Fred M. Wilcox
(based on "The Tempest" by W. Shakespeare):
luscious Forbidden Planet combines B-movie acting and romance
with eerie and intelligent science fiction into arguably the genre's
best of its time. The premise is largely taken from Shakespeare's The
Tempest, albeit moving it into space - more precisely to the planet
Altair-4 - it resembles the earth, but has a green sky and violet ground.
The special effects and miniatures are fantastic, even if the studio
backgrounds are blurry paintings and devour some of the effect.
Still, the film is as seductive as anything appearing later in the
genre's lifetime. It has clever, if simple, characterisations, one of
few non-annoying robots in film history and, more importantly, a thought-provoking and philosophical script that holds up until the very
end. I've always maintained that good science fiction should make you
ponder its thesis long after the end titles. Unfortunately, this is not
something every filmmaker throughout history has been able to live up
to. But Forbidden Planet has perhaps its best asset in exactly that
department. The film deserves its reputation, and its futuristic vision
is, in retrospect, a delightful combination of remarkable ideas and
amusing underestimation. Allegedly, the humans reached the moon in the
first decade of the 21th century.