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    Forbidden Planet

    I just got finished watching Forbidden Planet. I can certainly see why it's so highly regarded. It's a very interesting story, and one that now having seen it, I can see in a lot of other works I've seen and read over the years. I've seen elements from it in The Wheel of Time for instance. About the only problem I really had with it was that score. That synth warbling was just annoying. There was even a part where Morbius played some Krell music and it just sort of blended into the other audio that was going on at the time. But heh, I guess I can't be too hard on the film though, as it was released in 1956. They clearly spent a lot of time and effort on the effects and sets, too. The only other issue I had with the movie was the pacing early on was sort of plodding and the acting was kind of spotty in parts. All in all though, it's worth watching. As a period piece it does still stand up.

    It makes me wonder what the upcoming remake is going to be like. We can hope that J. Michael Straczynski will do a good job with it.
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  • #2

    For the time of its release, the acting was actually considered very good. Actors were required to portray their parts that way, so as not to leave audiences wondering what was attempting to be conveyed. Yeah, Hollywood had pretty low expectations of audience sophistication back then.

    As a period piece, it set several benchmarks. It was the first science-fiction film to depict men traveling outside the solar system. It was the first film to depict men traveling faster than light. The special effects for the film were the best ever seen in a science-fiction movie at the time. The Morbius monster was done by a professional animator on loan from the Walt Disney animation studios. They featured the first robot made for a movie that wasn't just a tin suit. (Yeah, Robbie cost well over $100,000 in today's money to build - an absolutely unheard of budgeting allocation for a single movie prop for the era.) And then the last benchmark was the story itself. Never before had a science-fiction tale of such sophistication been seen on the big screen up to that time. It wowed audiences and garnered rave reviews.

    As to the sound track, you have to understand the era the movie was made in. Back then, synthesizers were something anyone ever only got to hear about on the news or maybe, if they were lucky, learn something about them in college. To hear one performing an entire movie's soundtrack, during this period, added an extra degree of wow factor for audiences. It helped to greatly set the movie apart from its science-fiction contemporaries, who were still using 1940's era big band music.

    By today's standards it is something that most anyone might roll their eyes at. But as a period piece, it stood as second to none. I saw it for the first time when I was about six. It wowed me. I watch it on occasion still. It still wows me to this day. Now a days I watch it for the sheer artistry and care that went into it, which is what still wows me about it. The painstaking care that went into it, the depth of the story, the animations and special effects. Also, for a kid who grew up in the late sixties and early seventies, it made quite an impression. So I guess you could say, it is also a nostalgia trip for me.

    As for seeing elements of its story in other works, that's easy to explain. The story was a direct adaptation of the classic Shakespearean play 'The Tempest'. Almost all of Shakespeare's work has been adapted to make other stories work. His work remains to this day one of the main go-to's for almost all TV and movie writers and producers, and a lot of novelists, too. It only stands to reason you're going to see shadows or elements from one story in another. Seldom will you see though, something that was a direct translation from a famous Shakespearean play, which indeed, Forbidden Planet was.

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    • #3

      Originally posted by Rick Canaan View Post
      For the time of its release, the acting was actually considered very good. Actors were required to portray their parts that way, so as not to leave audiences wondering what was attempting to be conveyed. Yeah, Hollywood had pretty low expectations of audience sophistication back then.
      Oh the style of acting isn't what I was referring to. I know this was a thing back then. I was more referring to the couple of times that Morbius Uhm'd and Uhh'd his way through his lines. For a man with super-human intelligence and supposed confidence, it seemed a little odd that he'd fumble over what he was going to say. I get the sense that that was the best take they'd gotten and they couldn't edit their way out of it because he was moving in the shot.

      Originally posted by Rick Canaan View Post
      As to the sound track, you have to understand the era the movie was made in. Back then, synthesizers were something anyone ever only got to hear about on the news or maybe, if they were lucky, learn something about them in college. To hear one performing an entire movie's soundtrack, during this period, added an extra degree of wow factor for audiences. It helped to greatly set the movie apart from its science-fiction contemporaries, who were still using 1940's era big band music.
      It was a little offputting, honestly. Some of that was certainly intentional, but there were other parts where the sound didn't seem to have any bearing on what was going on. However, it was a pioneering piece, as you said, and its influence would spawn a lot of other similar soundtracks. Some of which were really good.

      Originally posted by Rick Canaan View Post
      As for seeing elements of its story in other works, that's easy to explain. The story was a direct adaptation of the classic Shakespearean play 'The Tempest'. Almost all of Shakespeare's work has been adapted to make other stories work. His work remains to this day one of the main go-to's for almost all TV and movie writers and producers, and a lot of novelists, too. It only stands to reason you're going to see shadows or elements from one story in another. Seldom will you see though, something that was a direct translation from a famous Shakespearean play, which indeed, Forbidden Planet was.
      I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that's it's based on a Shakespeare play. He inspired a lot of work and still does. Not strictly related, but the literary community is starting to believe that Shakespeare was not a single individual, but a collective of people writing under the same nom-de-plume. It makes sense, as his works vary wildly in style from work to work. I'm not sure if it's true, but it's what I've heard recently.
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