OOOhhhh! Flipping through the channels...surfing the cable and ...WOW! What is this? Cool! C57D, a flying saucer with, YES it's Leslie Nielsen as a boy! I mean, Captain! Forbidden Planet, was MGM's high-budget, risky venture at making the one of the finest Color Sci-Fi classics in the 50's. Unlike many of the low budget movies of the genre, FP remains to this day a very entertaining and captivating film. I have to say, that it changed my life as a kid, because it gave me the desire to explore more books about Sci-Fi. Monster movies are my favorites, and speaking of monsters, the one in FP is on the top of my list of BEST MONSTERS (those you really don't want to ever meet in a dark...even a well lit alley). Yes, AVP (Aliens Versus Predator) may be wonderful, but this monster beats every monster movie monster, by leaps and bounds!
The story: Based on a screenplay by Irving Block and Allen Adler (Fatal Planet), it takes its inspiration from Shakespears' THE TEMPEST. In a nutshell, Spacemen come to rescue a lost group of colonists, only to find that most have died long ago. Only Dr. Morbius (Walter Pigeon) and his daughter Altaira (Anne Francis) remain. They tell Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) that 20 years ago, when they first landed, some invisible power killed everyone but Dr.Morbius and his wife (now deceased from natural causes). Soon, we find that the good Doctor has discovered that the KRELL, a once powerful race of aliens, lived below the surface of Altair-4 (where they are) and they created a machine that is 20x20x20 miles square (thats 8000 cubic miles of Klystrons and Relays...and they never stop self repairing themselves!). Well, before you know it, the Monster is back...and people are dying...and well, the big, bad disintigrator beams from the ship's main weapons are simply NOT stopping it! I LOVE THIS MONSTER!
I must mention that this was the first movie with ROBBY THE ROBOT. ROBBY was based on Asimov's Robots Rules of order, and for the most part was just a big lovable teddy-bear. He could never hurt anyone, but watch how Morbius proves this by having Robby point a "BLASTER" at the Commander! The way Nielsen clinches his fists was so telling!. Sure, the robots in I ROBOT are very cool, but they can't make diamonds like ROBBY can.
The sets were beautiful, the saucer flies perfectly (notice the shadows and the dust when it lands). So much here that you simply must watch very closely to the detail, it really is worth it. Speaking of detail, the Monster was pretty easy...because it was MOSTLY invisible. Joshua Meador (on loan from Disney Studios) made the animation of the monster. It is Crude by comparison to the new Computer Generated Animation (CGA), but for its time it was AWESOME! The monster, by the way, is powered by 2700 thermo-nuclear reactors, and can recreate itself, microsecond after microsecond! NO! IT CANNOT BE DESTROYED! (You thought ALIENS were tough! HAH!)
Well, there is a little love story going on with the Commander and Altaira, and Daddy doesn't like it. Go Figure! Anyway, I won't give it all away, just GET IT AND ENJOY!