Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Forbidden Planet (1956)


This is one of those classic sci-fi films that you always hear mentioned (like Planet of the Apes or The Day the Earth Stood Still). I figured it was finaly time I sat down and watched it, especially since a ton of sci-fi flicks seemed to have been heavily inspired by this one.


Commander J. J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) are on a mission to find out what happened to a missing star ship lost over an unexplored planet. When they arrive they are warned by Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) to leave or risk destruction. Being the stalwart team they are, the crew lands on the planet and runs into the lovely Altaira (Anne Francis), daughter of Morbius and the all purpose Robby the Robot (Himself!). Morbius is a gracious host, but is obviously hiding something. Once the ship is disabled by a mysterious force, it becomes clear that Morbius and Altaira are part of the secret that may destroy everyone on the Forbidden Planet.

Good Points:

  • Visual effects and production design still hold up well today
  • The plot and themes are engaging
  • Ann Francis is quite alluring

Bad Points:

  • So familiar because so many films are influenced by it
  • Very earnest in a ‘50s kinda way
  • The innovative music/soundtrack will rub some folks the wrong way


Had a great time with this one. It had a great balance of adventure, visual effects and a spirit of adventure. I enjoyed seeing all the little elements that later sci-fi films picked up on. Worth seeking out for all fans of classic sci-fi and classic cinema.

Scores (out of 5)

Visuals: 5

Sound: 5

Acting: 3

Script: 4

Music: 4

Direction: 3

Entertainment: 4

Total: 4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

1 comment:

  1. Fine fine film inspired by (but not a straightforward spacefaring version of) The Tempest. It is in so many ways ahead of its time, and yet amusingly stuck in the 50s in ways (most of them social) the screenwriters apparently had no consciousness of being. (I blame their ids.)