Forbidden Planet: Spoiler-Free Review

Robby the Robot and Anne Francis.jpgI 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.

4 thoughts on “Forbidden Planet: Spoiler-Free Review”

  1. And don’t forget the astounding amount of interest that the all-mail crew gives to the phallic-looking communication device. The engineer handles it with such delicate care in the film.

    This was definitely something I did not pick up on repeated viewings on TV. Forbidden Planet was quite a sexually-charged 50’s film. And seeing it on the big screen allowed me to catch details hitherto unseen: Altaira is definitely wearing a skin-colored outfit as she exits the pool. But I’d rather misremember her as being nude as she climbs out(the wonders of low-def TV!!)

    Anne Francis’ skimpy outfits really benefit from the higher resolution. Not to be missed.

  2. I still hold that the writer and/or director wants us to believe that Altaira is skinny dipping, and that her visible bathing suit is an “effect goof”, no different from seeing wires holding up a space ship. Or maybe it was there for the censors. I think Nielsen’s dialog and reaction really lead us in that direction.

    On the subject of Anne Francis, I did an image search and turned up very little! Since she has an official site, she really should be offering a big catalog of her photos for download, just as a promotional tool. All she has is a few photos she will sell or autograph. Too bad.

  3. Hey, don’t hold out on us… where’s that website?? I need Ann Francis movie memorabilia…

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