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Forbidden Planet (1956)

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A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director:

Fred M. Wilcox (as Fred McLeod Wilcox)

Writers:

Cyril Hume (screen play), Irving Block (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,908 ( 66)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Pidgeon ... Dr. Morbius
Anne Francis ... Altaira Morbius
Leslie Nielsen ... Commander Adams
Warren Stevens ... Lt. 'Doc' Ostrow
Jack Kelly ... Lt. Farman
Richard Anderson ... Chief Quinn
Earl Holliman ... Cook
George Wallace ... Bosun
Robert Dix ... Crewman Grey (as Bob Dix)
Jimmy Thompson Jimmy Thompson ... Crewman Youngerford
James Drury ... Crewman Strong
Harry Harvey Jr. Harry Harvey Jr. ... Crewman Randall
Roger McGee Roger McGee ... Crewman Lindstrom
Peter Miller Peter Miller ... Crewman Moran
Morgan Jones ... Crewman Nichols
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Storyline

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 Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Amazing! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Fatal Planet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,250,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Sound System)| 4-Track Stereo (4 channels)

Color:

Color (photographed in) (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally conceived and approved by MGM's Dore Schary--no fan of science-fiction, as a "B" picture. The studio's art department, still headed by veteran Cedric Gibbons, pulled out all the stops. The budget ballooned to $1.9 million and its box-office returns barely managed to break even amid a dismal year for the studio. The relative failure of the film was cited as a reason for Schary's ouster soon after. See more »

Goofs

Altaira is supposed to be naked in the water, but closer inspection reveals her to be wearing some sort of flesh-colored dress. This is most noticeable when she gets out of the water. When Altaira asks, "What's a bathing suit?", she may simply have never heard swimwear called by that name. Perhaps she calls what she's wearing "swim clothing" or whatever. The Commander assumes she is nude which sets of up his punchline of "Oh, murder!". See more »

Quotes

[Lt. Farman offers the brilliant but innocent Altaira some sugar for her coffee]
Altaira Morbius: But you keep helping me. After all, you're not Robby.
Lt. Farman: [chuckles] I wouldn't mind being Robby in certain ways. Uh, that's only in *certain* ways, of course.
Altaira Morbius: I can see that was probably very clever, but I don't seem to understand it.
Lt. Farman: There's no rush.
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the 1959 cinema re-release of MGM's Forbidden Planet (1956) to obtain the classification rating of (A) SUITABLE ONLY FOR ADULTS - CHILDREN UNDER 16 NOT ADMITTED the Australia Film Censorship Board ordered the elimination of "all shots of alleged nuclear monster" i.e. Australia Film Censorship Board insisted that the Id Monster is never seen, but you could see the footprints and the bending of the steps on the spaceship. The animated sequence of Forbidden Planet, showing the attack by the red colored "Id Monster", were created by the veteran animator Joshua Meador, who was lent out to MGM by Walt Disney Pictures. During the attack on the spaceship, the now visible Id monster (only the outline of the Id Monster is seen, colored red) as it tries to go through the electronic fence on the perimeter (the force field), and also because the Id Monster has been caught in the crewman's high-energy blaster beams. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Collecting Star Trek's Movie Relics (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Unusually thoughtful sci-fi for 1950's (and even for today)
31 December 2002 | by sdlitvinSee all my reviews

At a time when science fiction movies were invariably cheap rubber monsters attacking our cities and scaring our women, "Forbidden Planet" offered an usually thought-provoking plot that worked on a number of levels. Today, too many sci-fi movies are nothing but computer-generated special effects extravaganzas masking the lack of thoughtful plot and characterization. "Forbidden Planet" had awesome special effects for their time (many of which still hold up well today)--but these were used to effectively support the multifaceted plot and characterizations, not try to compensate for their lack.

The Shakespearean ("The Tempest") and Freudian ("Id-monster") elements have been noted by many critics. In the 1950's, with the atomic and hydrogen bombs so new and terrifying, other sci-fi movies had asked whether man had the wisdom to use all the new science for good rather than evil. But they usually dealt with that solely on a surface level, by just having some monster created with the new science that comes out and kills a bunch of people. Only "Forbidden Planet" dared to actually delve into the depths of human psychology to see what our baser instincts are capable of when given full rein. It directly refuted the notion that all that new science and technology was somehow civilizing humanity. The Krell, a far more advanced race than we, are never seen on screen (only their artifacts are shown, leaving you to imagine what they looked like). But their disappearance is a warning that even a far more advanced race like they, couldn't escape the baser instincts and subconscious drives deep within their own brains--so what of man?

One subplot that is less often discussed, but equally well thought out, is the scenes with Altaira and the tiger, an allusion to the myth of the virgin and the unicorn. Until Altaira meets the male crew of the C-57-D, she is virginal and the tiger is a tame beast in her presence. After she has her romantic interludes with Farman and the captain, the tiger attacks her. (Being the 1950's, the dialogue only subtly suggests what has happened.)

For "Star Trek" fans, it's worth seeing "Forbidden Planet" just to list all the parallels between "Forbidden Planet" and "Star Trek: The Original Series". The basic theme (a "United Planets" spaceship explores a strange new world), the characters and characterizations, the weapons, and even the special effects all seem to have unconsciously inspired Gene Roddenberry to create his own vision.


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