“The fool, the meddling idiot! As though his ape’s brain could contain the secrets of the Krell!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
While I’m annoyed by Robby — his interactions with a tippling cook (Earl Holliman) are especially groan-worthy — I actually believe the film’s worst error is its lack of (strong) female characters. Forbidden Planet immediately and unambiguously fails the Bechdel Test, given that there is only one female character (Francis) who is thus unable to talk to another female about anything, let alone a topic other than men. Indeed, nearly all of Francis’s dialogue centers ON men — from her growing understanding of what this “sexual attraction” thing is all about, to which man she will (inevitably) end up attached to, to how she can dress in a way that will make the men more comfortable, etc. She’s ultimately little more than skimpily dressed eye candy.
Of minor interest is the fact that Forbidden Planet‘s storyline is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest — though we never fully understand why Morbius is so protective of his daughter, given that the “Freudian-incestuous elements are toned down.” Once the narrative centers on Nielsen’s exploration of Altair-IV and his growing understanding of Pidgeon’s history on the planet, however, we immediately become drawn in — thanks in large part to the truly “marvelous design of Altair-IV and the Krell underground chambers”, as well as some nifty special effects. Also wonderfully innovative is the “electronic music by Louis and Bebe Barron”. Regardless of its flaws, film fanatics will likely want to check this one out at least once, given its popularity and historical importance.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)