Forbidden Planet

1956

Forbidden Planet

Critics Consensus

Shakespeare gets the deluxe space treatment in Forbidden Planet, an adaptation of The Tempest with impressive sets and seamless special effects.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 45

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,468

Where to watch

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Forbidden Planet Photos

Movie Info

In the 23rd century, Cmdr. J. J. Adams guides a rescue mission to faraway planet Altair-4. Twenty years earlier, Earth ship Bellerophon disappeared while en route to Altair-4. Only the ship's philologist Dr. Morbius survived; in the intervening decades, Morbius has created an Edenlike world of his own.

Cast

Walter Pidgeon
as Dr. Edward Morbius
Anne Francis
as Altaira 'Alta' Morbius
Leslie Nielsen
as Commander J. J. Adams
Warren Stevens
as Lt. 'Doc' Ostrow M.D.
Jack Kelly
as Lt. Farman
Richard Anderson
as Chief Quinn
Bob Dix
as Grey
Jimmy Thompson
as Youngerford
Jimmie Thompson
as Youngerford
Roger McGee
as Lindstrom
Morgan Jones
as Nichols
Frankie Darro
as Robby the Robot
James Best
as Crewman
Les Tremayne
as Narrator
View All

Critic Reviews for Forbidden Planet

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (1)

  • [A] nifty interstellar meller.

    July 26, 2011 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • An engaging 1956 science fiction gloss of Shakespeare's Tempest.

    July 26, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Imaginative gadgets galore, plus plenty of suspense and thrills, make the production a top offering in the space travel category.

    June 5, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Offers some of the most amusing creatures conceived since the Keystone cops.

    March 25, 2006 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • An ingenious script, excellent special effects and photography, and superior acting, make it an endearing winner.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film takes its time to expose, or discover, the real heart of the matter, to fully present its cards, something that would become a role model in future films of the genre. [Full Review in Spanish]

    April 15, 2020 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Forbidden Planet

  • Nov 09, 2019
    An amalgamation of all the best things about mid 20th century Science Fiction. Pulpy characters, outlandish designs, and high concept commentary on civilization. No wonder everyone spent the next 10 years or so borrowing from it.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2018
    This film shows you don't need incredible graphics or special effects to tell a great story. A clear precursor to so many things in Star Trek the following decade, and for the genre, it probably deserves even a slightly higher rating. You have the genius stranded on an isolated planet (Walter Pidgeon), learning advanced technology. You have the young nymph (Anne Francis) who is sexually unaware but willing to take lessons from crewmen all too eager to provide them, stoking the fantasies of male sci-fi fans. You have Robby the Robot, who has been programmed to obey, but with prime directives not to kill humans. And you have unseen alien with formidable knowledge and power. The scene where the beast lights up under laser fire and attacks crewmen, flinging them through the air, is fantastic. The concept of the Krell and their machine is as well. There are moments of levity mixed in with the philosophizing and opining about the human race. On the downside, the acting isn't all that great and Leslie Nielsen's performance in particular is uneven. The script is cheesy in several places so be prepared for that, but to me it added to the camp value.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2017
    Believe it or not, there was a time when sci-fi films didn't have CGI filled action sequences, massive sets, or far-fetched plot twists and turns. Forbidden Planet was one of the first films to encompass all of the aforementioned things, albeit in an entirely different manner. I'm currently in the midst of trying to watch and re-watch as many sci-fi features as I can and Forbidden Planet happened to be the next on my ledger. This film can easily be considered a forgotten gem, but ironically, it's one of the films that paved the way for countless other films to be made. This was before Star Trek or Star Wars and yet, it still makes an impact on me after I've spent years of my life cherishing those properties. Without a large scale budget or expensive cast, Forbidden Planet works as a solid think piece. The film deals with a starship crew from the 23rd century exploring a planet that was thought to be the landing place of a previous crew years earlier. Who or what they find is a complete mystery. For the most part, Forbidden Planet is a slow-burning film. There's little to no action, and any scene of injury or consequence often happens off-screen. In other words, the words spoken usually have a bigger impact than anything you see. With that said, the sets and painted backgrounds are easy on the eyes, especially considering this film was made over 60 years ago. But most of all, the ideas and themes explored here are impressive to say the least. It's always interesting to go back and watch films that you didn't realize had such a profound impact on the way a certain genre is made now. Forbidden Planet is certainly one of those. 8.1/10 Believe it or not, there was a time when sci-fi films didn't have CGI filled action sequences, massive sets, or far-fetched plot twists and turns. Forbidden Planet was one of the first films to encompass all of the aforementioned things, albeit in an entirely different manner. I'm currently in the midst of trying to watch and re-watch as many sci-fi features as I can and Forbidden Planet happened to be the next on my ledger. This film can easily be considered a forgotten gem, but ironically, it's one of the films that paved the way for countless other films to be made. This was before Star Trek or Star Wars and yet, it still makes an impact on me after I've spent years of my life cherishing those properties. Without a large scale budget or expensive cast, Forbidden Planet works as a solid think piece. The film deals with a starship crew from the 23rd century exploring a planet that was thought to be the landing place of a previous crew years earlier. Who or what they find is a complete mystery. For the most part, Forbidden Planet is a slow-burning film. There's little to no action, and any scene of injury or consequence often happens off-screen. In other words, the words spoken usually have a bigger impact than anything you see. With that said, the sets and painted backgrounds are easy on the eyes, especially considering this film was made over 60 years ago. But most of all, the ideas and themes explored here are impressive to say the least. It's always interesting to go back and watch films that you didn't realize had such a profound impact on the way a certain genre is made now. Forbidden Planet is certainly one of those. 8.1/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2014
    The one science fiction film that inspired everything, just about. This historically significant sci-fi pretty much gave birth to ideas and concepts that went on to influence so many other classic franchises that are now themselves deemed to be classics. The only science fiction characters I can think of that came along before this film that may have influenced it in one way or another are Flash Gordon Buck Rogers and, believe it or not, Duck Dodgers. That classic Daffy Duck cartoon has quite similar visuals and ideas you'll notice. Oh and lets not forget about that Shakespeare chap and his play The Tempest, there's also some kind of parallel there it seems. It is very easy to see similarities with later sci-fi franchises whilst watching this film, the most obvious (to me) being Star Trek from the futuristic space attire to pretty much everything. The crew don't beam down in this film though, its all a bit more grounded. But the way they start to explore with lasers at the ready, the dialog and the fact you know most of the crew are dispensable accept for the main three leads and the young cook is amusing. The equivalent of Star Treks stock 'redshirt' characters, the young cook being a kind of early 'Scotty' equivalent, almost like the happy-go-lucky crew mascot. I think we can all agree on one thing here, its the visuals throughout the film in general that inspire and excite. The films starts off in a very typical spaceship interior which these days probably would do nothing for you. There isn't much to shout about at first, blokes in grey space suits, in space, with identical hairdos, being all militaristic and straight laced (although the suits have a nice natty design). Your eyes start to quiver with nerd orgies when we see the horrifically stereotypically designed 1950's flying saucer spaceship land slowly on Altair IV. This is where it all begins, this is where the film becomes one long continuous iconic vision after another. For starters Altair IV looks awesome it really does, its merely a matte painting in the background for both models and live action and its pretty basic in concept...but it looks gorgeous! (and sooo Trekkie-esque). Despite the rather grey and dull colour scheme for the planet it just looks so vibrant and attractive in every shot. I love the jagged vertical rocks and the simple use of painted force perspective to create such a grand alien vista. Must mention the smartly named C57-D starship which, as said, is merely a flying saucer. Yeah it may look cheesy as hell but come on...how cool is it with that sweet neon blue glow when it lands and that haunting whistle-like noise. Along with that there are the quite stunning underground machines of the 'Krell' which are again a combination of some fantastic matte painting work set against live action, again the forced perspective really tricks the eye (these sequences look like Duck Dodgers). And who can forget the monstrous 'Id' monster which is another brilliant piece of traditional craftsmanship in the simple form of hand drawn animation by a Disney animator (and you can tell). Its all the blue laser fire and that red/pink glowing outline of the monster that make it all look so unique, fun and ahead of its time (for the time). There really is so much to talk about in this movie its hard to get it all in. Aside from the spectacular eye candy and effects you also have the legendary 'Robbie the Robot' which can only be described as an almost mythical, immortal character of sci-fi. I mean just look at it! this film was made in 1956 but that robot is fudging epic! Sure its a bit cartoony looking but the obvious mechanics functions and hard work involved in making him are admirable, and Robbie isn't even the films main attraction really. The only thing that lets it down are the now slightly dated interior sets and the quite corny looking garden areas complete with Earth animals...which takes you out of the film. Can't not mention the score can I, the first completely electronic score in a movie. Its an eerie spooky score that's for sure but it adds such depth and character to the whole adventure. An array of sounds which come across sounding like dripping water, bubbling, underwater noises, various hums, whirs, clicks, beeps, whines etc...The kind of things you'd expect to hear in an old fashioned mad scientists laboratory, I always felt this score could of worked well in the film 'Fantastic Voyage' personally, perfect for all those internal organ sequences. I love this score I really do, its so imaginative, simple and creepy, yet really pleasant to listen to and very relaxing surprisingly. I still look back and find it hard to believe that the spoof master Leslie Nielsen was in this, as we all know he sure changed his persona. Yeah back in the days before his hair went white and he wasn't acting the fool in a genius kinda way Nielsen was a stoic stern no nonsense space Commander who gets his girl. The rest of the crew are all a bit faceless really (their identical outfits don't help) and its hard to think that such a game changer like this doesn't really have any big stars. Walter Pidgeon as the now famously named 'Dr Morbius' who kinda looks like he should be in a haunted castle somewhere instead of an alien planet, is the only other big name really. Robbie and the effects are more of a draw than the cast truth be told, not sure how it was back in 56 but you get that impression. As for the plot its definitely more than a simple humans vs aliens sci-fi which you might expect. Its actually quite a clever one involving an ancient alien race and their supreme technology getting abused by a human and the long dead aliens themselves causing their own downfall. Manifestations of the mind, a beings Id brought to life as a living creature. Here we see Dr Morbius losing control, the real monster is Morbius' mind, his subconscious. I believe Morbius wanted to prevent the human race from gaining the alien technology and similarly losing control wiping themselves out, plus he and his daughter have it pretty sweet on Altair and he didn't want that disturbed. Personally I always wanted to see more planetary aliens, bugs and monsters, a Doug McClure in space type adventure, but this is a more meaningful story. Yeah the film does feel very much like a long original Star Trek episode I can't deny it, that's not a bad thing of course, it just shows how influential this film was. All I'm saying is looking back now its really incredible to see how close both franchises actually are visually. Even though I love the visuals I must admit to finding the plot a tiny bit dull with more hints of action rather than actual action. I'm not saying I want just pure action but as said I would have loved to see more space beasties, the look of the film cries out for it. I appreciate the Tempest similarities but I often think this could of been even more fun had it been more of a stand alone sci-fi plot wise. But amazingly for a 50's space flick its a very intelligent and deep adventure which has become a full top level cult and the quintessential science fiction film up alongside the likes of '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Even the films poster is beautiful, the kind of classic colourful movie poster you could frame and hang on your wall.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

Forbidden Planet Quotes

Movie & TV guides