I just saw this SciFi classic last night, as part of a double feature with The Day the Earth Stood Still. Experts were on hand to provide more information (including, unfortunately, spoilers). I had never seen it before, but now agree it definitely deserves it’s status as classic SciFi. It was a big budget film back in ’56 ($1.2M), so the sets look great, esp. on that Technicolor film.
Even better looking is Altaira, played by Anne Francis . The 50’s were a great time for objectifying women, and Anne Francis was definitely worth the effort. She runs around the entire movie in ultra-flimsy micro-miniskirts and bare feet, pretty much just like the photo (although her hair is much blonder int the film). In fact, according to Wikipedia, she helped launch the miniskirt craze. It’s no stretch that Commander Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and his crew (all male, average age 24.6) are comically falling for Anne’s naive character. Nielsen, who’s almost unrecognizable to someone who knows him from his Naked Gun films created 30+ years later, does a good job, although we heard he wanted to play it cooler but the producers were against it.
And, of course, there’s the iconic Robby the Robot. Robby was built for Forbidden Planet, but has made many appearances in film, TV, and commercials since then. He also has the best line in the film, delivered when Altaira complains he took too long to arrive when she called him:
Sorry miss, I was giving myself an oil job.