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Forbidden Planet (50th Anniversary Special Edition) DVD

Fred Mcleod Wilcox, 1956

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Film Details

Directed by Fred Mcleod Wilcox

Produced in 1956

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - American film

MovieMail's Review

Loosely based on The Tempest, Forbidden Planet takes us to the 2200s and the distant planet Altair IV. A rescue mission led by Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) is investigating the disappearance of an expedition that set out 20 years earlier. The only survivors are Dr Morbius (a delightfully hammy Walter Pidgeon), his young daughter and tales of a mysterious force that ripped the expedition apart one by one. This is an acknowledged classic of the sci-fi genre, using its long-dead alien civilisation to make some pertinent points regarding human nature.

Made in 1956, this is the pinnacle of futurist sci-fi, before the genre was taken over by the realists. In EASTMAN COLOUR trumpets the opening credits and the film unfolds in a garish yet astonishing mix of reds, yellows, greens and blues. The unique soundtrack is totally, utterly alien, carefully constructed bleeps and whistles by Louis and Bebe Barron. The Musicians’ Union objected so much, they only received credits for Electronic Tonalities.

However, the true stars of the show are Robbie the Robot and the infamous ‘Monster From The Id’. The charismatic robot cost $125,000 and was one of the most expensive props ever made at the time. He went on to become a TV star in his own right, cameo-ing in The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, and notably in Lost In Space, the Robinson’s own Robot also being designed by Robert Kinoshita. The monster haunted many a child’s dream, invisible most of the time apart from a short sequence (beautifully animated by Joshua Meador, on loan from Disney) when caught in the laser-trap.

So, why exactly is it that Forbidden Planet does not often get mentioned when people are asked to name the greatest Science Fiction movies? Solaris, 2001, Blade Runner – even Silent Running is more likely to come up before Forbidden Planet. This film has suffered because of its great influence on what came after. Gene Roddenberry has always acknowledged the debt owed by Star Trek. The suits, the spaceship and the alien landscapes all cribbed wholesale. But make no mistake, Forbidden Planet is one of the greats.

on 21st May 2007
Author of 8 reviews

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Film Description

Forbidden Planet is set in the year 2257 on the distant colony of Altair 4 which has three inhabitants; Professor Morbius, his bewitching daughter and a dutiful robot, named Robby, who speaks 188 languages. When a space cruiser from Earth lands on the planet a deadly secret is revealed that could spell doom for all on the planet...

This adaptation of The Tempest makes Jarman's take on the play appear almost conventional! An invisible monster from the Id (briefly, wonderfully, glimpsed through the work of Disney animators), fabulous sets, Nielsen acting with a straight face, Francis like a living Barbie doll, and Robby the Robot. Almost every science fiction film since owes a tip of the hat to this marvellous ride. Match your puny ape brains against the power of the Krell!

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Publisher: Warner Bros.

Length: 94 mins

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 18th June 2007

Cat No: 1000086035

Subtitles: English, French

DVD Extras

  • 2 discs. Deleted Scenes (13 mins)
  • Lost Footage (10 mins)
  • Two follow-up vehicles starring Robby the Robot: The Invisible Boy (85 mins) & The Thin Man TV Series Episode Robot Client (25 mins)
  • Three Documentaries: TCM Original Watch The Skies! Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us (55 mins)
  • New Documentary Amazing! Exploring the Far Reaches of Forbidden Planet (26 mins)
  • Robby The Robot: Engineering a Sci Fi Icon (14 mins)
  • Excerpts 27 and 28 from the MGM Parade TV Series (6 mins)
  • Science Fiction Movie Trailer Gallery featuring The Time Machine, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Them!, The invisible Boy and Forbidden Planet.

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Community Reviews

by Anon on 1st March 2005

The Tempest? Jarman?! No. But this is THE archetype for Star Trek. Good thing or bad thing? Your choice. But the fact remains that Gene Roddenberry was mightily impres... Read on

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