Forbidden Planet (1956) – Reviewed

Like This Island Earth, Forbidden Planet is one of only a few big-budget, major studio, shot-in-color science-fiction flicks from the 50s. Leslie Neilsen (The Naked Gun series) and Anne Francis star in the interplanetary adventure in which a saucer-full of future earth men discover a mysterious scientist (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter on their rescue mission to the titular location. There’s a giant invisible monster which appears as purple electric sparks (via impressively-integrated animation) when blasted or electrocuted. It’s a physical manifestation of the human id(!) that’s set off by negative vibes. The sets and alien-vista matte shots are remarkably effective with a futuristic art-decco aesthetic. The iconic Robby the Robot makes his debut here. (He was an expensive prop for MGM so they’d eventually reuse him in other features.) Francis wears super-short skirts, has a (nudity-free, natch) skinny-dipping scene and more than one lengthy kiss — very sexy. FP is a classic for a reason and a must-see for fans of that era’s sci-fi. In addition to its scale and budget, the unique story and sharp performances that make it exceptional. Both the film and Francis are referenced in the opening song, “Science-Fiction Double Feature,” from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

~ by Number5ive on November 2, 2008.

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