Thursday, June 26, 2014

Forbidden Planet (1956)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Forbidden Planet (1956).

Leslie Nielsen is better known for his parody movies. This is his best movie. This is about thirty years before he became parody specialist. You may not notice, it is the same man, if you didn't know. Forbidden Planet is different kind of scifi movie in many way. It was quite different, when it was made. Soundtrack wasn't considered as music and composers weren't nominated for Oscars. Music was electronic noises at the time, when only handful of people made any kind of electronic music. It was mix between music and sound effects. It gave movie other worldly tone. At the time scifi movies were generally located at Earth. This happened at alien planet, which really looked like alien planet. And this had big budget.

Story is one of the best in scifi. I don't remember seeing anything similar in movies or television. Movie tells about rescue mission of expedition sent to Altair IV. Rescuers find only scientist and his daughter there. Everyone else has died and ship was destroyer. Scientist and daughter haven't had any problems for years. Scientist didn't want rescuers to land. He didn't want them to suffer faith of expedition. Things start to go wrong for rescuers. Someone or sabotages their ship. After that crew member gets brutally killed. When rescuers investigate Scientist's house, he reveals planet is actually home of ancient alien race Krell. Krell were highly advanced civilization, that disappeared overnight. They left behind self-sustaining great machines. Scientist have studied machines whole 20 years he has been on planet.

I won't spoil the whole story. I just say, that twist and ending are unexpected, but make perfect sense. Story is told like in best original Star Trek episode. Star Trek came years after this movie and was heavily influenced by this movie.  Movie showed, what serious science fiction movie looked like. Star Trek did that to tv series. Many ideas of Star Trek can be found in this movie.

Movie has three characters, that make it memorable. Scientist, scientist's daughter and Robby the Robot. Movie is quite boring before rescuers land on planet. There are reasons, why we remember Leslie Nielsen from his comedies. You can't be sure, if scientist is good or evil. Robby the Robot is his robot. He shows, it can do no harm to people, but you can't be sure, because you don't know, if you can trust the scientist or if he is in control of the robot.

Forbidden Planet is big budget scifi movie. It shows, what you could do at the time, if you put money in to it. I watched HD version of the movie. It looked good for almost 60 years old movie. It is one of the best scifi movies of 50's along with The Day the Earth Stood Still(1951) and War of The Worlds(1953). It is only one of the trio, which didn't have remake. There were plans for remake, but movie never came.


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