Directed by Fred M. Wilcox
Written by Cyril Hume based on a story by Irving Block and Allen Adler
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental
#320 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
IMDB users say 7.7/10; I say 8/10
The granddaddy of big-budget sci-fi movies is still enjoyable after all these years.
Commander Adams (Leslie Nielson) and the crew of his spaceship are on a mission to the planet Altair to search for survivors of a scientific mission lost there 20 years before. As they approach, lone survivor Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) warns them off, assuring them everything is alright. They ignore his advise and discover him living with nubile daughter Altaira (Anne Francis) and faithful robot Robby in a marvelous compound devoid of other life.
Morbius explains that the other members of his expedition were torn limb from limb by a mysterious force to which he and his daughter are immune. He also shows the men a laboratory of vast sophistication in which he has discovered the secrets of the Krell, highly evolved creatures who died out 20,000 years ago. Before their extinction, the Krell were able to create matter with thought alone, an ability which Morbius has been able to engineer into Robby.
The Commander and Altaira fall in love but the evil secret of the Forbidden Planet threatens the lives of his crew and their future together.
The state-of-the-art special effects and art direction look a tad obvious and 50’s retro from this vantage point but they still impress by the sheer scope of their vision. The 50’s era sexual politics is too naive to be offensive and a scary monster and a unique Freudian premise do not disappoint.
Forbidden Planet was nominated for an Academy Award for its Special Effects.