Forbidden Planet: the film that went to Krell and back for science fiction (movie retrospective).

The human race has accomplished the unthinkable by the 23rd century, with technologies like faster-than-light travel, interplanetary exploration, and humorous robots. It’s time to bring in Forbidden Planet, says our damn fine chap Stam Fine, looking at the 1956 picture that revolutionised the science fiction genre and remains a classic.

Forbidden Planet, directed by Fred M. Wilcox and produced by Nicholas Nayfack, is an adventure film about a mysterious organisation on the planet Altair IV. The plot centres on Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen), who leads the crew of the United Planets spaceship C-57D as they investigate the disappearance of a previous trip to the planet.

When they get there, one of the scientists from the previous trip, Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), warns them not to land because of the unknown hazards. Adams, however, disregarded the warning and landed the ship, only to learn that the planet was full of high-tech inventions, ancient ruins, and a mystery planetary force that had killed the previous team.

Yet Robby the Robot, one of the most well-liked movie robots of all time, steals the show. Robby has more going for him than simply being a metal man on legs; he’s also got charm, humour, and a secret cocktail recipe all his own. The antics and technology he uses make him the best sci-fi sidekick ever.

It’s true that the picture features impressive CGI and cutting-edge gadgetry, but it’s about much more than that. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, this film is both witty and thought-provoking. The film’s examination of the subconscious and the perils of absolute control are remarkably complex for its era.

In addition, Bebe and Louis Barron created a ground-breaking electronic score for the picture. This was the first film score ever composed entirely of electronic sounds, ushering in a new era of musical creativity for the cinema.

Forbidden Planet was well received by audiences and critics alike at its initial release, and its popularity has only increased with the passage of time. The many science fiction movies and TV shows that came after it, including Star Trek, all owe a debt to it. In 2013, the National Film Registry recognised its historical and cultural value and added the movie.

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