Webfinds: The Forbidden Planet the Movie Facebook Group

Forbidden Planet Quad Poster

One of many posters for Forbidden Planet portraying Robby the Robot as a metallic monster

There are some movies that stick in your head your whole life and for me (and George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry and so many, many more), one of them has to be Forbidden Planet.

One of the most American SF movies ever, directed by Fred M. Wilcox and starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen, I must have first seen this in the late 1960s or mid 70s, when the BBC was in one of its classic SF film season mood, because I’m sure I saw it around the same time as films such as George Pal’s War of the Worlds and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Anne Francis as Altaira. A promotional image for Forbidden Planet

Anne Francis as Altaira. A promotional image for Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet - Behind the Scenes

Forbidden Planet – Behind the Scenes

Forbidden Planet - Set Design

Forbidden Planet – Set Design

Matte painting for exterior “landing” scenes

Matte painting for exterior “landing” scenes

Anyway, it’s a film of space exploration, alien encounter and a lost civilisation that’s stuck with me for its iconic imagery, concepts and story, inspired, of course, by The Tempest. Made over 40 years ago, with various attempts at a remake perhaps thankfully unrealised for all the talented souls who have thrown their hat in the ring, it’s got a hard edge to it with little of that pervading grimness that pervades so much SF film and TV today.

Robby the Robot in Sydney, Australia, to promote the original release of Forbidden Planet

Robby the Robot in Sydney, Australia, to promote the original release of Forbidden Planet

I do appreciate that times change, but personally I do hope for a little more of that sense of optimism about the future so many of us once had and still cling to, for all of what Isaac Asimov once described as humanity’s “silly asses” -ness.

This morning, I had a browse through a smashing Forbidden Planet the Movie Facebook group, which often strays to the celebration of other bonkers films of gentler days.

It includes some amazing imagery, including great art by the likes of Tom Cooley and many others. If you’re on that social media platform, check it out.

Positively distracting!

• See also: Forbidden Planet on Wikipedia

Not seen the film? Really? Find it and other Forbidden Planet stuff on amazon.co.uk

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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