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Friday, August 27, 2010

Return of the C57D


Monday September 20, 2010, The Heights Theater is showing the 1956 Classic SciFi movie Forbidden Planet.  One show only (7:30PM).  Advance tickets are available via The Heights Theater website.  All seats are $8.00.  We've already reserved ours.

This is part of the Before CGI: Six SciFi Classics series being co-presented by The Heights and the local Take Up Org.  More details about this series can be found on the Heights site or at TakeUp Production's site.  They'll be doing a War of the Worlds/Invasion of the Body-Snatchers double-feature!  Plus The Invisible Man, The Incredible Shrinking Man and the original King Kong are all slated to be part of this series of incredible, classic movies.  Fun, fun, FUN!


In the meantime, you can catch Forbidden Planet at Youtube, as long as you don't mind the lower quality image and having it chopped into 10 parts. You can also find some Out-takes and if you're really pressed for time you can just watch the highly memorable Monster Attack scene.

Here's Part One to get you started:


And for Christmas...there's the Ultimate Collector's Edition box-set of the Forbidden Planet DVD.

Then there's the reproduction of the movie poster: which you can find at All Posters dot com, as well as a few other sites/services. 
This is a truly Classic movie.  The sets are well-done, the costumes have been ripped-off for decades by both TV and other, lesser movies, and the special effects are tastefully done and despite being top of the line for 1956 are still decent, still effective, and the interior shots of the alien Krell Labs have been ripped-off borrowed by such gems of TV-dom as The Time Tunnel amongst others.  Then there's the theramin used in the soundtrack.  Hmmm...what other Classic SciFi franchise used a theramin in their soundtrack?  Duh! 

Robby went on to guest star in two episode of Lost in Space (War of the Robots & Condemned of Space), the 1957 movie The Invisible Boy, a cameo on The Twilight Zone, The Thin Man, Love Boat, Ark II and other TV shows.  Robby The Robot has really and truly become the hardest working robot in Hollywood.  He even did a Charmin commercial back in the Seventies with Mr. Whipple.

An interesting bit of trivia: Robby was designed by Robert Kinoshita, the guy who also designed GUNTER the Lost in Space robot nearly a decade later.  You can find a far more exhaustive list of Robby The Robot trivia at Goremaster's blog, or check out Fred Barton's website.

Getting back to Forbidden Planet itself, It's rather interesting how much influence Forbidden Planet had on many, many other productions and in particular Irwin Allen's TV Series Lost in Space -- just take a look at the suspended animation tubes from the unaired episode No Place To Hide which are shown on the Wikipedia page.  If you take a few minutes you'll be able to find a few more points of similarity/convergance.  Irwin Allen always stole borrowed from the best, despite whatever he wound up doing with it...which almost always involved explosions and things shaking around a lot.  They sure blew up a lot of stuff on all of Irwin Allen's shows.  It still didn't make up for the generally lousy scripts and overly cheesy acting(?) that tended to dominate those shows, though every now and then something cool would filter through.

John C. Snider includes Forbidden Planet in his accounting of the Ten Movies That Changed Science Fiction.  J. Michael Straczynski paid a nice homage to the Krell Machine of Forbidden Planet with his own Great Machine on Epsilon 3 in the episode "A Voice in the Wilderness" of Babylon 5.  Gene Roddenberry claimed Forbidden Planet as an influence, something that is fairly obvious if you just watch the re-vised pilot The Cage which became the episode The Menagerie.  The influence and impact of Forbidden Planet goes deep and lingers on to this day, in a very, very positive way.

When I first got my hands on the Little Black Books for the Traveller Box Set, I was happy to see the H. Beam Piper influences, but I was sad to see Forbidden Planet get short shrift.  I have always wanted to see a SciFi RPG based on the core assumptions and tropes of Forbidden Planet.  Hyperdrive saucers, autonomous robots that can distill extrafine whisky on demand, alien relics that would have given Lovecraft bad dreams...isn't it about time that someone developed an RPG rooted/based upon Forbidden Planet?

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely exquisite post!

    When you build out a Riskail game, you have another inspirational lighthouse to use. Forbidden Planet is a gem - it's a sin that there isn't more RPG goodness using this material.

    You are lucky to have a theatrical showing to see! I can't imagine how incredible this movie must be on the big screen!

    ReplyDelete

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