Thursday, July 30, 2015

302. Forbidden Planet (1956)

Running Time: 98 minutes
Directed By: Fred M. Wilcox
Written By: Irving Block, Allen Adler, Cyril Hume
Main Cast: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly
Click here to view the trailer


Chicken Run (2000 - Peter Lord, Nick Park) 7.5/10 - I dug this, quite a bit! I'm a fan of Lord & Park and really need to decide on a definitive favorite moving forward, so that I can add it to my personal 1,000 list. I still need to see all the Wallace & Gromit shorts and the movie (or are there "movies", plural?) and I see there's even a new movie coming out called Shawn The Sheep. This was pretty great though and I really dug those nods to The Great Escape.

D.O.A. (1950 - Rudolph Mate) 5.5/10 - Boy, I had REALLY high hopes for this, but I ended up being really disappointed by it. TCM is running a movie-thon all summer long called "Summer of Darkness", where they're airing loads of noirs and I've been wanting to see this one for some time. I feel like what should have been a really simple, really fun movie about a man who was poisoned trying to find his poisoner before he died, got really muddled down with too many characters and too confusing of a plot line. Perhaps I was just too tired that night or something and a rewatch someday is in order.

Beautiful Boy (2010 - Shawn Ku) 6/10 - I feel like this would've worked MUCH better as a short film and that everything that happened past like the thirty minute mark, wasn't anything we didn't already assume was going to happen to these characters anyway. However, that's nitpicking and honestly, the filmmaker's still managed to string together a pretty decent little movie, that didn't ever make me wish it would just end. I expected worse and for the most part, got my money's worth. Wouldn't watch it again or call it a fav or anything, but not bad.

Now then...


Unless you're new here, you SHOULD already know what I thought of this. Actually, that's not fair, because I did try and there were some redeeming qualities, but ultimately my opinion was the same as it is for most sci-fi ventures - *blech*.

The film begins with a group of scientists and doctors, hurtling through space. Their destination? The planet Altair, where an expedition crew was supposed to have landed years earlier, except no one has heard hide nor hair of the expedition - hence the new crew, sent to discover their whereabouts. Upon landing, the new crew finds only a Dr. Edward Morbius (Pidgeon), living alone with the exception of his daughter, Alta (Francis). They also meet the doctor's servant - Robby the Robot, a robot with Issac Asimov like restrictions, meant to serve man. It soon becomes apparent to the crew that there is SOMETHING on the planet causing destruction. The revelation happens when their ship is breached and damaged, causing them to prolong their stay on Altair. Meanwhile, the ship's Commander, John J. Adams (Nielsen), is becoming more and more smitten with Alta, who doesn't help matters by running around in mini skirts were as short as they could possibly be, per 1950s standards.


WOW, Ms. Francis! That skirt is short! Seriously though, how did they get away with parading Anne Francis around in such skimp, back in the 50s? And how did I get away this long without knowing who Anne Francis was? I only wish we could have met under better circumstances. Nevermind the short skirts, there's also a scene where she skinny dips, leaving very little to the imagination. It's no wonder Leslie Nielsen was all over by film's end, trying to protect her from the giant cartoon, red monster that was being projected by her daddy's brain! Seriously though, I was all ready to like this, had Robby the Robot just gone ape and started knocking off members of the crew one by one, Alien (Ridley Scott) style. I REALLY thought that's where this film was headed, until Morbius (should've known he was the villain based on that name alone!) turns out to be the bad guy. And then we're to buy that he wasn't REALLY the bad guy, he was just subconsciously projecting the big red monster. Sounds like he had some daddy/mommy issues or something...

I mean, if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I'm just not that into sci-fi. You know what I really need to do though? I need to find me a good TOP 100 SCI-FI MOVIES LIST and just force myself to get through and find ONE sci-fi movie that I actually can get into. Sure, there are a few - District 9, Alien and The Incredible Shrinking Man come to mind - but I'm talking classic, clear cut sci-fi films, just like Forbidden Planet, filled with massive amounts of cheesiness. I mean, was this a serious entry into THE BOOK or was this another case of the authors of THE BOOK just throwing in an old cheeseball sci-fi flick, just so BOOK conquerors could get a taste of everything? I feel like it's the latter and this is another, shining example of a film being included, when plenty of really good movies were kicked to the curb.

RATING: 4.5/10  It wasn't awful or anything and I feel like simpler would've been better here ie. Robby going berserk. The whole "Morbius' mind is controlling the cartoon" just totally lost me. Francis was smokin' hot though!


July 30, 2015  5:28pm


  1. Yes, well.. I've never been as captivated by the supposedly cute robot as we are told we should be..
    Being a bit of a Shakespear geek, I got a bit of a kick out of trying to see the characters transformed .. but on the whole, I'd agree. I guess t has a valid place in the book.. but .. I'd not go as far as saying I hated it though..
    As for some others...
    DOA.. I quite like that..It would get seveeral more points without the very juvanile 'wolf whistle' effect at the party which somehow irritated me more than is justified.
    Beautiful boy .. sorry, don't know it.
    Chicken run. Well I'm a great fan of Aardman / Nick Park's stuff. This I would put slightly lower than most of the other stuff..but still damn good fun. Despite having Mel Gibson.

    1. Glad we mostly agree on Forbidden Planet...

      DOA - I was pretty sure you'd like this. YES, the whistling - I hated that too.

      Definitely growing to really like Nick Park and Company. Need to see what I haven't seen and pick a favorite

  2. In my opinion Forbidden Planet absolutely belongs in the book. It is often considered one of the greatest Sci-Fi films. I would rate it much higher. I feel you have undervalued the story and script quite a bit. Compare it to other similar films of the time. It is far superior. Of course Sci Fi and fantasy are my two favorite genres. I have seen many films to compare to this one.

    Sorry we don't agree on this one.

    1. Glad this worked for you! I really do wish I could find a sci fi/fantasy film that I take to, but they're few and far between, in my experiences.


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