forbbiden planet, the 55th anniversary

March the 15th, 1956,  MGM released one of the first big budget Science Fiction films ever,  and was a huge block buster and now is considered one of the most beloved classics that the studio has ever produced.  Sci-fi was not a theme that a major studio wanted to back financially in the early days, but seeing the reactions of audiences that would attend small budget space movies inspired  MGM to take the gamble of making a major motion picture based on a fantastic Science Fiction story set in Deep space. Obviously the gamble payed off, and the movie inspired a look and culture that we still see copied in features today. The film was ground breaking on many levels with state of the art special effects, miniature & stage work, and a very realistic mixture of hand animation intermixed with live action shots. MGM was one of the main studios that pioneered animation and live action, not only with Forbidden Planet, but 11 years earlier in 1945’s “Anchors Aweigh” where Gene Kelly dances with Jerry mouse from the famous Tom and Jerry shorts. “Forbidden Planet” was based on a story by Irving Block, & Allen Adler, with a screenplay by Cyril Hume, and masterfully directed by Fred McLeod. Starring Leslie Nielsen (who passed away last year on Nov. the 28th 2010), and Anne Francis, (who passed away a month and a half later on Jan. the 2nd, 2011) the supporting cast was a wonderful ensemble of actors that went on to have equally amazing careers. The film introduced a new character who without a doubt is probably one of the best known figures of all time and he isn’t even human. Robby the Robot, created by Robert Kinoshita stands as one of the most popular movie robots of all time. Mr. Kinoshita also designed the B9 robot from “Lost in Space” and between the two it’s hard to say which one is the top fan favorite. On so many levels this film is not only a classic and a milestone of cinematic achievement, it’s overall an awesome movie to watch. Every time I get a chance to watch this one I see something new and like it more than the last time. My 9 year old daughter Alyna loves this picture and because of the classics she’s going to be a Sci Fi maniac by the time she’s 18. She’s a lover of space drama and it is a such a treat as a parent to watch these old films with her as everything is new and amazing from her point of view.  Lots of screen grabs to see and enjoy, and I hear the new blue Ray version is the way to see “Forbidden Planet” weather your a fan or someone who wants to see it for the first time.

opening titles

George Wallace is the actor on the left, He played Commando Cody in the Republic serial "Radar Men to the Moon" in the early 50's followed by Leslie Nielsen, and Warren Stevens on the right

George Wallace as Cody

note the shadow of the 57-D saucer is created with a different color of ground

the introduction of Robby the Robot

the home of Morbius

Walter Pidgeon as Morbius

Anne Francis

the hate to love relationship begins

the big kiss

the Krell Laboratories

Help me Obi Won Kanobie,, I mean it's Anne Francis in 3D

the invisible horror approaches.

a casting of what left the prints in the sand

fighting a hidden enemy

Monsters of the ID as seen in the force field barrier

more of the ID

Morbius is made to realize that the Monsters are coming from his own imagination

morbius relaizes that to kill the monsters of his mind he has the them kill him

Morbius's last request is to hit the self destruct sequence to end the horror of the Krell, the destruct trigger is copied heavily in the self destruct mechanism aboard the Nostromo from "Alien"

reaching escape distance before the blast

Robby is now a part of the crew, and note his cardboard legs,, The actual legs could not bend this way so a quick solution was to paint them on board and hope nobody would notice.

the destruction of Altar 4 as seen from space, another scence closly copied in Alien


45 Responses to “forbbiden planet, the 55th anniversary”

  1. 1 Thomas
    March 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Oh very nice! I just watched this movie on Blu-ray the other day. Classic.

    • 2 johneaves
      March 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

      How nice is right!!! Is it a lot clearer than the above images,, these are off the original DVD

      • 3 Thomas
        March 17, 2011 at 3:57 am

        They do seem to be. I grew up watching it on VHS so the Blu-ray looks and sounds really impressive in comparison.

  2. 4 evil_genius_180
    March 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I just watched my DVD again the other day, though I didn’t know it was the anniversary. Cool stuff. I love this film, not only is it a great flick but it’s one of those pioneering Sci-Fi films. You can see a lot of things in it that would be influences on later Sci-Fi, especially Star Trek. 🙂

  3. 6 Buckaroohawk
    March 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Good to have you back, John! “Forbidden Planet” is one of those rare films that hold up as well today as it did when it was released, and it’s one of my all-time favorites. Everything about it works; from the production and costume design to the acting to the special effects, it all fits together perfectly. The forced perspective, miniature, and matte shots inside the huge Krell complex are astounding as is the animation of the Id monster during the forcefield battle scene. And we can’t forget Robbie the Robot. He’s the face of this movie (as evidenced by the movie poster above) and he stands alongside C-3PO and R2-D2 as one of the most recognizable robots in the history of film. Plain and simple: I love this movie!

    There was talk a few years ago that there was to be a remake of this film, but I hope it never comes to pass. If the lackluster update of “The Day the Earth Sttod Still” taught us anything it’s that some classic films don’t need to be redone. They should be left alone.

    • 7 johneaves
      March 16, 2011 at 7:07 am

      Nice to be back too, Thanks, I completely concur with you about everything you said and I was actually on the remake for a while, Erwin Kershner was going to direct it and Stan Winston’s group was going to do all the creature and robot work. 4 pages into the script though the disaster began and by the 10th page it would truly have been an unforgivable sin to continue. Blasphemous and a horrible retelling of this story was in the works and We were all glad when it went down!!! Yes LEAVE IT ALONE!!!
      I am a little worried about this remake of “The Thing” “OZ” and the “Alien” Prequel, So far the only movie that was remade that stands true to the Original and I think in many ways better, is the Coen Brother’s “True Grit” that came out around Christmas time!!!

      • 8 Terry
        March 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

        I think the difference here is that the Coen Brothers did not try to remake the John Wayne version of “True Grit” they went back to the original book and made a new version of that. And L. Fran Baum who wrote the OZ stories made several movies in the early 1900’s and there were people who thought the ’39 version was a remake.

        But with Forbidden Planet, it was a milestone film, it, like Star Trek, showed a realism that was lacking in Sci Fi at the time. Really the only bad thing I would say is that unlike Trek, it does not show a diversity in its crew. I have seen it many times over the years and it never gets old.


      • 9 johneaves
        March 16, 2011 at 9:58 am

        Really, I didn’t know that about the OZ stories.
        Yes I loved that the Coen’s used the book as their starting point, and when i heard it was Ethan and Joel behind this project I had to stand up and jump for joy!!! No one else could have pulled True Grit off as perfectly as the Coen’s did!

      • 10 Snafu
        March 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm

        The new “The Thing” movie is a prequel that shows what happened at the Norwegian base camp. It seems the people doing it are giving it their best, so lets hope it is a decent film.


      • 11 Buckaroohawk
        March 17, 2011 at 12:52 am

        John, you were going to work on the FP remake? I’d LOVE to see some of your designs for it, if you even got to that stage, that is. Hard to believe it seemed to be such a train wreck, especially with the people involved. Then again, just because you have good people working on it doesn’t mean you’ll get a good movie at the end.

        I’m not too concerned about the prequel to “The Thing.” The stuff I’ve seen and read so far really makes it seem like they’re trying to keep the new film in line with John Carpenter’s version, so I’m keeping an open mind. The “Oz” remake/sequel/prequel/reboot/whatever isn’t my sort of thing so I haven’t given it much thought. The “Alien” project seems to have everyone confused at the moment. Ridley Scott has said that the film isn’t really a prequel, but an original story containing elements that could fit in with the “Alien” franchise; including (apparently) the revelation of what happened to the gigantic “space jockey” seen in the first film. Any other facts about the film are being held under tight lock-and-key so we’ll just have to wait until it openes to find out.

        And yes, “True Grit” was an astounding film! The original is a favorite, so I was a bit worried when I heard about the new movie. I shouldn’t have been, though. The Coen Brothers knocked another one out of the park. They got it right and their version of “True Grit” has it’s own soul. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

      • 12 johneaves
        March 17, 2011 at 8:33 am

        I have my reservations about the Thing, Ron Moore from Star Trek, Galactica, wrote the original script which was brilliant, and I am crossing my fingers that it is a good movie when all is said and done!!!! I sure want it to be

  4. March 16, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I love this movie a ture classic. If 2001 a space odyssey, is the father of the moden sci-fi movie, then this is the Grandfather.

    The one thing that I always love about this movie, is that we are in a flying saucer and not the bog standard Rocket ship that you saw before this and after.

    I need to pick this up on Bluray. My daughter who is 4, is also a budding sci-fi fan would love this film. Her current favoirte film is AVATAR the director edtion. It amazed that she can sit though all 3 hour of that without getting board.

    • 14 johneaves
      March 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

      WOW I am so glad for you Sci Fi dad!!! not many of the kids today get into this fantastic realm of wonder… I haven’t seen Avatar yet but hope to soon..

      • March 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

        You’ll love it, even if it is Dance with wolfs in Space and Pocahontas.
        I love both of these stories. If you don’t, well your eyes will be given a real treat. LOL

  5. March 16, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I love this movie. I think it is the first time that a vision of the future was credibly depicted on the big screen. Forbidden Planet set countless standards (plot-wise and visually) that are still valid today.

  6. March 16, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Alex says hello. As you can imagine he’s been a fan of this movie since about age 4. Now at the ripe old age of 7 he’s thinking of tackling Polar Lights C57d cruiser.

  7. 19 johneaves
    March 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

    how cool, and so nice it’s affordable on the shelves again, i got mine off of ebay a few years back and about broke the bank

  8. March 16, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I am into SciFi because of this film. I remember, as a kid, seeing this on TV and was amazed. It was serious, it was about who we are and what we can become (for better or worse). And most of all, it did it all in a thoroughly entertaining way. I recommend this to people all the time. They are amazed at how a (as of now) 55 year old film can hold up to it’s contemporaries.

    I just watched 2001 this weekend, a 43 year old film!, and was thinking how old some of these classics are.

    I totally love Robby the Robot! Thanks for sharing those images and nice to hear from you again!

  9. March 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’ve never actually seen this movie. Something to rectify…

  10. March 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I love this film. I don’t have it on DVD yet, still using an ancient VHS of it. I’m sort of surprised 60s Star Trek never got Leslie Nielsen for a guest star role. He was doing lots of bad guys on tv then, and would have been perfect for a corrupt starship captain or admiral. On a side note, imagine how great Ed Asner would have been as a Klingon. One nitpick on your article– the Republic serial George Wallace appeared in was “Radar Men from the Moon.”

  11. 26 the bluesman
    March 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    John what a great post! Forbidden Planet still holds up well today, as far as story, characters and production and I will put thier 1950’s effects up against CGI any day.

    • 27 johneaves
      March 17, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Indeed, I love the opening when the Saucer is approaching camera and you see the little dissolve from the animated saucer to the miniature for the fly over.

  12. March 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Loved Forbidden Planet. I must get the BluRay! You didn’t mention that Babylon5 made a wonderful tribute to the Krell Machine in “A Voice In The Wilderness”

  13. 31 La Violetta
    March 17, 2011 at 12:47 am

    My boyfriend and I took the opportunity to show one of our younger friends this movie for the first time tonight. He was in complete disbelief that it was made in 1956! Finally he got to see something that I first experienced as a little girl and something that’s shaped my tastes in sci-fi, adventure, and entertainment in general. He came away quite impressed by the classic film. It was great to see it again and even greater to get to share it with someone who became a new fan!

    • 32 johneaves
      March 17, 2011 at 8:41 am

      How cool and it is a treat to see these old favorites with new viewers!!! How fun also to see how many friends here are all inspired by the same things!!!

  14. 33 Scott D
    March 17, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Such a classic. I remember seeing this on TV in my youth, and to me it was so different than original BSG and the TOS Reruns. And cool at the same time. 😀

    • 34 johneaves
      March 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

      Nice that when imaginations are free to fly how many different points of view can tell stories in the same genre,

  15. 35 Sotirios Moshonas
    March 17, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Here is a 3D Daz picture of the USS Tempest – Registry Number: NCC-C57D Neilsen Class Starship (name after the late actor Leslie Neilsen):

    I hope you enjoyed it, sir. The USS Tempest was created by a young gentleman name Bill. He uses a nickname in the 3D Daz community forum, known as “Redfern”.

    Here is the original page where I found the USS Tempest:

    Please give credit is due to “Redfern”. Mr. Dexler has already seen the USS Tempest when I send the USS Tempest on Facebook. He like it. Very starfleet style.

    Thank you, sir.

  16. 37 Bender23
    March 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Cool pics from one of my all-time favorite flicks! Thanks, John! Hope things are going well for you and the fam!

    • 38 johneaves
      March 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks and all is good, we are contemplating a big move from dingy California to beautiful Wyoming at the moment!!!

  17. 39 Matt Boardman
    March 20, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Holy shamolly! Back up for some air!

    I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t seen this one yet! :: quickly adds it to the list of movies to watch :: Thanks for the reminder of it, John!

  18. 40 Patron Zero
    March 20, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Simply said, without the imagery and innovation of Forbidden Planet, there would be no Star Trek.

  19. March 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Um, being made in 1956, would make it the 65th anniversary.

    Amazing movie. A true classic that is always a pleasure to watch.

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March 2011

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