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Science Fiction - Forbidden Planet - Special 50th Anniversary Edition

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Forbidden Planet
50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition
Robby the Robot, Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon
Anne Francis, Richard Anderson
Originally released MGM 1956
Warner Home Video 2006

Any science-fiction knows of Robby the Robot, the real star of Forbidden Planet. The 50th Anniversary Special Edition DVD of this sci-fi classic includes the only other known Robby the Robot cinematic feature, The Invisible Boy. It is a shame such a great star was soon relegated to second and third banana roles on TV shows like Twilight Zone and Columbo. This two DVD version of Forbidden Planet features restored footage, 5.1 surround sound, and is everything a space movie fan would want.

Forbidden Planet Real Audio Clip © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Forbidden Planet is the story of Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), sole survivor of the Belerephon expedition, who is happy living on Altair 4 with his daughter (Anne Francis). He is rather disturbed by the arrival of an expedition from Earth (some twenty years later, mind you, that's earth bureaucracy for you) though his daughter is rather taken by the dashing young men in the space suits. This, of course, spells trouble, especially since she hasn't seen any other man aside from her perpetually arms-crossed father.

Forbidden Planet Real Audio Clip © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Although a close semblance to paradise, Altair 4 has a dark secret that the crew will slowly uncover as Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) waits for orders. That the ship is not really equipped for communicating with earth without some major work on the ship is one of the plot holes you rather not think about too much if you want to enjoy Robby the Robot and Forbidden Planet.

Forbidden Planet Real Audio Clip © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

The movie does have comic relief with the interaction between the cook and Robby and Robby and Altaira. The invisible and menacing presence on Altair 4 is quite effective too. Unfortunately, Doctor Morbius, the ship's doctor, and the captain are very interested in the various Krell artefacts and though this does make for some cool sci-fi bits, it does not move the story much.

The reason Forbidden Planet works however is you still want to know what is going on on Altair 4 and why the planet seems to want to get rid of anyone but the Morbius family. The final face-off with the monster is very original and you have to be an idiot (put intended) not to enjoy it.

Everything about Forbidden Planet rocks from the electronic music to the special effects -the tiger bit is obviously flawed though-- and the scene paintings. This 50th Anniversary Special 2 DVD edition of the movie shows the kind of care and interest big studios rarely give their science-fiction releases.

Special features include an episode from the TV version of The Thin Man featuring Robby the Robot, some deleted scenes (unrestored), and, most inportantly, a DVD of the other Robby the Robot movie, The Invisible Boy.

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