Forbidden Planet (1956)


I watched one of the most classic sci-fi films ever made on Svengoolie. This 1956 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie has a starship crew in the 23rd century going to investigate the silence of a distant planet’s colony, only to find just two survivors, a powerful robot, and the deadly secret of a lost civilization. produced by Nicholas Nayfack (“The Invisible Boy” Robbie the Robot’s second appearance), and directed by Fred M. Wilcox (“Lassie Come Home”, “Courage of Lassie”).

The movie’s script, originally titled “Fatal Planet”, is by Cyril Hume (Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), Tarzan Escapes, The Great Gatsby, and The Invisible Boy) based on an original film story by Allen Adler and Irving Block. They had based on the story of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest[1]“.

Anne Francis was known largely for her physical assets including a trademark mole near her lower lip. In 2005, TV Guide ranked Francis at number 18 on its “50 Sexiest Stars of All Time” list.

  • Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Edward Morbius – (September 23, 1897 – September 25, 1984) Forbidden Planet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Funny Girl, The Bad and the Beautiful, Big Red, Advise & Consent, Harry in Your Pocket, TV episodes of Rawhide (“The Reunion”, 1962), Breaking Point, The F.B.I., Marcus Welby, M.D., Gibbsville
  • Anne Francis as Altaira “Alta” Morbius – (September 16, 1930 – January 2, 2011) Forbidden Planet, Don’t Go Near the Water, Funny Girl, TV episodes of The Untouchables, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, Burke’s Law, Death Valley Days, The Virginian, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Honey West, The Invaders, Dan August, Columbo, Gunsmoke, Barnaby Jones, Dallas, The Golden Girls, Conan the Adventurer, Without a Trace
  • Leslie Nielsen as Commander John J. Adams – (February 11, 1926 – November 28, 2010) Ransom!, Forbidden Planet, Counterpoint, The Poseidon Adventure, The Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!, Prom Night, Creepshow, The Creature Wasn’t Nice, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, The Naked Gun 2+1⁄2: The Smell of Fear, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Naked Gun 33+1⁄3: The Final Insult, Spy Hard, Mr. Magoo, Wrongfully Accused, 2001: A Space Travesty, Scary Movie 3 & 4, Superhero Movie, TV episodes of Wagon Train, The Untouchables, Route 66, The Fugitive, The Virginian, Peyton Place, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Columbo: Lady in Waiting, Night Gallery, M*A*S*H, Kung Fu, Police Squad!, Herman’s Head, Family Guy
  • Warren Stevens as Lt. “Doc” Ostrow – (November 2, 1919 – March 27, 2012) Gorilla at Large, Forbidden Planet, On the Threshold of Space, Cyborg 2087, Stroker Ace, TV episodes of Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Hawaiian Eye, The Richard Boone Show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Rat Patrol, The Time Tunnel, Combat!, Mission Impossible, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Star Trek, Bonanza, Wonder Woman
  • Jack Kelly as Lt. Jerry Farman – (September 16, 1927 – November 7, 1992) Cult of the Cobra, Forbidden Planet, TV episodes of Maverick (Bart Maverick), The Lucy Show, Batman, Alias Smith and Jones, McCloud, Hawaii Five-O, The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, B. J. and the Bear, The Fall Guy
  • Richard Anderson as Chief Quinn – (August 8, 1926 – August 31, 2017) Forbidden Planet, Curse of the Faceless Man, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Tora! Tora! Tora!, TV episodes of Perry Mason, The Rifleman, The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Combat!, Big Valley, Mission: Impossible, The Invaders
  • Earl Holliman as Cook – (born September 11, 1928) Forbidden Planet, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Visit to a Small Planet, Sharky’s Machine, TV episodes of The Twilight Zone (premiere), Wide Country, It Takes a Thief, Alias Smith and Jones, Police Story, Empty Nest, P.S. I Luv U, Caroline in the City
  • Marvin Miller as the voice of Robby the Robot – (July 18, 1913 – February 8, 1985) actor and narrator, Red Planet Mars, King Dinosaur, Godzilla Raids Again, Forbidden Planet, The Deadly Mantis, The Invisible Boy, Sleeping Beauty, The Phantom Planet, Panic in Year Zero!, Invasion of Astro-Monster, MASH, Fantastic Planet, Gremlins, TV episodes of Space Patrol, The Millionaire, The F.B.I, The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, The Green Hornet, The Pink Panther Show, Mission: Impossible, Land of the Lost, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Wonder Woman. Police Squad!
  • Frankie Darro as Robby the Robot – (December 22, 1917 – December 25, 1976) A Day at the Races, Forbidden Planet, The Ten Commandments, Operation Petticoat, TV episodes of The Untouchables, Batman
  • George Wallace as Bosun – (June 8, 1917 – July 22, 2005) Radar Men from the Moon, Francis Covers the Big Town, Forbidden Planet, The Towering Inferno, Protocol, Prison, Hot to Trot, Multiplicity, Bicentennial Man, Minority Report
  • Robert Dix as Grey – (May 8, 1935 – August 6, 2018) Forbidden Planet, Frankenstein’s Daughter, Blood of Dracula’s Castle, Live and Let Die
  • Jimmy Thompson as Youngerford – (Born October 30, 1925) Singin’ in the Rain, Brigadoon, White Christmas, Forbidden Planet
  • James Drury as Strong – (April 18, 1934 – April 6, 2020) Forbidden Planet, Love Me Tender, Good Day for a Hanging, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, TV episodes of Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, The Virginian, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Alias Smith and Jones
  • Harry Harvey, Jr. as Randall – (October 9, 1929 – December 8, 1978) Forbidden Planet, TV episodes of Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Roy Rogers Show, Men of Annapolis, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, One Step Beyond, Tales of Wells Fargo, The Wild Wild West, Mannix, Starsky and Hutch
  • Roger McGee as Lindstrom – (April 30, 1922 – October 27, 2013) Our Gang Follies of 1938, Francis Goes to West Point, Forbidden Planet
  • Peter Miller as Moran – (January 2, 1930 – October 7, 2003) Rebel Without a Cause, Forbidden Planet, TV episodes of Navy Log, Mike Hammer, The Thin Man, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, General Hospital, Remington Steele, Tales from the Darkside
  • Morgan Jones as Nichols – (June 15, 1928 – January 13, 2012) Forbidden Planet, Not of This Earth, TV episodes of Death Valley Days, Highway Patrol, The Blue Angels, The Twilight Zone, The Tim Conway Show, Hazel
  • Richard Grant as Silvers – (July 14, 1928 – December 24, 2007) Francis Joins the WACS, Forbidden Planet, On the Threshold of Space, TV episodes of Boston Blackie, Craig Kennedy Criminologist, Dragnet, The Loretta Young Show, Perry Mason
  • Les Tremayne as the Narrator – Les Tremayne – (April 16, 1913 – December 19, 2003) Francis Goes to West Point, The War of the Worlds, Forbidden Planet, The Monolith Monsters, From the Earth to the Moon, The Monster of Piedras Blancas, The Angry Red Planet, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mutiny on the Bounty, Goldfinger, War of the Planets
  • James Best as a C-57D crewman – (July 26, 1926 – April 6, 2015) Winchester ’73, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Francis Goes to West Point, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Caine Mutiny, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Forbidden Planet, Gator, Hooper, TV episodes of Death Valley Days, Have Gun Will Travel, Wagon Train, The Andy Griffith Show, The Rifleman, Cheyenne, The Twilight Zone, Flipper, Bonanza, Ode to Billy Joe (TV movie), The Dukes of Hazzard (Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane), In the Heat of the Night
  • William Boyett as a C-57D crewman – (January 3, 1927 – December 29, 2004) Forbidden Planet, Airport, Gemini Man, Space Raiders, The Rocketeer, TV episodes of Sea Hunt, Emergency!, The Young and the Restless, Death Valley Days, Have Gun – Will Travel, Star Trek: The Next Generation (Lt. Dan Bell)

The crew flies C-57D, an earth ship sent to Altair 4 to find out what happened to a colony mission sent there 20 years earlier. This was the first movie to be set entirely on a foreign planet. It was also the first to have an electronic score. It was composed by Bebe and Louis Barron[2]. Robert Kinoshita was the main designer for Robby the Robot. His prior job had been designing washing machines.

Kinoshita would go on to later design the robot for “Lost in Space”. The special effects sequences in the film, notably the Id Monster attacking the crew, were designed by Joshua Meador, who was on loan from Disney for the project.

Forbidden Planet was shot on the same stage as The Wizard of Oz, with bits of Munchkinland used for Altaira’s garden. Some of this movie’s costumes would be re-used in the 1958 movie “Queen of Outer Space”. This is a great sci-fi movie, I was very impressed. I can see where franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek got a lot of inspiration. I’ll give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Click on photos to enlarge

  1. The Tempest is a play by English playwright William Shakespeare, probably written in 1610–1611. After the first scene, which takes place on a ship at sea during a tempest, the rest of the story is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, a complex and contradictory character, lives with his daughter Miranda, and his two servants: Caliban, a savage monster figure, and Ariel, an airy spirit. It explores many themes, including magic, betrayal, revenge, and family.
  2. Bebe Barron (June 16, 1925 – April 20, 2008 (aged 82)) and Louis Barron (April 23, 1920 – November 1, 1989 (aged 69)) were two American pioneers in the field of electronic music. They are credited with writing the first electronic music for magnetic tape composed in the United States, and the first entirely electronic film score for the MGM movie Forbidden Planet (1956).

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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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