Combustible Celluloid
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With: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Richard Anderson, Earl Holliman, Robby the Robot, George Wallace, Bob Dix, Jimmy Thompson, James Drury, Harry Harvey Jr., Roger McGee, Peter Miller, Morgan Jones, Richard Grant, Marvin Miller (voice)
Written by: Cyril Hume, based on a story by Allen Adler, Irving Block
Directed by: Fred M. Wilcox
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 98
Date: 03/15/1956

Forbidden Planet (1956)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This sci-fi classic has always enjoyed a reputation for being more intelligent than it looks, based on Shakespeare's The Tempest and incorporating elements of Freud's "id," "ego" and "superego." But kids went to see the robots and the monsters, and waited breathlessly for them to arrive. Too long, it turns out. Like many other films of this period, it's more talk than action, and it can get a little dull. (I prefer Howard Hawks' The Thing from Another World, where the talk at least sounds interesting.) Plus, after Leslie Nielsen's brilliant deadpan turns in Airplane! (1979) and The Naked Gun (1988), it's difficult not to laugh when he's being serious in something like this. Nevertheless, MGM's full color, 'Scope production looks amazing, and Robby the Robot (voiced by Marvin Miller) steals the show.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video's new 2-disc DVD arrives for the film's 50th anniversary. Highlights include a second feature film, The Invisible Boy (1957), and an episode of the "Thin Man" TV series, Robot Client (1958), both starring Robby. Other extras include deleted scenes, making-of featurettes and more sci-fi trailers.

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