In our picks below, please note that cyborgs and androids have been omitted (sorry, Blade Runner, RoboCop, and Terminator!).
1. Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still). Eight feet tall and made of an impenetrable alien metallic substance, Gort was the movies’ first robot superstar. He doesn’t say a word, but was the recipient of a classic line of dialogue: “Klaatu barada nikto” (roughly translated, it means that Klaatu was killed and needs to be revived…and, by the way, please don’t destroy the Earth). Definitely the tall silent type.
3. The Robot Maria (Metropolis). This 2006 inductee into the Robot Hall of Fame (Gort made it the same year) is the oldest robot on this list--though she's doesn't look it, of course. Possibly cinema's first female robot, the Robot Maria (also know as the False Maria) is eventually given human features that make it impossible to discern the real Maria from her robotic duplicate. Still, it's the image of the robot prior to the transformation that has captured the imagination of millions of film fans.
5. Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Silent Running). These three little service drones prove invaluable to an astronaut-botanist (Bruce Dern) after he hijacks a spaceship carrying a living forest. The drones not only conduct maintenance on the station, but they also perform surgery on Dern’s injured leg, tend to the forest, and play poker with their human companion.
Honorable Mentions: The Iron Giant, Tobor the Great (spell his name backwards), and Terror of Mechagodzilla.