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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Blu-Ray
There a million reviewers out there who can do more justice to reviewing the film itself than I can, suffice to say that for me it is a superb film, and this is the consensus among most people that see it. I want to use this review to point out what a great Blu-Ray this is. As usual Warner Bros. has upgraded to Blu-Ray with love and attention to detail. First of all...
Published on 18 Oct 2012 by heavy_t

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars nice tin shame about the dent
Looks stunning on my book shelf except for the big dent that was thrown in FOC.. Other than that ......
Published 1 month ago by Richie O'shea


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which would you take home - the robot or the girl?, 26 April 2011
By 
R. Schiller (Chichester, England) - See all my reviews
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Few sci-fi movies capture ordinariness in the strange and wonderful worlds that they create but The Forbidden Planet does so in a masterly fashion. This is a great film and a game-changer in the history of sci-fi. When you watch sci-fi and think "those are great special effects" then that is a sure sign that the film has failed because if it was a good film then you would not be looking at the technicalities you would be engrossed in the characterisations and the plot. The Forbidden Planet has a superb plot so the effects are just a part of staging the story. Having said that the effects here are primitive by today's standards - the dust cloud left by the speeding vehicle being perhaps the least convincing. Yet at the same time the animations used for the monsters and the portrayal of the underground world can stand alongside what could be done today. When they edited this film they realised that, given their limitations, the effects should not be pushed too far and so the whole piece benefited from understatement forced by the basic contemporary working methods. So many modern films could so learn from that same tempered approach. The creators of Forbidden Planet got pretty much the right balance between delivering you to another world and keeping your feet firmly planted in the basics of life, love and ambition. Also; luckily for us looking back from the second decade of the 21st century Forbidden Planet was made in colour.

In terms of portraying an extraordinary world in ordinary terms Forbidden Planet was not equalled until Star Wars in 1977; 21 years later. However where the Forbidden Planet scores over Star Wars and the best of the genre, but also by some huge distance over lesser sci-fi, is in the sophistication of the plot. In one of my favourite scenes the writers find the most imaginative way of portraying the enormity of the available power that the vast underground machine can deliver. Sci-fi films, like action movies, too often fall into the trap of straightforward goodies where everything about them is super-wholesome and worthy pitched against baddies that are completely evil. The main plot here is so much more interesting and real than this classic reduction. OK; so there is not enough dialogue to really explore the ideas properly but in terms of direction it is spot on. The characterisations are also somewhat one-dimensional because they have to share the film with this wonderful plot and with all the explanation necessary in any sci-fi. However this helps make this an easy watchable film. It may be based on Shakespeare but it does not demand the endurance that the great bard's work often can.

As for the packaging here on the Blu-ray; you get a very good rendition of the film in HD alongside a good set of extras. A couple of documentaries rub shoulders with pretty much all of the work Robby the Robot ever did (I think). The other Robby vehicles are eclipsed by the main feature of course and no more than a curiosity for me but the documentaries are great at reminding you of the context of the film and giving some insight into its creation. For the Robby stuff; contrast "let's write a film that explores man's inner struggle from the primitive and the power of the mind" with "can we do something with this darn robot - after all it cost a fortune to build". Outtakes feature too and this all adds up to give you a reasonable backdrop - the kind of material you want to see as extras on the Blu-ray or DVD release.

Anyway; that is my humble opinion on what I consider a must-have addition to my collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 28 Mar 2011
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This is a great film, always enjoyed watching this film over the years, on tv. The special effects of this film, are way ahead of it's time, they are just amazing.

The picture quality of the blu ray is very good, but not perfect as it should be, there is a small, and I will say small ammount of grain still present, only at times, on the picture, but I am being critical here, as it is very good. The sound quality is very good.

The extras on this disk are great too, there is another full movie, The Invisable Boy, now some may not like this film, whether you like, or dislike, the fact they have given this film free on this disk, so no complaints here, there are many more very good extras too. The price we paid was very good, go for this film on blu ray, you will not be disappointed.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal., 25 May 2007
By 
Armchair Pundit "Armchair Pundit." (Durham City, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1956] [1957] (DVD)
At last, this seminal film is getting a quality release it's long deserved.

I still remember the tingle of apprehension I got the first time I heard Robbie say,

"Morbius, something approaching from the South West."

The eerie electronic score and sound effects also make this a film that stands out from the crowd of 50's Science Fiction,

and the design of Robbie the Robot is so good it's still an impressive sight now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever Science Fiction Film, 29 May 2013
This review is from: Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1956] [1957] (DVD)
This must be the best Science Fiction film of all time; perhaps because the plot, or at least the situation, is based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest". More than that, the actors throw themselves into their parts and every word comes across clearly. While the `advanced' technology is pretty primitive, the sets and model work are excellent. I particularly like the scene of the spaceship landing: it's spinning, it raises dust and it casts a shadow before touching down and coming to rest.

The characters match "The Tempest" quite closely: Morbius = Prospero, Altaira = Miranda, Robby the Robot = a clunky Ariel, Commander Adams = Ferdinand, the Id Monster = Caliban. There is even a drunken cook to match Stephano the drunken butler. The Id Monster is actually an improvement, for Shakespeare's Caliban proves to be harmless, while the Id Monster is invisible, powerful and deadly.

I wonder how much Gene Rodenberry drew on Forbidden Planet when devising Star Trek. There are several obvious parallels: a saucer-shaped, interstellar ship; a Captain, First Officer, Doctor and Chief Engineer as major characters; even the deceleration chamber effect looks like the Star Trek transporter.

One little scene particularly intrigues me. At the climax of the film Morbius, Altaira and the Commander are trapped in the Krell laboratory while the Id Monster breaks in. The Commander draws his blaster. Why does he do that? He knows it can't hurt the Monster. But if he kills Morbius, that will destroy the Monster too, since it comes from the mind of Morbius. Is he thinking of doing that? Saving Altaira but knowing she will hate him for killing her father? Or did the Director just include that action without thinking about its significance?

The message of the film is clear: if we ever do manage to colonise other planets, the evil that we experience there will be the evil we have brought with us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it!" - and so is The Invisible Boy!, 24 Jun 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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One of the comparatively few A-list 50s sci-fi films and a rare interstellar excursion for MGM in particular, Forbidden Planet still holds up remarkably well as one of the most intelligent and ambitious of its era. Adapting Shakespeare's The Tempest as a sci-fi film was an inspired notion, while the film's underpinnings in equal parts myth, sexuality and psychology adds another layer of depth and complexity that separates it from the pack of invasion and giant bug movies that passed for science fiction for much of the 50s.

Making his entrance in a cloud of dust, Robby the Robot is the breakout star but Walter Pidgeon is the one who truly dominates the film as the Prospero-like Morbius. He may joke about not being the mad scientist of lore, but, like the rest of the cast, Pidgeon plays it admirably straight, in his case as if he were playing Shakeseare in its undiluted form. He's an imposing figure, both in look and voice, but his Morbius is genuinely not a bad man - he doesn't want anyone to get hurt. But he can't control the hidden monsters the all but divine but long extinct Krell have unleashed on his isolated planet paradise and which stir again when a rescue ship finally arrives. And what a monster it is, too. You may only see a plaster cast of its giant claw or catch sketchy animated glimpses of its outline as it tries to break through an electric force field but anywhere in the galaxy this is a nightmare, and one that makes an unforgettable impression.

The rest of the human cast may mostly be made up of studio stereotypes - Leslie Nielson in a rare heroic leading man role before he became one of the industry's smooth villains of choice, Ann Francis as the innocent romantic interest, Jack Kelly's rival suitor, Earl Holliman's comic-relief cook - but the superb screenplay still gives most of them dialogue worth saying and offers one more complex character in Warren Stevens' doctor who finds himself attracted to the planet and tempted to risk his life to discover its secret. He ultimately plays a more decisive role in uncovering the nature of the beast and how it can be defeated than the nominal hero.

The film is certainly a treat for the eyes as well as the mind. While not photo realistic, the stylised special effects, painted background and animation are still strikingly effective today, with director Fred McLeod Wilcox, designers Irving Block (who co-wrote the story), Mentor Huebner and Arthur Lonergan and cinematographer George J. Folsey combining to make great use of the wide CinemaScope format. Its huge influence on the genre is certainly easy to trace: you'll find some shots copied faithfully in Star Wars, whether it's the hologram of Princess Lei or Obi-wan disabling the tractor beam, Gene Roddenberry used elements of it as the blueprint for Star Trek while its big idea - that the real monsters are inside all of us - would find itself cropping up everywhere from Solaris to Sphere without ever having quite the same satisfyingly primal effect it has here.

Although it's perhaps not a necessary upgrade if you already have the DVD, Warners' Bluray release is very impressive with a particularly strong and detailed CinemaScope transfer that hasn't been ruined by the kind of excessive noise reduction that makes the cast of so many older movies look like waxwork Botox victims, as well as a good stereo soundtrack that at times appears to favor the right speaker slightly, though that's largely because Walter Pidgeon is often kept stage left and has a much stronger, clearer voice than any of the other actors.

The extras package from the 2-disc DVD special edition has thankfully been left intact (though some trailers from other sci-fi movies of the 50s that were included on the US DVD have been dropped). The biggest surprise is perhaps that, along with nine minutes of fullframe special effects test footage from a print source, there are also some interesting deleted scenes taken from a workprint of the film, though sadly they only seem to survive in a poor quality letterboxed videotape source. Among them are Nielson speculating on possible forms of alien life ("They could be anything from Archangels to giant spiders"), a couple of scenes underlining why the tiger attacks - Doc Ostrow comparing Alta's calming effect on them to the myth of the unicorn worshipping purity and later coming up with a scientific rationale to support it - Robby driving the crew to Morbius' house against some dodgy backprojection, Nielson packing up a dead crewman's belongings, alternate unfinished versions of scenes with Robbie and the monster's original voices and a bit more dialogue from the end of the film. At times there's more of a poetic, mythical feel to the dialogue that harks back to the source, but they tend to be a little too on the nose about things better left inferred by the film.

Along with the original theatrical trailer (narrated by Marvin Millar, the voice of Robby the Robot) there's a good making of documentary featuring most of the surviving cast and many of the crew and a good 55-minute documentary on the flying saucer scares and sci-fi film explosion of the 50s that helps put the film in context. Robby the Robot also gets his due. Aside from a featurette about his construction, there are also a couple of extracts from the introductions to MGM's anthology series MGM Parade with Walter Pidgeon in costume introducing Robby Robot in the Krell laboratory, an episode from the 1958 Thin Man TV series with Peter Lawford and Robby and Robby's feature film follow-up, The Invisible Boy. Marketed heavily on his starring role, it's not a sequel but an Earthbound `modern day' (well, 1957) story

Where Forbidden Planet began with narration informing us that the space age truly began when man finally reached the moon at the end of the 21st Century, The Invisible Boy was released within a month of it starting in earnest when the Russians launched Sputnik. The budget's a lot lower - black and white with many reused sets and props, including the odd bit of Krell technology, and it's not in CinemaScope either - and the ideas aimed more at the kids who took Robby to their heart rather than the grownups. Here Robby's the robot pal of Richard Eyer, whose dad controls a computer containing the constantly updated sum total of man's knowledge but who can't even teach his son basic fractions. The computer is intended for military use and, this being the 50s, there are fears of `our friends across the Pole' stealing its secrets "because that's they're way of inventing things, isn't it?" (oh how they must have regretted that line when the Sputnik went up), but that doesn't stop dad from using it to boost junior's intelligence. Unfortunately the computer might just be sentient and have its own reasons for `helping' him.

Dialogue like "You put that thing in the garage and you leave it there" when Eyer introduces Robby to the unimpressed family (seriously, what does this kid have to do to impress them?) or "Stop all this nonsense and start behaving sensibly" when he becomes invisible doesn't exactly lend it credibility, though the film does assume a childlike point of view as his father simply thinks his transparent offspring is just doing it to get attention. And there's more than a hint of the more lurid side of childhood curiosity as our hero uses his invisibility to spy on his parents making out. At times there's such a child's dreamlike quality to it all that it's a surprise that Eyer doesn't wake up just before the end credits to find out it's all been a dream. Instead the film turns increasingly serious in the last half hour as Eyer disappears from the story in more ways than one, putting the focus on the grownups as the super computer goes all Forbin Project on them. Robbie does indeed go briefly on the rampage as promised by the posters, though other ideas - not least the tantalising hint that Robbie may have been brought back from the future - are quickly brushed aside. But then this is more about the studio getting its money's worth out of its expensive mechanical star after Forbidden Planet struggled to break even at the box-office than breaking new ground like its predecessor, and as such it's a decent but undemanding bit of 50s sci-fi paranoia. Unsurprisingly it doesn't get the same treatment on the extras front but the original trailer for the film is also included.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic must have cult scifi flick, 16 Aug 2003
this is a fantastic piece of scifi art that was above and beyond the repertoire of its then day counterparts!
in an era when star trek hadnt even been a twinkle in gene roddenberry' eye, this masterpiece was and still is a first rate combination of artists impression and human escapism ideology, an alround worth while film that every cult scifi fanatic should be made to watch!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, 27 July 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1956] [1957] (DVD)
As the previous reviewer said there isn't much more to be said. This is one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. Its even more remarkable for being over 50 years old now, as some of the special effects, if dated now, are good enough to make you think 'how the hell did they do that in 1956'? Remember no CGI at all.

Its influence on the original Star Trek series in terms of the story and the sets is clear for all to see: A long dead civilisation leaving behind a mind enhancing machine. An apparent Alien force that can't be seen. Sets made of polystyrene etc....

Quite a few important Science Fiction films were made in the 1950's, but this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. If you've never seen it you've missed an absolute classic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the fifties - and more?, 16 Jun 2007
By 
M. Porter (Chattanooga, TN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Forbidden Planet: 50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1956] [1957] (DVD)
This is probably one of the very best Science Fiction films ever made. I saw it when it first appeared (I was quite young!) and was overwhelmed. It is, of course, firmly based in the American genre - hopeful, romantic, and `hero' based but it does have the underlying sense of the danger of technology that surfaces much more in British films of this genre (e.g. `The Day The Earth Caught Fire', etc). I think that it is the adult nature of the story, including the romance between the captain and Altara (and who wouldn't fall in love with Anne Francis dressed like that!) that make the film so enjoyable. I don't know about `The Tempest', my knowledge of Shakespeare doesn't stretch past the historical plays but the storyline, the dialogue, the acting, and the script lend a feeling of completeness to the whole thing.

As one reviewer states, it is well known that Star Trek has it's birth in this movie and, indeed, it is seminal in the genre. There are many `references' to the film in the original series.

Considering it's age it wears very well indeed. The special effects are obvious but still work and the sheer size of the ideas (the Krell power system for example) and the space ship itself are all well presented. Of course no review would be complete without comment on Robbie - surely a superb creation that fleshed (if that the right phrase) out the idea of a robot.

All in all a must for anyone who likes SF. Modern viewers should not compare the special effects with those available today but can wallow in the excellence mentioned above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Id vs. ego, 3 Mar 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Forbidden Planet [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In the 23 century a rescue ship is sent to the planet Altar to look for survivors of an earlier expatiation. They find nothing except an ominous voice warning them not to land. What would you do?
Notice that the investigating party is the captain, first officer, and medical doctor. Can your say Star Trek?
This movie has many plusses as both sociological (people like to compare this to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”). Visual from the color of the sky to the accoutrements of Altiara (Anne Francis). The speculation on what would you do in this situation. And the introduction of Robby the robot who went on to be a star in other movies and a guest on many TV programs.
The movie was great I watch it over and again. However it made a major deviation from the book or the book by W.J. Stuart, also written in 1956, deviated from the movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden Planet...Not forgotten, 24 Mar 2013
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I remember watching this film as a child. The BBC had a Sci-Fi season on a Wednesday evening which followed Nationwide. It was in the 70's, & I rememeber having our first colour t.v. It would be fair to say that most of the movies which were shown in 'said' season were in Black & White, so what a most welcome surprise when the titles came on for 'Forbidden Planet'. What a fantastic treat for the eyes. The colour was then, & still is, Knockout. Forbidden Planet is perhaps a little long for some. And the screenplay writer went ape on 'big' words, 'big' explanations & basically, 'big' bollocks. But the movie is a 'classic'(?) Nice to see Walt Disney lent a hand in the animation. If you're in love with this genre, you'll be in seven heaven with this movie. I wanted more of the beast myself. However, I remember the giant footprints giving me food for thought as a kid - Happy days :O)
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