Forbidden Planet
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Forbidden Planet can be found here.

Spaceship Commander J.J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and his crew are sent to Altair-4 to discover what happened to a colony of settlers. What they find is two survivors -- Dr Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter Altaira 'Alta' (Anne Francis) -- living in a paradise created by Morbius using secrets from the Krell, a long-lost civilization that once inhabited the planet. Soon after their arrival, the crew faces an invisible force that puts them all in danger.

Forbidden Planet was filmed from a screenplay by American screenwriter Cyril Hume, who based his script on a screen story by American writers Irving Block and Allen Adler, who based their story on elements of William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest. The movie was subsequently novelized as Forbidden Planet (1956) by English author Philip MacDonald, writing under the pseudonym W.J. Stuart.

No specific date is given in the film. The opening narration says only that men and women in rocket ships landed on the moon in the final decade of the 21st century (in the 2090s) and that they reached the other planets of our solar system by 2200. Thereafter followed the discovery of hyperdrive (through which the speed of light was first attained) and from there began the conquest and colonization of deep space. It also states that the spaceship Bellerophon was marooned on Altair 4 some 20 years earlier when it was sent out to establish a colony. Given time to develop hyperdrive and to begin colonization, plus the 20 years following the marooning, the story most likely takes place in the 23rd century. According to the foreword in the novelization, the C-57-D mission was launched from Earth via the Moon on the seventh of Sextor, 2371. Back cover of same also says A.D. 2371. Since it took 10 years for the C-57-D to reach Altair 4, the story takes place in the year 2381.

Is Altair a real planet?

Actually, Altair is a sun, the brightest star in the constellation Aquila and located 16.8 light-years (5.14 parsecs) from Earth. It is the 12th brightest star visible in the night sky. The planetary designation of Altair 4 means that the story is set on the fourth planet in the Altairan solar system.

Was Robbie a real robot?

No. Stuntman Frankie Darro was inside the robot. Robbie's voice was provided by voice-over actor Marvin Miller.

Most viewers conclude that the tiger attacked Alta because she was wearing a long dress and/or had just enjoyed an erotic kiss with Commander Adams. In the novelization, as well as in a deleted scene, it is explained that the tiger was tamed by Alta because of her sexual innocence, similar to the mythological concept of virgins having special power to tame unicorns and other wild beasts. Following the kiss between Alta and dams, Alta's sexual awakening changed her in such a way that the tiger became aggressive towards her, just as it would have toward any other human.

What is the 'id'?

As Morbius describes it, the id is 'an obsolete term once used to describe the elementary basis of the subconscious mind.' As defined by Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud [1856-1939], the id is one of three structures of the human psyche, the id being the part of the psyche that is subconscious and the source of primitive instinctive impulses and drives. The second structure, the ego, contains consciousness and memory and is involved with control, planning, and conforming to reality. The third structure, the superego, is the part of the mind that acts as a conscience to the ego, developing moral standards and rules through contact with parents and society.

The Three Laws of Robotics are a set of three rules written by science fiction author Isaac Asimov and later expanded upon. They are: (1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, (2) A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law, and (3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. These rules are built in to almost all positronic robots appearing in his fiction and cannot be bypassed. The rules are introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround" although they were foreshadowed in a few earlier stories, including "Robbie" (1940).

How does the movie end?

Commander Adams convinces Dr Morbius that the id monster is of his own creation and that, if he doesn't admit this to himself, the monster will kill everyone, including Alta. As the monster begins burning through the nearly indestructible door of the Krell laboratory where Adams, Alta, and Morbius have taken refuge, Morbius screams 'I deny you...I give you up!' and collapses on the floor. As he lies dying, Morbius tells Adams to throw a switch, then informs him that, in 24 hours, they must be 100 million miles away in space because an irreversible chain reaction will overload the Krell's nuclear reactors and blow up the planet. In the final scene, Alta, the Commander, Robbie, and the remaining crewmen are back aboard their spaceship, heading back to Earth. On the main viewplate, they watch Altair 4 explode. Holding Alta in his arms, Commander Adams assures her that, 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 that her father's name will shine once again. 'It will remind us,' he adds, 'that, after all, we are not God.'

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