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Reviews & Ratings for
Forbidden Planet More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The first serious Sci-Fi movie.

Author: zybch from Victoria, Australia
15 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What can I say? Forbidden Planet scared the bejesus out of me when I first saw it at age 7 at my aunt's house. I had nightmares about the id creature breaking down the door for weeks afterwards :) It was the first sci-fi worth mentioning that took itself seriously with no sly winks to the camera as if to say 'we know its a guy in a rubber suit, but just play with us here'. Its also the first movie to ever have used a fully electronically synthesized score. The sets are great, the visual effects still stand up brilliantly today (except that blasted robot, the only weak point in the film) and it proves that Leslie Neilsen was once capable of serious roles.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Recommended for fans of sci-fi

Author: Stanley Strangelove from Portland, Oregon US
23 August 2005

If you're a fan of sci-fi films you have to see Forbidden Planet. Like all older films, the FX look dated but don't let that stop you from enjoying this movie. Made in 1956, the visual production values in FP were very high for their time. The huge painted backdrops of the planet are spectacular. The interior of Morbius's house looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright house. The sets of the alien culture are really interesting especially when you see their power plant. I always thought Robby the Robot was downright silly.

The plot itself is probably the most sophisticated in science fiction films with its idea of monsters from the Id. The music score is unique. It's completely electronic blips and bleeps and though it sounds dated today it deserves points for being experimental.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

forbidden planet

Author: dav07dan02 from spokane, usa
8 June 2005

Director:Fred Wilcox, Script:CyrilHume, Staring:Walter Pigeon, Anne Francis,Leslie Nielsen.

Forbidden Planet is one of the highlights of the golden age of sci-fi from the period between 1950 and 1962. It is considered to be the first film to have an electronic music score. It was filmed in colour in cinemascope that was popular in the 1950's and is to the 1950's what Kubrick's 2001 a space odyssey was to the 1960's and Lucas's star wars was to the 1970's. If you like the star wars movies, give this a try. I see many influence's. Roby, the robot is like the robot on Irwin Allen's lost in space or even c3po in Star Wars.It also deals with a "greater force" like Star Wars. Watch this and see how the special effects have changed in 50 years! This movie was very impressive for its time. Walter Pigeon is great as Dr. Morbius as well as his beautiful daughter Altaira played by Anne Francis. This also features an early performance by Leslie Nielsen. The first pc the "Altair" got its name from this film.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Hey! Not bad at all for its age.

Author: Travis_Moran from Canada
5 May 2005

Wow. There have been a lot of reviews for this old movie. That says a lot in itself.

I just saw this movie for the first time several days ago. I picked up a used DVD of it for $3. Glad I did as I really like it.

I expected something totally corny as the cover of the DVD has a robot carrying off a scantily-clad woman like some comic book drivel. So, imagine my surprise when there was actually a decent plot and some rather good acting. The weird audio score impressed me too. It added a novel atmosphere to the whole production. Effects were impressive for way back in the 50s too. The invisible monster had me tense which a lot of newer movies can't come close to doing.

The only thing that seemed a little bogus was Anne Francis being so naive concerning men. She sure was a looker though.

That robot is way cool. I've seen it in some other movies too. I really need one of those around the house eh.

Now some people might find this movie a little slow in places. But, it has such a good story compared to other movies of that era that it's only a minor flaw. Lovers of pure sci-fi will eat this one up.

This is a movie I'll be able to watch many times, which is saying a lot for me. Anyone who cares a whit for sci-fi ought to check this one out.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

We are already there

Author: Mike_Movie from Connecticut, USA
7 February 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Is it me or is this movie really challenging man's current ability to wisely use the technology we have? It is not the future we need to be concerned about it's right now. In 1956, everyone was worried about a nuclear war reducing earth to an ash heap. Are we wise enough to have that power?

Not to be a Luddite, but this movie grows with age. We can now destroy the earth in a variety of ways - nuclear, biologically or good old fashion global warming. Will we, like the Krell, have the best intentions and still destroy ourselves? Is there some point where our technological prowess will outstrip our wisdom thus making a disaster inevitable?

Interesting thought. Makes the movie timeless, just like the Tempest.

And man is Anne Francis hot!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The birth of TRULY GOOD Science Fiction

Author: TheGreenSaga from United States
4 June 2002

I can't describe to you how excellent this film really is. I'll try, though. We'll break it up into two sections: Why it was a great film for the time it was made, and why it would still be an excellent film if it were just made.

The special effects in this film, while we may see them as cartoon-like and cheesy, were greatly beyond anything thought of before this film. In fact, this movie is the one that CREATED the Academy Award for Special Effects. Before this film, there was no such award. Also, the concentration on dialog and deepening plot was very uncommon for "the sci-fi" era of the fifties. There is so much plot that you have to pause your player every now and then just to get a grasp on what's happening.

If this movie were brand new, it would still be excellent. Try to imagine a movie where a team of military spacemen get pulled into a world of psychological philosophy and surreal terror. People would be very willing to appreciate a movie like this now, because most movies can't balance plot and effects. And if a movie can balance the two, its done in such a typical, predictable hollywood style.(e.g. Sphere)

Space Movies would have become extinct if it weren't for this movie. There would have been so many "Midnight Movies" that eventually nobody would make them anymore. Forbidden Planet launched a combination of strong philosophy with entertaining action. You really feel like you're a member of the crew. There is no doubt that James Cameron was at least partly inspired by this film when he wrote "Aliens". If he says he wasn't, maybe he was and just didn't realize it. Maybe he was in his id.

The Green Saga's Rating: 10 out of 10

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"2001" of 1956

Author: villard from United States
21 April 2002

This is the "2001" of the 1950s. An intelligent (downright cerebral), witty, beautifully done film with issues very relevant today - could we wipe ourselves out overnight with super-technology?

Walt Disney's Academy Award winning special effects stand up to computer graphics magic today.

The endearing Robby the Robot, clattering with mechanical relays, is a movie icon. Robby's a lot more fun to be around its distant cousin from the 60s TV series "Lost in Space"

Gene Rodenberry studied every frame of this film and ripped it off wholesale for his Star Trek TV series in the 1960s -- the best form of flattery.

The militaristic, all-male, horny crew dates the film, but hey it's the 1950s! It's also a delight seeing a young & swashbuckling Leslie Neisle playing it straight!

Wish they could make sci-fi movies as intelligent and insightful as this again. Maybe someday.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: MovieKen from Dallas, TX
8 April 2002

A classic 1950's Sci-Fi film, Forbidden Planet will also appeal to movie fans who do not like science fiction. Produced in a day before massive special effects budgets, it was created with more emphasis on dialogue, character development, suspense, and drama - quite a difference from today's typical sci-fi productions. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite films.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

First Rate 1950s Science Fiction - But not a perfect "The Tempest" clone

Author: theowinthrop from United States
25 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Because of some clunky dialog (but not much) I can't give FORBIDDEN PLANET the "10" I want to give it. But aside from that, it demonstrates what science fiction films could have been like in the 1930s to 1950s if the major studios had given them serious productions. With a good cast headed by Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielson, Warren Stevens, Anne Francis, Jack Kelly, and Earl Holiman, it is an update (but not a perfect one) of Shakespeare's final great play, THE TEMPEST, set in outer space. More of that point later,

The sets, given earlier examples (compare with say the typical "mad scientist" sets at Universal in the 1930s), are rather good looking. Doorways show to us what the long dead "Krell" race was supposed to look like. When a scientific marvel of these dead geniuses is shown by Dr. Morbius (Pidgeon) to Commander John Adams (Nielsen) and Lt. "Doc" Ostrow (Kelly) it's size (20 miles of machine on either side of the center, harnessing the energy of the planet) is really plausible. The robot "Robbie" is a little dated after R-2D-2 and C3PO in STAR WARS, but that had 1970 style concepts in mind. I assure you, if you see a science fiction film of 2107 they would make STAR WARS seem dated in the style of appearance of things. One also has to congratulate the imaginative way the film shows the real danger the crew faces when they finally see it.

Care was given to this production, which is really not so much Shakespeare as a moral and ethics lesson about pride, arrogance, and Greek hubris. THE TEMPEST did have a similar situation, with Prospero (the original for Morbius) and his daughter Miranda (Altaira - Francis' role here) living on an island that Morbius has turned into his kingdom through magic. But it's a stretch to make Robbie a clone of Shakespeare's Ariel, and there is no character to match Caliban, the actual heir of the island who is now Prospero's slave. Moreover, Prospero wants to return to his rightful place in Europe as Duke of Milan (in the play his position was usurped by his brother, now shipwrecked on the island with others). Morbius likes existing on the planet with his daughter, untouched by other humans, and studying Krell wisdom and science. It's not a perfect match by any means*.

(*Oddly enough, Shakespeare's play was inspired by a situation similar to Nielsen's crew exploring space. A fleet of ships headed for the new colony of Jamestown (in Virginia) was partly wrecked in the Bahamas. The ship, with the new governor, had to be repaired, and finally arrived in Jamestown months later, after everyone thought the crew and passengers were lost.)

FORBIDDEN PLANET is about how a great civilization can have rot at it's center by arrogance and cruelty. It is an ethics lesson we constantly have to watch out for, as Nielsen, Francis, Stevens and Pidgeon (the last two too late) realize, due to the unfortunate baser feelings of human beings. As such it is far more important than just a well made "what wonders the future show us" science fiction film. It becomes a worthy film classic to watch again and again.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Mainly of historical interest

Author: dimplet from United States
22 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As science prediction, Forbidden Planet was way off. It opens with a narrator explaining that people landed in the moon at the end of the 21st century, and a few years later figured out how to travel faster than the speed of light.

The movie was released in 1956; one year later Sputnik was launched, our first satellite in orbit, and, of course, we landed on the moon 13 years later.

In retrospect, it's odd that the writers would be so clueless about the actual prospects for space travel. But science fiction in the 1950s was more about fantasy, and a platform for statements about human nature and spirituality, hence Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and early Kurt Vonnegut fare like Sirens of Titan. And I remember the science fiction books of the 1950s with illustrations of finned rockets landing on a cratered moonscape.

The context of science fiction back then was other science fiction, not science. This continued with the first Star Trek series, which obviously was influenced by Forbidden Planet, including the Freudian psychological motif, as well as the stinker, Lost in Space.

And then there is the computer connection. There is a Star Trek episode, Amok Time, that also features Altair, presumably as a nod to Forbidden Planet. And it was this episode that provided the name for the first personal microcomputer, the Altair 8800, sold in 1975. It was for this computer that Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote their first commercial computer program, laying the foundation for what would become a software company called "Microsoft."

Remember Robbie, the Robot? The inventor of the Altair was named Ed Roberts. Perhaps he should have named the Altair, "Robbie."

As to the movie, the acting is not much to write home about. Walter Pidgeon provides its main credibility. Anne Francis tries, but how do you play the part of a young woman who has never met a young man before, in the 1950s? (To see her really act, see Bad Day at Black Rock.) Leslie Nielsen plays it straight, with the dark hair of youth.

But back to the 1950s, it was a time when UFOs were very much on people's minds, and even occasionally in newspapers, though people might not have talked about it much. Here, comfortingly, we were the ones flying the flying saucers.

But the take was very different in "The Day the Earth Stood Still," 1951, where the UFO threatened to destroy Earth if we could not learn to live in peace, or in "Invaders from Mars," 1953, where aliens were dragging people underground and sticking implants in the back of their necks, turning them into zombies. Those are far better examples of 1950s science fiction movies than Forbidden Planet.

A big part of the effectiveness of Invaders from Mars is due to William Cameron Menzies, who was the production designer of Gone With the Wind.

If you do watch Forbidden Planet, make yourself an extra large bowl of popcorn to help keep you entertained.

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