Forbidden Planet


Fred McLeod Wilcox

Spaceship lands on distant planet to learn the fate of a previous expedition. They find but two survivors, a doctor and his daughter. The doctor has no intention of letting them land, but reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately his id has no intention of letting them leave again, and it has a bit more power to back that threat up.

Easily the best science fiction film of the 1950s, and probably the most influential in the genre before 2001 and Star Wars came on the scene. It's perhaps hard for new audiences to see that now, when the genre is so established (not to mention tired), and Leslie Nielsen is remembered more for Naked Gun than anything serious. But it must have been refreshing to see a "real" spaceship with a professional crew based on naval practice, instead of the male astronauts lounging around the cabin smoking while the lone female among them served coffee. Certainly Star Trek would not exist without this film, and Gene Rodenberry knew it--note the ship reaches DC (deceleration) point at 1701 hours. And of course, everything from Robby the Robot to the uniforms became icons of science fiction themselves. Space Cruiser C-57D appeared in no less than seven Twilight Zone episodes!

There are only a few real detriments to the film. One is the relatively mild sexism; the slobbering of the male crew over Alta is a little overdone, though understandable, while Alta's cluelessness is slightly annoying. Holliman's cook is also out of place and unnecessary. It may be a groundbreaking film, but couldn't escape the tired trope of the unfunny comic relief. At least Robby's charm makes up for that lapse.

Here's hoping the proposed remake will remain in cinematic limbo. . .

-Dave W.

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Forbidden Planet
15th March 1956

98 mins

Forbidden Planet (MGM/UA)
15th July 1997

98 mins

Forbidden Planet (Warner Brothers)
18th April 2000

98 mins

Forbidden Planet
14th November 2006

98 mins

Forbidden Planet
7th September 2010

98 mins

Walter Pidgeon
Dr. Edward Morbius
Anne Francis
Altaira Morbius
Leslie Nielsen
Commander John J. Adams
Warren Stevens
Lieutenant 'Doc' Ostrow
Jack Kelly
Lieutenant Jerry Farman
Richard Anderson
Chief Quinn
Earl Holliman
George Wallace
Bosun (Steve)
Robert Dix
Crewman Grey
(as Bob Dix)
Jimmy Thompson
Crewman Youngerford
James Drury
Crewman Strong
Harry Harvey Jr.
Crewman Randall
Roger McGee
Crewman Lindstrom
Peter Miller
Crewman Moran
Morgan Jones
Crewman Nichols
Richard Grant
Crewman Silver
James Best
William Boyett
Frankie Darro
Robby the Robot
Marvin Miller
Robby the Robot (voice)
Les Tremayne

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