Sunday Matinee: Forbidden Planet

sunday-matineeIt’s the 23rd Century and the crew of Starship C-57D have reached the planet Altair IV to check on an expedition that landed there 20 years ago. They are contacted by Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) who tells them everything is fine and go away. Naturally Commander John Adams (Leslie Nielsen) ignores Dr. Morbius and lands anyway to complete his mission.

When they land the crew is met by a robot named Robby who takes them to see Morbius. They meet Morbius’ lovely daughter Altaira (Anne Francis) and then the good doctor himself. Morbius informs Commander Adams that the entire expedition party except for Morbius and his daughter have been killed by a mysterious force but they themselves are fine but Adams should leave the planet as soon as possible. That night something sabotages the C-57D.

forbidden-planetAdams goes to confront Morbius and finds out that he has been study and dead alien race called the Krell who used to live on the planet. Some of their fantastic equipment and buildings still exist and the knowledge that Morbius has learned so far has helped him build stuff like Robbie. Meanwhile Altaira has fallen in love with Adams. That night something attacks the ship again killing several crew members but this time it gets caught in the protective force field where it appears to be a huge invisible monster of some sort. Adams then goes to confront Morbius.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Forbidden Planet. The movie was pretty ambitious for the time. It was a serious science fiction film about a crew investigating an alien planet. It was a huge hit for MGM and it’s influenced a generation of sci-fi films and TV that followed. It influenced Gene Roddenberry when he created Star Trek 10 years later. MGM recycled Robbie the robot and the spaceship into other movies and TV shows. Robbie was in the movie The Invisible Boy. He was also reused in several TV shows from The Thin Man to The Twilight Zone (which also featured the ship in several episodes).

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.