Forbidden Planet

(Not about language.)

In a packet of film cards, this poster for Forbidden Planet (1956):

I was struck when reminded of the cast, and also tickled by the visual cliché of the young woman in the poster, hopeless in the arms of the monster, alien, brute (see King Kong), whatever.

Wikipedia on the movie:

Forbidden Planet is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox, with a screenplay by Cyril Hume. It stars Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, and Anne Francis. The characters and its setting have been compared to those in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and its plot contains certain story analogs. Forbidden Planet was the first science fiction film that was set entirely on another planet in deep space, away from the planet Earth. It is considered one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s, a precursor of what was to come for the science fiction film genre in the decades that followed [in particular, Star Trek].

Forbidden Planet features the groundbreaking use of an all-electronic music musical score. It also featured “Robby the Robot”, one of the first film robots that was more than just a mechanical “tin can” on legs; Robby displays a distinct personality and is a complete supporting character in the film [and later appeared in a long series of tv shows].

Two of the stars together:

On Robby in the poster:

While the film’s poster depicts a fierce character abducting a maiden, no such scene was actually in the film; Robby only carried one person, crewman Dr. Ostro when he was mortally wounded by his own actions with the Krell’s “plastic educator”. (link)

Then there’s Leslie Nielsen:

Leslie William Nielsen, … (11 February 1926 – 28 November 2010) was a Canadian and naturalized American actor and comedian. Nielsen appeared in more than one hundred films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying more than 220 characters.

… Although Nielsen’s acting career crossed a variety of genres in both television and films, his deadpan delivery in Airplane! marked a turning point in his career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “the Olivier of spoofs.” Nielsen enjoyed further success with The Naked Gun film series, based on an earlier short-lived television series Police Squad! in which he also starred. Nielsen’s portrayal of comedic characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gave him a reputation as a comedian. (link)

Nielsen in pre-spoof Forbidden Planet days:

A man with a gun. Don’t call him Shirley.

Other movies of 1956:

… And God Created Woman, Baby Doll, Friendly Persuasion, Giant, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Lust for Life, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Moby Dick, The Rainmaker, The Searchers, War and Peace, Written on the Wind


5 Responses to “Forbidden Planet”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    The Bellerophon pattern is being woven again – perhaps the most magickal line ever spoken in an SF movie –

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Nick Fitch on Facebook:

    This movie is also also the first example — that I can think of — of the trope about human beings discovering and using the poorly understood relics of an advanced vanished race, often to their detriment. It’s a plot device that’s been used repeatedly since the 50s, most famously by Frederik Pohl in “Gateway”; but, like Lovecraft in horror, it’s become a staple of the genre and turns up pretty much everywhere.

  3. Mounties with guns | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] For a science fiction gun, see Leslie Nielsen wielding a space gun in Forbidden Planet, here. […]

  4. Doug Wyman Says:

    I got here from the Shakespeare blog entry and find it personally ironic since my favorite scene in Forbidden Planet (a favorite) is,”On these disks are the entire knowledge of the…” . With the exception of the lack of a center hole, what he held up was an eerie vision of the real future DVD-ROM.

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