Forbidden Planet (1956)
69 TCM: Thursday, January 27 11:15 PM
1956, G, ***1/2, 01:38, Color, English, United States,
An astronaut (Leslie Nielsen) and crew land on Altair-4 in 2200 and find a mad doctor (Walter Pidgeon), his daughter (Anne Francis) and Robby the robot.
Cast: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Richard Anderson, Earl Holliman, George Wallace, Robert Dix, Jimmy Thompson, James Drury, Harry Harvey Jr., Roger McGee, Peter Miller, Morgan Jones, Richard Grant Director(s): Fred M. Wilcox Producer(s): Nicholas Nayfack
J. Michael Straczynski To Pen ‘The Forbidden Planet’ Remake
MTV Movie Blog said:
After generating some major mainstream buzz with “Changeling,” it looks like J. Michael Straczynski is making a big (and possibly risky) return to the science-fiction genre. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s been hired by Warner Bros to pen their remake of the sci-fi classic, “The Forbidden Planet.”
For those who haven’t seen it, “Planet” is the futuristic tale of an expedition sent from Earth to the planet Altair IV to check up on a scientific colony set up 20 years earlier. Only one member is left — Dr. Morbius, who lives with his daughter and Robby the Robot, the rest having been wiped out by a mysterious force. Morbius reveals he’s boosted his intellect with the technology left behind by Altair’s extinct race — but unsurprisingly, using it produces a few nightmares, too.
Now, don’t get too excited about this one yet — “Forbidden Planet” has had a troubled journey back to the big screen already. Over the years, it’s attracted directors like James Cameron, Nelson Gidding, and Stirling Silliphant. It was originally set up at New Line Studios, but as of last year was set up at DreamWorks, with David Twohy directing. Warner Bros snagged it secretly early this year, with Joel Silver producing, but it hasn’t attached a director yet. Straczynski and Silver are the only names keeping it from total limbo — and as we know from seemingly lost projects like “The Silver Surfer,” Straczynski’s scripts can go to waste.
Plus, there’s the risk that’s always associated with a remake: “Forbidden Planet” is beloved by many and its most memorable character, Robby the Robot, has a fan club that rivals Johnny Depp. But if there’s one writer who can update the movie for a new generation of sci-fi fans, it’s Straczynski.
Well, readers — is J. Michael Straczynski the man who can finally usher “The Forbidden Planet” back to the big screen?
I had always believed there were many story possibilities for a great Forbidden Planet sequel, not a remake. Leslie Nielsen could have had a cameo role as Captain J. J. Adams, much like Captain Pike did in Star Trek TOS. And I expect that a new version probably won't portray the C-57D anything like in the original movie, which always reminded of airmen from a WWII or early 1950's bomber crew.
Actually, there was a sequel ... well, sort of. In the second movie that Robby the Robot appeared in, The Invisible Boy (1957), there is a brief appearance of a photograph from the future, taken at the Chicago Spaceport in 2242 AD. It's supposedly Robby exiting the C-57D, no doubt after its return to Earth from the rescue mission to Altair IV. Despite the appearance of this movie poster, the film was pretty much a standard hokey 1950's kiddie story.
And here's a great piece of digital art by Paul Carrick. Robby on a solo mission?
Hello all, just incase you cant tell from my user name Im a big "Forbidden Planet" and "Robby the Robot" fan. Too bad we cant upload our own avatars here because I have a great pic of Robby.
Does anyone know where I can get free or not, MP3 downloads of Forbidden Planet sounds? And Robby the Robot quote's? For my MP3 player? I would especialy like to get Robby saying "Welcome to altair 4 gentlemen"
While reviewing the old topics in Forums > To Serve Man... > Movies I came across this tidbit of cinematic promise that is yet ANOTHER J. Michael Straczynskidissappointment. Forbidden Planet - IMDb
Reveals yet another potentially 'Good' movie stuck in Development Hell because JMS can't stand by his word.
A quick google search reveals a few tidbits on the issue:
Or, if you want me to put it simply: More felgercarb needs to happen.
It’s kind of funny that we’re discussing this in the wake of a review about scripts that are ‘too complex.” But that’s not really what we’re talking about here. Complexity has little to do with writing bigger plot points that happen more frequently, which was the problem with Forbidden Planet. This script needed more meat. Maybe in future drafts, they’ll slaughter more cows to get it.
What I learned: If you feel like you’re biding time in your script, you probably are. Think about that for a moment. If you ever feel like you’re adding scenes to just keep the story alive and keep it going, those scenes will be dead on the page. Every scene should move the story forward in some purposeful way. If you ever feel like you’re biding time, go back to the point in the script where that “biding” started, and start over again.
Movie Pilot writes this about the Remake on July 16th, 2015
2. FORBIDDEN PLANET (Remake/Sequel) - Twenty years ago, the Belerephon set out to explore the newly discovered planet Altair... and never returned. With no clues to what happened or evidence of the crew's status, the popular Earth space hero and reluctant Commander Adams is called away from his "early retirement" to lead a new crew on a 2 year rescue and salvage operation to Altair. There, they encounter a pair of unlikely survivors in Edward Morbius and his daughter Altaira, who seem to have not only lived but thrived alone on the planet, thanks largely to the massive amount of advanced technology left by the planet's extinct original inhabitants. Besides Morbius, his daughter, and a custom-built robot made from technological scraps, nothing remains or appears to have survived of the Belerephon ship or its crew, represented only by a small graveyard behind Morbius' colonial home. Strangely, though, the long-widowed Morbius adamantly refuses to return to Earth, even when his gorgeous yet naive daughter falls in love with Commander Adams. Despite showing them to Adams and his crew, Morbius also refuses to share the technological advances he has discovered. When the same violent patterns begin to form again, Adams and crew come to suspect that Morbius' vaunted, intelligence-enhancing technology may have contributed to the tragic end of the planet's original civilization... and of the Belerephon and the rest of its crew.
3. CURSE OF THE FORBIDDEN PLANET - Shades of THE OMEN hover over this surprising third act! Having finally been granted the early retirement he was promised, Commander Adams has returned an even bigger celebrity and public figure than he was when he left. Influential forces are pressuring him to run for public office even as he faces continued scrutiny for "failing" to rescue Morbius and bring back more evidence and answers, as well as for his relationship with Morbius' daughter Altaira, now 7 months pregnant and plagued with nightmares that further strain their relationship. On the eve of Adams' public announcement about whether or not he'll seek office, a public official and outspoken critic is found murdered after the Adams' seemingly benevolent robot inexplicably disappears for a day only to be found "unresponsive" in an alley near the dead official's home! To make matters worse, Altaira goes into labor and gives premature birth to their son, who barely clings to life despite the best care. As an official investigation begins, public scrutiny intensifies as one by one, critics of Adams, his family, and crew are found murdered in a pattern eerily similar to that of the Belerephon and the deaths of Adams' closest friends and colleagues on the forbidden planet. Sure enough, Altaira comes to a horrifying conclusion after realizing that her last nightmare came as the first murder took place... mere hours before their son's premature birth. Could there have been a genetic component to Morbius' technologically endowed, subconscious ability to use the same alien technology that comprises the robot Robbie to bring his own Id to life and seek vengeance on those threatening him? Could it now have been passed on - not to Altaira, but to she and Adam's innocent newborn son?
Today Forbidden Planet is of course completely outdated with its very ‘Fifties vision of what technology might be like one day (spaceships like flying saucers! golf carts traveling at high speeds!). However that is exactly where part of the movie’s charm lies: its very retro and quintessentially 1950s vibe. Any attempt to update it to a more generic “modern” post-Alien look will just be pointless. In fact a Forbidden Planet remake will be pretty pointless in any case. Despite its somewhat sluggish pace it is still quite an enjoyable flick today. Also, one is sure that the horror element of the story will probably be amped in any modern remake, and what we really don’t need at this stage is yet another “crewmembers menaced by alien on alien planet” movie right now. Not that we think that Straczynski will deliver a substandard screenplay, but we’re sure that Silver would want to amp the property’s more commercial elements to the detriment of its more intelligent leanings.
I'm kinda irritated at the whole ordeal. I WANT a new Forbidden Planet movie, Not because there was anything wrong with the original but because I find the concepts intriguing. Stop getting us fans all worked up then leaving us wanting.
I’ve been watching Forbidden Planet since I was eight years old in 1956 and saw it in a downtown Atlanta theater. Since that day so long ago, I’ve seen it about, oh . . . a gazzillion times.
And yet I occasionally notice things I’ve missed in the last half-century — or things somebody else spotted and pointed out to me.
Here’s a good example.
Orzel-w on All Sci-Fi noticed that the right stairway in the night scene shown below was painted incorrectly. Fans of the movie are aware that the entire upper half of this scene, along with the right half of the lower section, are actually a painting. Only the lower left-hand quarter is a real set on a sound stage.
It’s a beautiful painting — but the right stairway is not quite in the proper place and not at the proper angle. And the bottom of the stairway comes down too far.
Being an amateur artist who has a little skill with a pencil, a brush, and — yes — a computer mouse, I set to work and fixed the problem. Notice that in my version below, the stairway looks much more correct.
By the way, if you’re wondering why the second picture has several other noticeable differences compared to the first one, it’s because I couldn’t resist adding a bit more landscape on the left, and I filled in the left half of the moon. And, oh-what-the-hell, I painted in a big moon behind the small one on the right.
I guess there’s a little bit of George Lucas in all of us . . .
Once I got started on this project I went plumb wild. In the funeral scene shown below, the middle stairway is significantly further to the right than it is in the night scene — which means the ship is turned a few more degrees counterclockwise (relative to the viewer) than it is in the night scene.
That means the right stairway should be showing even more of the underside than it does in the night scene, because it’s positioned even further around towards the rear of the ship. And the angle should be steeper than the one on the left, since it’s tilted partially away from the viewer.
In short, the right stairway looks way too much like the left stairway, as if the middle stairway was pointed dead on. If it was, the two stairways on the sides would look the same — when in fact the ship is turned counterclockwise enough to cause the right and left stairs to look significantly different . . . if they had been done correctly.
The right one really ought to look like the wire frame version shown on the left in the CAD image below (rendered by Orzel-w, the guy who spotted the error in the stairway in the “night scene”). Compare it to the cropped shot from the movie on the right and you'll see what I mean. Note the differences in the angles and the widths of the stairways.
I painted out the ramp in the picture on the left and then pasted in the wire frame version of the ramp. Just like in the earlier scene of the ship at night, a large portion of the funeral scene — including the right side of the ship and the entire upper half — is a matte painting, and apparently the artist just didn't quite get that stairway right. Again.
But these minor errors in the ways the stairways were painting is nothing compared to the Mystery of the Big Gray Partition which an All Sci-Fimember named Robert Day spotted about a year ago.
In the scene that takes place shortly after the ship lands, Robby greets the ship’s three ranking officers, and there’s a shot of the men facing Robby which has something strange in the background.
What in the hell is this weird gray patrician, visible in the background? It’s only in this one shot. It is not the underside of the stairway in the back!
A close examination shows that it’s a vertical “wall” between the ship’s supporting pedestal and the edge of the rear staircase, blocking our view of the desert terrain beyond the ship.
What the scene would have looked like if that odd gray partition hadn’t been there is this.
However, the picture above is more of my tricky artistic shenanigans. I just painted out that crazy gray partition and painted in a desert landscape!
It looks pretty good if you don’t zoom in too close and discover that what I did looks like one of those paint-by-number kits they used to sell.
For the record, this post incorporates the best ideas from several posts I've done for All Sci-Fi, theScience Fiction Message Board, and theClassic Horror Film Board.
I wanted to contribute a really special thread for Forbidden Planet to Alien Soup, so I put together the most interesting observations about the movie I've come up with over the years. As the post above describes, several dedicated fans of the film have spotted some interesting anomalies in this great classic.
I hope some of the members will add their own unique observations to the thread.
Did anyone notice the guy standing at the center main support?
It looks like he is wearing his hat over his right eyebrow but the shadow on the ship shows his hat tilted up? His shadow is also facing the wrong direction?
I don't have very good eyes - Can someone with better peepers take a look?
Remember Leslie Nielson's black hair? Remember Robby the robot creating booze for the Irish cook? Fascinated by the Krell's underground city, boy I was, then this is the thread for you! Collectables? Books?, Maybe a new film in the works? One featuring the Krell before humans landed there. Maybe when the good evil doctor landed there and what really happened to his crew? Chime in sci-fi brothers!