Friday, March 14, 2008

Forbidden Planet (1956)

Just one more classic sci-fi movie for now... I've got "Penny Serenade" patiently waiting in its Netflix envelope. I thought I had never seen "Forbidden Planet," just heard about it, but I was wrong. Turns out all it took was seeing the first few scenes to make me remember most of what was going to happen. Three stars, I suppose, but I may not need to see it again.

Our hero Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) is the head of an expedition sent to find out what happened to a group of scientists on a distant planet. As Adams and his crew head toward the planet in the lovely craft seen below, we get our first taste of the "electronic tonalities" that invade the entire film. While I was very entertained by the idea of "electronic tonalities," I sometimes wanted to laugh at them and sometimes wanted to mute them.

Adams and his crew discover that there is one scientist remaining on the planet... Dr. Morbius. Dr. Morbius tries to warn the crew away, eventually telling them that he is the lone survivor of terrible attacks by an invisible monster nearly 20 years ago. Dr. Morbius lives alone on the planet with his scantily dressed daughter Alta ("Ann Francis stars in Forbidden Planet") and their charming robot Robby researching the alien Krell, an incredibly advanced society that used to inhabit the planet and experiment with the power of their minds. Men flirt with and take advantage of Alta, Adams and Alta fall in love, Dr. Morbius becomes more and more grumpy, the invisible monster returns and is able to cross through a forcefield to rip good men to shreds... What will become of them all?

Some words about Alta:
*Like Snow White, she can call animals to her and speak to them. Even the tigers are her friends.
*She is not at all shy about going for the guy. While meeting several members of the crew she remarks, "Of course the two end ones are unbelievable."
*She is a semi-fashion designer. "What's wrong with my clothes? I designed them myself?"

Actually, it turns out that Robby is the real designer. Alta tells him her ideas, he makes suggestions, and then he goes off and creates the stunning items. Five stars for Robby. He is polite, helpful, and incapable of hurting humans.

Possible best line: "My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it!"

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