Forbidden Planet (1956)
Altaira's a Peach
After a year of travelling Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and his crew have finally approached their destination, Altair-4 where they are to look into the mysterious disappearance of a population of scientists. There they discover Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his attractive daughter Altaira (Anne Francis) live in comfort with Robby the Robot. But something is not right on Altair-4 and there seems to be a strange force behind the scientist who have disappeared with only Dr. Morbius aware of what is really going on.
For a long time I never got sci-fi, yes as a child born in the 70s I loved the action and energy of "Star Wars" whilst enjoying the horror of "Aliens" but beyond that I really didn't do science-fiction especially of the space variety. That is until the last couple of years when having bitten the bullet have tried to get what so many love above the genre and whilst more often than not I haven't been that impressed I get why some love the genre and why some movies are held in high regard.
That brings me to the classic "Forbidden Planet" the movie which took the b-movie sci-fi of the early 50s and turned it into something much bigger and more impressive, paving the way for not just the likes of "Star Wars" but also "Star Trek". Now there is no denying that "Forbidden Planet" is visually stunning and even now almost 60 years after it was made the sets and the general look is impressive in fact it is more impressive than many a movie made now with bigger budgets. On the subject of look there is also Anne Francis as Altaira in what can only be described as a cheekily short dress who frequently commands your attention.
But "Forbidden Planet" is more than just a movie which looks great as it is also has a fully developed storyline which has a touch of everything from the mystery of what happened on Altair-4 to the horror of what starts to happen and of course with the attractive Altaira some romance as well. I am not going to go in to detail as to what happens other than to say that "Forbidden Planet" paved the way for many sci-fi movies to follow as well as a TV series and the story manages to combine many ideas which are now familiar. The only issue is that this is a sci-fi movie which isn't about the action and as such has a slower pace which won't be to everyone's taste with some scenes which almost seem to have no purpose such as a comedy scene involving a crew member, Robby the Robot and his bottle of whisky.
What this all boils down to is that "Forbidden Planet" is a very good movie and that comes from someone who generally doesn't care for 50s sci-fi. It is easy to understand why "Forbidden Planet" is so important in the history of cinema and even if the storyline doesn't grip you due to the pacing the look, the acting, the humour and much more including Anne Francis will keep you entertained.
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