On Viewing Forbidden Planet on Its 60th Anniversary

Posted by DrEdwardHudgins 4 years, 9 months ago to Movies
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For tech junkies and transhumanists the 1956 sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet” still highlights a positive future and provides ideas and inspiration
SOURCE URL: http://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/6030-on-viewing-forbidden-planet-on-its-60th-anniversary

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  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 4 years, 9 months ago
    Hello DrEdwardHudgins,
    It still looks good after 60 years. I have it on DVD and watch it once a year. One of the takeaways for me was that one must be the master of their own Id or it will surely become a devastating monster.
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 9 months ago
    Yes, I remember Forbidden Planet. In fact I remember David Gerrold's review of it and comparison of it to Star Trek. He went so far as to say that Commander John Adams and Captain James T. Kirk would each be equally at home conning his own ship, or that of his counterpart.

    Forbidden Planet, for me, represents an era when Hollywood still took filmmaking seriously. Just because the action took place "out of this world," did not mean people handled crises in any manner different from how real leaders have always handled them. Judgment is judgment, whether on this Earth or on Altair IV. So also are the petty jealousies we observe in the movie, especially on the part of Edward Morbius, PhD.

    With regard to this last: I commend the Atlas Society for frankly admitting the truth, or at least the possibility, that such petty jealousies could become decidedly un-petty, given access to an instant gratifier no one can shut down. Recall the real tragedy of ths piece: an ancient civilization, seeking the highest possible achievement--creation by pure thought--destroyed itself upon discovering that they had never conquered their base, looter's instincts, but had merely suppressed them. Now that suppression would fail. With predictable results.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 8 months ago
      Human history shows that civilizing ourselves as individuals and our societies takes effort. Part of being rational means cultivating in ourselves virtues, which means conditioning our habits (including hardwired urges such as anger, jealousy) in accordance with our rational judgment. (That's straight out of Aristotle!) And in my life and career I've witnesses pettiness in more than a few individuals who profess an adherence to reason. But I still argue that we should pursue technological achievement and reject the so-called "precautionary principle: that would have left us in the caves.
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      • Posted by $ nickursis 4 years, 8 months ago
        Dr., I would agree with your statement, my fear is in the manipulation we see today of the politics and education by a small group. That negative impact, and lack of motivation to explore, discuss and rationalize our world and how we fit into it, support and defend it, leads us right back to the monster we can be. I posted the Fox story on the egg pelting a woman took from protestors against Trump over in Culture, as it seems a perfect example of just how the monster in the movie will come to real life in our own culture. Thanks for the article, the movie is indeed one of the classics from film making, across all genres, for it's special effects, sets, and actors.As a ST fan, I can see the influence it would have had on a young Gene Roddenberry.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 9 months ago
    This film should be required watching for school children. The message is "be careful what you wish for," with the eventual disclosure of the fate of the Krell. Technology is racing toward the goal, with increasing computer power and artificial intelligence, of a world that could conceivably provide everything. Besides turning all of us into moochers, the dark side is the potential for destruction of the race.
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 9 months ago
      What is advancing artificial intelligence is the ever increasing cost of human intelligence in terms of money and hassle.

      Why have a human when you can have a robot do the same thing??? I would much rather order from a kiosk in a restaurant than a human any day. I dont have to tip a robot either.

      Artificial intelligence has been coming on stream for a long time now. The advent of computers has allowed for machines to made many decisions that humans used to make.

      Increasing minimum wages will just kick start the whole automation industry and cut back on human workers faster than now. In our small company, we are racing to automate and redesign our products to eliminate human workers as FAST as possible. The alternative is for our company to just go out of business. Its a lifeboat situation- the boat will only hold fewer people in the $15/hr future in order to stay afloat. So some have to be tossed overboard. Thanks Obama.
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    • Posted by $ nickursis 4 years, 8 months ago
      More than that, it showed that intellectual advancement does not always equal emotional and oral advancement. Look at our country today, the technology is amazing and it is all being handled by a bunch of people with pre-teen emotions.
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  • Posted by Kilroy 4 years, 9 months ago
    “The Forbidden Planet” is one of my most favorite science fiction movies of all time. I missed it on its initial outing in 1958 (I think), but I caught up to it some years later. On its 50th anniversary they produced a metal box containing a DVD of “The Forbidden Planet” along with another video that starred Robby the Robot called “The Invisible Boy.” The box also contained a 3D miniature replica of Robby and several lobby cards.

    I like the movie for a number of reasons. Some of them are: It contains a sentient robot with a sense of humor (remember the scene with Robby and the ships cook?) it has a love story, it takes place entirely on another planet, it has a monster that plays an important part in the movie and the movie addresses some fundamental issues of human psychology. Quite a load for one movie I think.

    Tough I would like to see an updated version done, but I cringe to think of what Hollywood would do to it as I was very disappointed in what they did to the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

    I liked the movie so much that when I went out on my own as an electronics consulting engineer I named my company “Altair Seven Electronics Consulting,” (Altair 7 was taken unfortunately). When people ask how I chose the name I briefly explain how I was working in my Krell lab on Altair IV and had to leave the planet for some parts. When I came back I found that my planet was just rubble, so I had to move to Altair VII and ultimately to Earth. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 

    For those interested, here are several links that may prove entertaining:

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  • Posted by $ rainman0720 4 years, 9 months ago
    This was the movie that got me hooked on Science Fiction, and that gave me my love of a good adrenaline rush watching movies. I was 4 or 5 years old, and my parents were watching this movie. I heard the movie, and snuck down the hall to watch it. It was the scene where the invisible creature was trying to breach the barrier, and was being shot at. Scared the hell out of me, and I loved it. If I had a list of all my favorite movies across all genres, this would be solidly in the top 10.

    As for Leslie Nielsen...don't call me Shirley.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 4 years, 9 months ago
    Once upon a long time ago, Mama dropped my eldest little brother and myself, both hardly more than hatchlings, off at the nicest of two movie theaters in Dothan, Alabama.
    Pavement on that spot may now provide extra parking space for the Houston County courthouse, but that grand old-fashioned theater even provided a balcony for "colored."
    (Black folks weren't allowed in that other theater where you could see mice scurry and where there was often one trashy white guy who'd snore while you tried to listen to a B-movie).
    At the classier movie house I recall how a great curtain would at first roll open to cradle the sides of regular sized flicks; but after the previews, the cartoon and the concession stand ad, it rolled wide as it could to display Forbidden Planet in glorious Technicolor.
    Then my brother and I enjoyed one of the most awesome film experiences ever. The visuals and sound effects were completely over the top for those two little dinos.
    It turned very scary when the invisible mighty creature came to kill crewmen with creepy thumping sound effects.
    Robby the Robot, the rays guns, the ancient alien civilization--space opera galore!
    When Leslie Nelson so smoothly disintegrated the attacking tiger, Little me was all like--wow!
    Old Dino still enjoys watching that classic on TV after all of these years.
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    • Posted by $ nickursis 4 years, 8 months ago
      It was an awesome classic, I remember seeing it when I was 5 or 6 on Saturday Sci Fi Theater on TV in San Diego. For years I thought it was just black and white....
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
    I will never forget my first viewing of Forbidden Planet. From the "electronic tonalities" of the music, to the special effects, to Walter Pigeon's Professor Morbius, it was a jaw dropper. Not to mention its projected benign future and the origins of the Krell monster, made for a good philosophical discussion and made this one of the great SF movies not for just its time, but for all time.
    And by the way, you get to see Leslie Nielsen as a slim leading man instead of a clown.
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