A diplomat is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
When Adams and his crew are sent to investigate the silence from a planet inhabited by scientists, he finds all but two have died. Dr. Morbius and his daughter Altaira have somehow survived a hideous monster which roams the planet. Unknown to Adams, Morbius has made a discovery, and has no intention of sharing it (or his daughter!) with anyone. Written by
Star Trek (1966) creator Gene Roddenberry has been quoted as saying that this film was a major inspiration for that series. Perhaps not accidentally, Warren Stevens, who plays "Doc" here, would later be a guest star in 1968's Star Trek: By Any Other Name (1968), where the true shape of the alien Kelvans, like the Krell in this movie, was implied to be extremely non-humanoid but never shown. 1701, which is the serial number of the Starship Enterprise, allegedly comes from the clock mark 17:01 when the C57D enters orbit around Altair IV. See more »
As the tiger passes Altaira on the patio, first a portion of the tiger's face, and then a portion of the tiger's hind leg vanish in the split-screen effect. See more »
Commander John J. Adams:
Alta, about a million years from now the human race will have crawled up to where the Krell stood in their great moment of triumph and tragedy. And your father's name will shine again like a beacon in the galaxy. It's true, it will remind us that we are, after all, not God.
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Well, of course, "Star Wars" defined the genre, and "Alien" and "Blade Runner" perfected it; but "Forbidden Planet" created it. Argue, if you must, that movies like "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "Them" and "Five Million Years to Earth" are the cerebral grand-fathers of the film genre (and I won't disagree with you), but for "science-fiction-as-plot-driven-action-epic," this is it. This is the one.
It's so unerringly on target, in fact, that it still plays very well even today. The modern audience has to overcome the "Leslie Nielsen Factor" (and it is difficult to watch him in a totally straight role), but once you do, the movie is pure enjoyment. Forget about dated plots and special effect. Robbie the Robot is a guy in a suit, yes, but he is thoroughly believable. He even adheres nicely to Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, a trick that the digital robots in this summer's "I, Robot" had a great deal of difficulty with.
And the monster! I defy anyone to avoid getting the willies when the monster first shorts the security fence. Great special effect, then and now!
Finally, the universal theme of man's (and Krell's) individual flaws inserting themselves into an otherwise perfect system and TOTALLY gumming up the works is as relevant today as it was then. More so.
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