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Ken Korczak
November 5th, 2005, 03:46 PM
I have some amazing new insights to share about an old classic SF movie:

I was re-viewing my all time favorite SF movie, the 1956 classic "Forbidden Planet" starring Leslie Nielson, Walter Pidgeon and Anne Frances.

This is the movie Gene Roddenberry admits was the inspiration for Star Trek, and, he also admits that he lifted directly the idea of the transporters from the movie.

Anyway, here is my amazing, earth-shattering insight:

The invisible monsters that are killing the crew of the starship are supposedly being generated by "monsters from the ID," the "ID" being Freud's realm of the subconscious mind where all of mankind's hates, lusts and violent tendencies are kept chained in the cellar, so to speak.

The ID monsters are those of Dr. Morbius, who views the space men from earth as intruders on his planet, and as idiots who want to bring back the vast knowledge of the aliens -- the Krell -- back to earth -- Morbius feels that earth is not ready to handle such knowledge wisely.

Thus, he unleashes his ID monsters to start killing everyone. The ID monsters are supplied with unlimited power from ancient Krell power generators, which were designed to tap into the power of mind to instantly materialize anything they wanted in life. They were developing a society "without instrumentality." The trouble is, the Krell forgot about the monsters of the ID, which also had access to the unlimited power.

But here's the thing: Morbius' pure, lovely and innocent daughter, Alta, must have also been unleashing her own ID monsters -- it's wasn't just Morbius who was to blame.

For one thing:

The first attack on the ship was to damage it, making it unable to take off, or contact earth.

This would have been counter to Morbius' wishes, since he wanted the earthmen to be gone as soon as possible.

But Alta very much wanted the ship and it's "young men" to stay, since she had never before had a chance to interact with young men. So it must have been her ID monster.

Also, the the scene where they fight off the big monster as it comes crashing through the forcefield perimeter, and in which several men are killed -- we then get a scene of Alta wailing and crying out to her father -- and her dreams relates exactly what was happening at the point of attack. Also, one of the men killed was Jerry Farman, the man who had been trying to sexually seduce her with deceit and lies. So this must have been Alta's ID monsters attacking, as well, and not her father's.
Some last things:

1. The scene where the dying Dr. Morbius tells Commander Adams to destroy the planet: The self destruct device is almost the very same as the kind you will see in the movie "Alien" some 20 years later.

2. Robbie the Robot almost certainly must be the direct inspiration for the depressed robot of "Hitchhiker's Guide."

3. The tiny holographic image of Alta scene must certainly have influenced the scene where Princess Leah in generated in holo by R2D2 in the first Star Wars.

ArthurFrayn
November 5th, 2005, 04:27 PM
But here's the thing: Morbius' pure, lovely and innocent daughter, Alta, must have also been unleashing her own ID monsters -- it's wasn't just Morbius who was to blame.

I don't remember any indication or even suggestion that Alta had any significant intertaction with the Krell mind machine, and the "id monster" is a byproduct of such an interaction.


Otherwise, yes, it's probably one of the most influential SF movies of all time. Still one of the best.The story is modeled after Shakespeare's play "The Tempest", so that's the best way to follow the structrual intent of the story.:)

TheThunderChild
November 5th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Many years ago I saw the musical play Return to the Forbidden Planet, in London, and it was just great.

In the play, one of the greatest lines was "Beware the ids that march!" Everyone in the audience just burst out laughing.

After reading this thread, I'm in the mood to watch this movie again...wish I could see the play again, actually...



Caroline

Ken Korczak
November 9th, 2005, 06:10 PM
I realize Forbidden P. is based on The Tempest, but I don't think that great play can account for all the things going on in this unusually deep, and strranegely meaningful film.

For one thing, it's heavily steeped in Freudian suggestions and innuendos, even beyond the main element of the plot involving "monsters from the ID."

How marvelously strange that a film in the midst of the squeeky clean and supposedly innocent 1950s should dare to pose so many dangerous sexual and moral dillemas, and yet do it in such a way as to make it seemed light-hearted space opera.

Another thing: The movie touches on other modern concerns, such as the dangers of technology in the wrong hands -- something we really started worrying about in the second decade of the Atomic Era.

But there's even more: Alta is definetly an "Eve" figure -- living in natural harmony with wild animals in a planet that seems very much like a Garden of Eden.

Is it just an accident that the Commanders name is "Adams?" Adam and Eve -- in this case, Adam and Alta? And, of course, they end up banished from this planet Eden - and they destroy it. So there you have a Biblical theme.

Yet another thing: The science in Forbidden PLanet is unusually good. For example, in other really excellent 50s SF movies, such as "The Day the Earth Stood Still," you get some really lame science that really stings. The alien visitor in "Day the Earth" for example says he is a mere 250 million miles from earth. Well, that would only place in somewhere beyond the orbit of Mars or within the asteroid belt.

Sure there is some lack of precience in Forbidden Planet -- they hilariously use remote communication equipment that still needs wires!!! They refer to the super advanced Krell machinery as having "circuits opening and closing." They still using circuits!!!

But these gaps are extremely minor -- there is just something about this movie -- so good it actually gives me the creeps. It really amazes me.

And I think within it there are wheels turning within wheels, within wheels ...

Ropie
November 10th, 2005, 05:09 AM
Some interesting points. I suppose the fact that it is open to so many interpretations is in some way responsible for the movie's timeless appeal. For me the best thing about it was the way they managed to get the scale of those shots with the tiny characters walking through the Krell 'machinery' to be absolutely convincing. As you point out, the technology does seem to be a bit anachronistic, gigantic travelling valves/vacuum tubes and all that :D but it's still an amazing piece of work.

redgriffin
November 10th, 2005, 08:49 AM
no one can deny that itís one of the greats and ya bring up some good point. Know I just wish I had a copy of it with me

Arkangel
November 10th, 2005, 01:20 PM
I loved that movie, it is what got me started into SF. I was very young when i saw it and i still remember it vividly.

Can we get a copy of it, if we can where(only online).

ArthurFrayn
November 10th, 2005, 02:02 PM
It's one of the first essentials I picked up. :D

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RF9B/002-3772687-7517626?v=glance&n=130&s=dvd&v=glance

Apparently only available as region 1 on Amazon UK...

Banger
November 10th, 2005, 03:02 PM
But there's even more: Alta is definetly an "Eve" figure -- living in natural harmony with wild animals in a planet that seems very much like a Garden of Eden.

Is it just an accident that the Commanders name is "Adams?" Adam and Eve -- in this case, Adam and Alta? And, of course, they end up banished from this planet Eden - and they destroy it. So there you have a Biblical theme.

This is also seen in The Tempest.

In The Tempest, the island is Edenic, and Miranda, having grown up on the island, is innocent like Eve. Ferdinand, who is shipwrecked on the island and similarly pure, is Adam. At the end of the play, Prospero destroys his magic wand and they all leave the island to return to Naples, where Miranda and Ferdinand will be married.

The character of Caliban can also be described as a personification of the Id.

Yonderboy
November 10th, 2005, 05:47 PM
I have a copy and would be glad to send it along. If more are interested in viewing, we could do a round-robin kind of a thing where each person sends it along to the next.

It is VHS, so I think those in the UK might have some trouble with it. Sorry.

Let me know and I'm sure we can work something out.

- YB