesnt quite catch the "puzzle" aspect that i would be hoping for - i was looking for something with a vibe like in Arrival, where the movie twists around understanding the alien communication ways, while Contact looks more like its going on the Mystery-Drama side (although it still sounds good, thanks for the tip!) Feb 5 '19 at 14:28
  • 1
    Well, they do have to decipher the 63,000 pages and Jodie Foster's character needs help of an excentric billionaire to do so, but if it doesn't fit, it's okay. Feb 5 '19 at 14:35
  • 6
    Okay people, I've reopened this for now. If you think it should be closed and intend to be serious about that, you gotta pick an appropriate close-reason, rather than the first item in the list your mouse happens to randomly land on.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 5 '19 at 17:38

Some of the greatest science fiction movies ever made more or less answer the question.

The Forbidden Planet (1956)

There is the goofy movie The Wizard of Mars (1965), sort of a low budget mix of The Wizard of Oz (1939) and The Forbidden Planet (1956), in which astronauts find relics of an extinct alien civilization.

And of course how could I have forgotten the BBC serial Quatermass and the Pit (22 December 1958-26 January 1959) which was adapted to make the great science fiction movie Quatermass and the Pit (1967) called Five Million Years to Earth in the USA.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

Star Trek episodes and movies which sort of satisfy your requirements include:

"The Man Trap" (8 September 1966)

"What Are little Girls Made of?" (20 October 1966)

"Return to Tomorrow" (9 February 1968)

"That which Survives" (24 January 1969)

"Beyond the Farthest Star" (8 September 1973) Animated

"The Slaver Weapon" (15 December 1973) Animated

"How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" (5 October 1974) animated

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Last outpost" (17 October 1987)

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Arsenal of Freedom" (9 April 1988)

Star Trek: The Next Generation "Contagion" (18 March 1988)

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Inner light" (June 1, 1992)

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Chase" (24 April 1993)

Star Trek: The Next Generation "Masks" (19 February 1994)

No doubt there are many more movies and episodes I can't think of at the moment.

  • Eh, i think you didnt quite get my interest - i know Space Odyssey, and thats not the kind of plot im looking for (too "mysterious") - im looking for a plot where, in our reality and our time, humanity finds a space probe of another species as first contact - if it happens in star trek, where space travel and alien life is already known for a long time, that kind of misses the point to me - i dont know any of the other movies that you listed, ill look up a plot outline for them later, but thanks for now! Mar 6 '19 at 9:41
  • @Flying Thunder - In Lost in Space (1965-1968) humans are apparently ignorant of all alien civilizations at the beginning. In the second episode "The Derelict" (22 September 1965) an alien spaceship is encountered. Mar 6 '19 at 23:57

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