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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Science Fiction Classic
This is an absolutely brilliant cult classic movie featuring a very young Leslie Nielsen. It is light-years ahead of its time, well made, highly watchable and definitely one for any sci-fi buff's movie collection.

Now, sure, these days we have CGI and all that good bananas, so you have to remember that this was made nearly sixty years ago and, yes, it looks...
Published on Jan. 5 2013 by Captain Canada

3.0 out of 5 stars DVD Features on a Forbidden Planet
This 1956 science fiction classic, loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, as critics enjoy lauding it, is a pure gem for the space enthusiast with a strong cast and captivating narrative. For more details on the plotline, search on This reviewer, however, is concerned with the quality level and virtually featureless aspects of the Warner Brothers DVD...
Published on Jan. 21 2004

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Science Fiction Classic, Jan. 5 2013
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This is an absolutely brilliant cult classic movie featuring a very young Leslie Nielsen. It is light-years ahead of its time, well made, highly watchable and definitely one for any sci-fi buff's movie collection.

Now, sure, these days we have CGI and all that good bananas, so you have to remember that this was made nearly sixty years ago and, yes, it looks like it. But considering the technical limitations that they had to struggle with, it's a bloody masterpiece! Seriously, I can't believe they were doing effects work like it then and clearly these pioneering boys blazed the trail for Jurassic Park's digital dinos, Gollum, Avatar and so on that we enjoy today.

Story-wise, it's a kinda riff on Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' and Walter Pidgeon turns in a very solid performance as the main antagonist (even if subconsciously) notwithstanding the fact that the script—and his character in particular—seems to spend the time over-explaining stuff. But it's nonetheless highly watchable and an enjoyable ride.

I should point out that Forbidden Planet is not a restored version like the *superb* recent Jaws or slightly less jaw-dropping Lawrence of Arabia, but the image quality on Blu-Ray is very good nonetheless and the colors are pleasingly vibrant. Also, the disc contains a bunch of special features including deleted and lost footage, documentary material and a couple of additional Robby The Robot flicks, bringing good value to the package.

If you love movies, sci-fi, filmaking or man-in-suit robots, this movie is a must have. Highly recommended, add to cart. :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 50's Sci-Fi. Heck, essential movie. Period., Feb. 9 2011
This review is from: Forbidden Planet [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A great gem of 1950's Sci-Fi. But let's not generalize. What you'll get is a great movie all around. Truly ahead of its time, you can see its influence on future films and TV, most notably "Star Trek". When compared to the 'giant monster/bug/reptile/anything features that passed themselves off as science fiction, you can't help but marvel at a studio backing, what is in some ways, a sci-fi version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest". Featuring an intelligent script that never insults the audience, memorable characters and great special effects, I can't recommend this film enough.

The film looks great on Blu-Ray, some great bonus features include an (all too short IMO) "Making Of" doc that contains interviews with an almost-complete cast, the designers of "Robby the Robot", and the musicians behind the unique score. Also included are some deleted scenes and rare lost footage, incredible for a 54 year-old film! There is a Turner Classic documentary of 50's Sci-Fi featuring directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron. Fun stuff.

The only drawback is no commentary track. What a shame. With the cast assembled for the documentary, why no commentary ? Sad, with the passing of Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis that this will not be possible in the future.

Otherwise, a must-own.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sci-Fi, July 4 2004
Stephen Kaczmarek "Educator, Writer, Consultant" (Columbus, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
Like all good film science fiction, "Forbidden Planet" keeps its concepts simple but their ramifications grand, which is just one of the reasons it is a timeless classic. Made at a time when sci-fi was the junk that kept restless kids in theater seats on Saturday afternoons, this ambitious take on Shakespeare's "The Tempest" nonetheless also aims for adults that grew up on the pulp fiction of the 1920s and 30s. (Its delightful production design is a seamless mix of colors, forms, and shapes familiar from those imaginative magazine covers.) The premise is Star Trek a decade before Star Trek, as a military cruiser commanded by the hard-nosed but humane J.J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen doing an effective melodramatic turn) visits a world populated by a secretive scholar (a wonderful Walter Pidgeon), his curious daughter (a sometimes grating Ann Francis), their robot butler (the epitome of mechanical men) and a mostly unseen terror (illustrated by topnotch Disney animators). Beyond great special effects and an innovative musical score, the film also engages a firm--if now familiar--science fiction plot, unlike so many of the noisy and expensive but ultimately overwrought and empty-headed sci-fi movies of today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Great Release, Feb. 16 2013
Theo (Gondwana) - See all my reviews
Forbidden Planet is perhaps the pre-eminent work of 1950s science fantasy. It is not by any stretch of the imagination hard science fiction, but it is a thoughtful and intelligent offering in its own way.

Famously (but very loosely) based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest", this is a movie where there are as many potential layers of meaning as you want to find. With Morbius cast as Prospero, and Prospero in turn very likely based on the Elizabethan magus Dr. John Dee, co-creator of the Enochian magical language, is it really a co-incidence that Morbius is himself a linguist?

There is much more that I'd like to say here, but I'm holding back for the sake of those who are not already familiar with the film. I don't want to give away any spoilers. For those who have seen the film, and who feel inclined towards such exercises, I'll just ask this: to whom - or what - would you assign the respective roles of Ariel and Caliban? How would you fit your answers in with the film's wider themes? And what do your answers suggest about how matter and spirit were respectively conceived in the minds of the Elizabethans versus the Americans of the 1950s? Just something to think about.

For those who haven't yet seen Forbidden Planet, I'd say first and foremost that this is a wonderful film that works perfectly well on the level of a straightforward adventure that a 10 year old could enjoy. As a piece of science fiction, I'd only stress that such depths as you will find are of philosophy more than science; although the classic technological themes of 1950s science fiction are played out in metaphorical form. Happily though, the reds under the bed/saucers in the sky metaphor that became such a cliché in so much of the science fiction of the day is nowhere to be found.

One thing I do want to add before moving on is that this movie is well worth seeing just for the set design alone. Whether you consider it classic or dated is up to you; but for myself I will simply say that never have I seen the visual lexicon of 1950s science fiction expressed more completely.

Okay then: so much for the film. How about the DVD? Well, I'm happy to say it's awesome! Picture quality is beautiful, and there are LOADS of extras, and really good ones too. We get heaps of period promotional material, including in depth behind the scenes stuff and even an extra bonus kids' movie that also used Robbie the Robot as a prop. Incidentally, because I have seen some reviews that I've written appear for editions or releases other than the one I originally wrote them for, let me stress that I'm writing all this about Forbidden Planet (Two-Disc Special Edition).

If you check out my reviewer profile, you'll see that I'm not one of those reviewers who hands out five star raves like candy. But if you have any interest at all in classic science fiction, this is a film that you MUST see. And if you're looking for the finest possible DVD release, to the best of my knowledge this is it.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic SF movie, May 31 2014
Rosanne Levi (Woodstock, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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I've always loved Forbidden Planet from the first time I saw it on television.

By today's standards, the pacing is slow, the fx are a little silly looking, and there's a certain amount of sexism inherent in the culture of the day.

That said, the story, loosely based on Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" is marvelous. Set in the 2200s, a group of space explorers goes looking for the remains of the crew of the Belerophon, an exploration science vessel lost 20 years previous. When the crew arrive on the planet, they are warned away by Morpheus, the only survivor of a cataclysmic event that killed of the rest of the crew of the expedition. Due to the insistence of the commanding officer J.J. Adams played by Leslie Neilson (in the unfamiliar role of a serious leading man) the ship lands. We then meet Robbie the Robot in his first appearance ever, who takes the commander, his second in command and medical officer to meet Morpheus (played by Walter Pidgeon).

As the story unfolds, we find out about the Krell, a benevolent race that lived a 1000 years ago, that mysteriously vanished 200 centuries ago. We also meet Altaira, Morpheus' daughter, who (naturally) falls in love with the dashing commander. Forces that killed off the Krell, and the crew of the Belerephon start to go after Adams crew as well. Without spoiling the ending, Morpheus sacrifices himself and the ship, with Altaira aboard take off, to see the planet with all the knowledge of the Krell explode into nothingness.

It was filmed and treated as an A quality fim, and influenced many of the great science fiction brought to the big and small screens. I highly recommend this for a quite movie night in with the lights low, the phones turned off and a big bowl of hot buttery popcorn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden Planet - The Id of Your Life, May 17 2012
Peter Karsten "Osiris" (Australia) - See all my reviews
The 1950's was the golden age of science fiction, many great films were made, that even now influence our lives and thoughts today. One such film is Forbidden Planet, and for me. It is still one of the best films-and perhaps the only film that has a unique sound track which can not be beaten. Not only that but it introduced one of the best great robots of all time - Robby, this robot is so iconic, it-or he is instantly recognisable.

Before I go on, I just have to say that the music for the film was and still is ahead of its time, and if you watch the credits it comes under `Electronic Tonalities' by Louis and Bebe Barron, this inspiring couple used no musical instruments to compose the weird and wonderful music of Forbidden Planet; and if you look at the theatrical posters of the time, this couple's names are not mentioned - the Academy didn't even recognised the film score as music-how ignorant is that? Because no actual musical instruments were used, Louis and Bebe used tape and electronics to compose the now unforgettable haunting sound for the film. In my mind both Louise and Bebe Barron should receive honorary Oscars for original film score-its well overdue.

Now as for the acting skills of the performers, Walter Pidgeon is perfectly cast as Dr. Edward Morbius, you don't know wether to love him or pity him in his struggle with his Id, and over developed intellect. Then there's the lovely Anne Francis as Altaira, Morbius' daughter, beautiful, naïve, and bright. Leslie Nielsen as Commander J. J. Adams, strong and heroic. Warren Stevens as Dr. Ostrow-unusual name, wise, intelligent, a close friend of the commander. It seems there are shades of the Kirk and McCoy between these two men, as the characters/actors work well together. Jack Kelly as Lt. Jerry Farman, another friend of Adams, a likeable easy going guy, obviously a ladies man. Plus two other recognisable actors early in their careers are Richard Anderson (Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman), as Chief Quinn, and Earl Holliman (Police Woman), as Cook, giving a light comedic touch to the film. A well balanced cast in my opinion.

Okay, let's look at this 50th Anniversary Edition of Forbidden Planet, first when it states that it is the Ultimate Collector's Edition, you must never use the word `Ultimate' because it implies it contains everything and anything-well this edition-doesn't-of course thus you'll end up scrutinising it no end-and yes you guess it, I'm going to do just that; let's have a look at what you get anyway:

1] Forbidden Planet (Widescreen)
2] The Invisible Boy (Widescreen-bonus movie feathering Robby)
3] 17 Lobby Cards (reproductions 5A size-approx of both films)
4] Forbidden Planet - Deleted Scenes and Lost Footage
5] Excerpts from `The MGM Parade' TV series with Walter Pidgeon
6] `Client' episode with Robby from the TV series `The Thin Man'
7] 3 Documentaries: `Amazing! Exploring the Far Reaches of Forbidden Planet', `Robby the Robot: Engineering a Sci-Fi Icon', and `TCM Original Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us'
8] Science-Fiction Movie Trailer Gallery
9] 3.5" figure of Robby the Robot

All the above is presented to you in a tin case-which is itself worth getting.

Now in regards the Robby the Robot figure, which was one of the main reasons I got this DVD Edition. I am really disappointed because there is a little false advertising involved, if one looks at the back of the box, the figure of Robby is about 21cm tall, compared to the other merchandize shown, but in reality it is about 9cm (3.5" inches tall), even though it states in small print that the figure is 3.5" Actual Size. (Even on the Amazon website picture shows what I mean) It is obvious that the Marketing Department wanted to sucker us in-well it worked with me, and looking at the metal box it came in, you can easily fit a 6" inch Robby figure. So the point is don't be fooled-seeing is not believing.

So is this really the Ultimate Edition-well no, because there's no such thing, I mean if we are featuring Robby as a bonus in what he has done over the years, then two more acting skills should have been included in this 50th Anniversary Edition: 1] the Lost in Space episode, "The War of the Robots" and 2] the Ark II episode, "The Robot", (this episode showed Robby with a different look than what we are used too) and there are more, of course like than appearance in Wonder Woman for example.

Plus there are two other things I would like with this edition, a booklet, describing the movie, some production notes, cast & crew listing, and any trivia, as well as a CD of the original Film/Music sound track. Why is it that special, anniversary or collector editions don't have CD sound tracks, I'm sure the collector would like to hear the musical score-wouldn't you?

All in all this 50th Anniversary Edition of Forbidden Planet is cool, and the film is my third all-time favourite sci-fi film, and it's easy to see why. You can get just the double DVD without the Robby figure, but if you go that far-go the extra, you won't be disappointed.

One final point, Forbidden Planet is pure science fiction at it's best for the era, and it still hold up today, this is science fiction as it was meant to be, this film set standards for future films to follow. Today's science fiction is dead-film wise, there is no imagination left-ok-ok, what about Star Wars? What about it? Its in a different league of science fiction and it and it successors are really merchandize driven, (today's generation are of a different mind-set) as with all other sci-fi/fantasy films.

Thanks to [...] for additional information on the cast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars planet interdite(forbiden planet), Sept. 16 2009
planet altair 4 en 2257.le vaisseau spatial béllérophon et son équipage ne répondent plus.pour leur porter secours,une mission emmenée par le commandant adams est lancée:le vaisseauc57d décolle à son tour pour la mystérieuse planet.accueillis à leur arrivée par robby un robot à la pointe de la technologie, ils découvrent le docteur morbius et sa fille,seuls survivants du bellérophon.les révélations de ces derniers sont stupéfiantes:les krells, des etres dotés d'une intelligence exceptionnelle...qui jadis peuplaient cette planet
on mystérieusement disparus,laissant derriéreux un étrange vertige capable de fournir une quantité d'énergie impressionnante..cette étrange force qui élimina un à un les membres de l'équipage serait-elle à l'origine de la disparition des krells?
un fim defred mcléod vilcox.un film sortie au usa en 1956 en cinémascope EN COULEURE .des effets spéciaux super des couleurs flamboyantes,avec Walter pidgeon ,anne francis,leslie nielsen.

qui jadis peuplaient cette planéte,ont mysterieusement disparus, laissant derriere eux un étrange vertige capable de fournir une quantité d'energie impressionnante
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5.0 out of 5 stars 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition (2006), Feb. 11 2007
Richard Daystrom "creator, M-5 multitronic unit" (Daystrom Institute, Earth, United Federation of Planets) - See all my reviews
Product reviewed: Forbidden Planet: Ultimate Collector's Edition (2006)

Forbidden Planet (1956) is a classic on several levels, as many reviewers have aptly stated. This review concerns the 50th anniversary set. There are two such sets. The first is a two-disc dvd pack. The second includes the same two discs plus a few souvenirs. Either of these are the versions to buy for anyone who appreciates science fiction.

Positives: The two-disc set is a welcome and long-overdue tribute to Forbidden Planet. To me, the most interesting of the bonus features was the hour-long documentary "Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us" (2005) which featured George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and narration by Mark Hamill. I was thrilled to find the episode of The Thin Man tv series (1958) that featured Robby the Robot, and the disc two film The Invisible Boy (1957) was a delightful find.

What's missing: There will only be one 50th anniversary of Forbidden Planet, and although I appreciated the bonus documentaries, I would have liked two more features. First, an audio commentary track either from remaining cast members, or preferably from a film historian would have been wonderful. Second, on-screen textual commentary would have been a nice touch as well, especially for such a special effects classic. Something along the lines of what Michael and Denise Okuda have contributed to the Star Trek films would have made this package very special.

The Ultimate box set also includes a 5 cm tall Robby figure, reduced-size reproductions of lobby (front of house) cards, and an attractive, painted tin container. While the extras are very nice, I would say that they do not justify the extra cost, and would recommend the plain two-disc set as adequate for most buyers.

Language options are adequate. Subtitles: Eng., Fre, Spa. Audio: Eng., Fre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Hypnotic illusions don't tear people apart!!!", April 27 2004
D. Knouse (vancouver, washington United States) - See all my reviews
4.5 stars. Nearly fifty years later it is truly amazing how fresh this movie still looks and feels. I have always believed the primary component of any lasting film is a great story. As a child I was as mesmerized by this film as much as I was with "Star Wars." The script is both highly intelligent and highly entertaining, with much more humor and believable horror than one would expect from a 1956 film. The direction is polished and inventive, with arcing tracking shots and clever editing techniques strewn throughout the picture. The acting here is very good, with a defining performance from Walter Pidgeon as Doctor Morbius, and a surprising dramatic turn from later-day comic actor Leslie Nielsen. The supporting cast all shine, each one containing more depth of character than is normally given to secondary roles. There is a tidy ending where a chain-reaction is started by merely turning a disc then throwing a switch, with irreversible effects. A Master Race of beings create a machine 20-miles-squared that can be destroyed that easily? Not likely. Regardless, this is still one of the best Sci-fi films from the 1950s. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Clean Fun, Feb. 14 2004
David (Jacksonville, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This is one of those movies that I love to watch over and over again. There's just something about the movie that draws me to it. The acting, for the most part, is laughable. Leslie Nielsen--back when he was still doing serious roles (how old is that guy?)--is particularly funny when trying to look his most serious. Just check out the expression on Nielsen's face when Morbius tells Nielsen of his premonition of death. You also have a young Richard "The Six Million Dollar Man" Anderson as the chief engineer and an equally youthful Earl "Police Woman" Holliman as the burbon-guzzling cook.
Walter Pigeon, in the role of Dr. Edward Morbius, a marooned scientist who has developed a god complex, is probably the only actor who plays his character to a high level of credibility. Rounding out the major players is Anne Francis, who plays Altaira, Morbius's "come hither" daughter.
Francis, too, gave me cause to laugh in this movie. She starts out as a 20-something, naive nature lover who's never kissed a man and, in the space of a couple of days, turns into a deliberately passionate woman who throws herself into the arms of Neilsen and spouts off lines like: "I'm ready to go with you, darling." Pretty funny stuff.
Now, I don't want you to think I'm trying to trash the movie. The story is excellent, although it was regarded as being too cerebral at the time of its release (with it's talk of "the Id"). Mindful of their viewing audience at the drive-ins of the day, moviemakers eventually placed emphasis on Robbie the Robot--Morbius's mechanical helper who can balance ten tons of metal shielding in the palm of one hand (and not tip over or sink into the ground!).
The story isn't all that complicated. A ship is sent to check on another ship that landed on the planet Altair 4 years earlier. They arrive to find everybody dead except Morbius and his daughter. Nielsen wants to evacuate the two, but Morbius has found the remnants of an now-perished civilization called the Krell and doesn't want to leave. Using their technology, he is able to harness the power of the mind and create anything from the nothing with a mere thought. But there's one problem--everybody has dreams and nighmares when they sleep. Hence, the cause of the demise of the Krell.
I won't give away the ending--I've probably given away too much already. The movie's special effects were considered cutting-edge at the time and hold up surprisingly well. And Robbie was probably the forerunner of robot designs to come for the next decade or so. Amusingly, you can find set pieces, and even the uniforms the crew wears, being used in quite few other movies of the period.
Overall, highly recommended.
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