It’s been a few years since I last watched Forbidden Planet, but I’m feeling the urge to check it out again because the two stars, the impossibly young-and-beautiful Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis, have died within days of each other.
This is my second-favourite sci-fi film of the 1950’s, after the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers; based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, it basically serves as the template for every episode of Star Trek ever made (it also was the debut of Robby the Robot, who was recycled many times over, most notably in Lost in Space).
I can’t remember all the similarities – the horny young dashing captain, phasers, away-teams, red-shirts, etc. – I’ll have to watch it again. But they’re just trivia and minutiae; at its heart are the impossibly young-and-beautiful lovers, and old Walter Pidgeon, both mad-and-bad but sympathetic nonetheless.