Friday, July 30, 2010

Forbidden Planet - Trailer (1956)

Forbidden Planet (1956) is a science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox, and whose screenplay was written by Cyril Hume. Its three starring actors were Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, and Anne Francis. Its characters and its setting were roughly inspired by those of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest, and its plot has many similarities. Forbidden Planet features special effects for which A. Arnold Gillespie, Irving G. Ries, and Wesley C. Miller were nominated for an Academy Award (the only major award nomination that this film received in 1956 - 57). Forbidden Planet also features the groundbreaking use of an all-electronic music musical score. Also in this film is the character, "Robby the Robot", who was one of the first movie robots who was more than just a "tin can" and who had a genuine personality.
During the early 23rd century, the United Planets Cruiser C-57D has been sent to the planet Altair IV, 16 light-years from the Earth, to investigate the fate of a space expedition sent 20 years earlier to establish a colony. At first, Dr. Edward Morbius radios the crew to warns them to stay away, but the starship's captain, Commander John J. Adams decides to land on Altair IV, anyway. The spaceship is met by Robby the Robot, who takes Cdr. Adams, Lt. Jerry Farman, and Lt. "Doc" Ostrow to Dr. Morbius's house. Morbius then explains to them that an unknown phenomenon had killed nearly all of the other members of his expedition and destroyed their starship, the Bellerophon. Only Morbius, his wife (who died later of natural causes), and his daughter Altaira, born on Altair IV and now 19 years old, remained. Morbius fears that the crewmen of the C-57D will also by slaughtered by the same unknown phenomenon. Altaira herself has never met another man besides her father, barely remembers her monthet, and she is interested in learning about human relationships.

Morbius explains that he has been studying the "Krell", the natives of Altair IV who, despite being far more advanced than humanity, had all mysteriously died during a single night 200,000 years before -- just as they had achieved their greatest triumph. Morbius shows Cdr. Adams and his party a device that Morbius calls a "plastic educator". Morbius explains that the captain of the Bellerophon had tried it, and he had been killed immediately. When Morbius used it, he barely survived, but he doubled his intellectual abilities as a result. He claims that this enabled him to build "Robby the Robot" and the other technological marvels in his house. Morbius next takes them on a tour of a vast cube-shaped underground Krell installation, 20 miles in each direction and powered by 9,200 thermonuclear reactors. This complex had been operating and maintaining itself ever since the extinction of the Krell. When asked about its purpose, Morbius cannot answer: he knows only that it can supply a practically limitless supply of power. One night, a valuable piece of equipment in Cdr. Adams's starship is damaged, though the sentries who had been posted spotted no intruders. In response, Adams commands that a defensive force-field fence be set up around his starship. However, this defense proves to be useless when whatever caused the damage returns, passes unseen, and unharmed through the fence to kill Chief Engineer Quinn. Dr. Ostrow is confused after examining the footprints that it left behind, saying that the creature appears to violate all known evolutionary laws. The intruder returns again on the next night, and it is discovered to be invisible. Its appearance is revealed only in outline by the beams of the force field and the crewmen's weapons. Several men are killed by the monster, including Lt. Farman. While he is asleep in a Krell laboratory, Dr. Morbius gets wakened by a scream from Altaira. At that instant, the creature vanishes. Later, while Cdr. Adams confronts Morbius at the house, Lt. Ostrow sneaks away to use the plastic educator, but he is mortally injured. Just before he dies Ostrow tells Adams that the underground installation was built to materialize any object that the Krell imagine. However, that the Krell had forgotten one vital thing: "Monsters from the id!" Morbius objects, pointing out that there are no Krell left. Adams replies that Morbius's mind — expanded by the plastic educator and thus able to interact with the gigantic Krell device — had created subconsciously the monster that had killed the rest of his expedition 20 years earlier -- after they had voted to return to the Earth. Morbius scoffs at Adams's theory. When Altaira declares her love for Cdr. Adams in defiance of her father's wishes, the alien monster of the mind comes after them. Dr. Morbius commands "Robby" to kill it, but "Robby" freezes, unable to harm a human being. Robby recognizes the monster as an extension of Morbius, and his only way to destroy it would be to kill Morbius. The creature breaks into the house and then melts its way through the nearly-indestructible door of the Krell laboratory where Adams, Altaira, and Morbius have taken refuge. Morbius finally accepts the truth that the creature is an extension of his own mind, and he tries to renounce it. When Morbius is mortally injured trying to intervene, the creature disappears permanently. While Morbius lies dying, he directs Cdr. Adams to press a lever that sets the Krell complex to self-destruct. Adams, Altaira, Robby, and the rest of the starship's crew take off for outer space. From there, they witness the destruction of the entire planet of Altair IV from a safe distance away.

The original screen story by Irving Block and Allen Adler in 1952 was titled Fatal Planet. Then its screenplay by Cyril Hume was renamed Forbidden Planet - because this one was believed to have more box-office appeal.[4] Block and Adler's drama took place in the year 1976 on the planet Mercury. An expedition headed by John Grant was sent to the planet to retrieve Dr. Adams and his daughter Dorianne, who have been stranded there for twenty years. From then on, its plot is roughly the same as that of the final film, though Grant is able to rescue both Adams and his daughter and escape the invisible monster stalking them. The film sets were constructed at a Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) sound stage on its Culver City movie lot, and they were designed by Cedric Gibbons and Arthur Longeran. This film was shot entirely inside movie studios, without any genuine outdoor scenes. All of its "outdoor" scenes were simply simulated with movie sets and visual effects. A full-size mock-up of about three-quarters of the C-57D spaceship was built to suggest its full width of 170 ft (51 m). This simulated spaceship was surrounded by a huge painted diorama of the supposed desert landscape of Altair IV. This one set took up all of the space in a Culver City sound stage. Forbidden Planet is the first film in which humans were depicted traveling in a flying saucer of their own construction. Later on, this simulated spaceship was re-used for several different episodes of the The Twilight Zone TV series, which were also filmed at the same location. At a cost of about $125,000, "Robby the Robot" was a very expensive film prop of its time.[6] The electrically-controlled landcar or "dune buggy" driven by Robby and the tractor-crane truck off-loaded from the C-57D spaceship were also constructed specially for this film. "Robby the Robot" was later reused in the movie The Invisible Boy, and it appeared in numerous other TV series and movies. Like the C-57D, "Robby the Robot" (and his vehicle) appeared in episodes of The Twilight Zone. The animated sequences of Forbidden Planet, especially the attack of the "id monster", were created by the veteran animator Joshua Meador, who was lent to MGM by Walt Disney Pictures. Curiously, the film clips showing the shape of the invisible monster - outlined by the blaster beams - were evidently removed from some of the prints that were shown on television. Presumably, this was because its appearance was considered to be too terrifying for younger viewers. It was decades before these sequences were restored to the film. According to a "Behind the Scenes" feature in the DVD of this film, a close look at the creature shows it to have a small goatee beard, suggesting that it is connected with Dr. Morbius, the only character with this feature. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

FRED M. WILCOX  (1956)

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