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Made the ‘what film have you not seen but should have?’ question* harder last night by catching up with Forbidden Planet and, in so doing, filled in another hole in my sci-fi list of things to make and do.
Perhaps it’s watching it through twenty-first century eyes, although I was trying to make allowances, but wasn’t this just an episode of Star Trek with a slightly crass crewing policy?: not a black or female face to be seen.
And not much of the ship made sense in spatial terms – there seemed to be just a bridge in the middle of the saucer but somehow twenty or so men lived and worked in there. How? Plus it was so ‘ship’-like that I suspected an early draft was actually set at sea and EXT: OCEAN had been switched to EXT: SPACE.
Yes, the effects were brilliant for the age, but if all the budget went on the effects the it’s lucky that talk is cheap, because there was an awful lot of it in between. I may have drifted off during one of the set pieces. And some of the worst B-movie hokum I’ve heard, the zenith or nadir being something about the planet’s former residents lack of ‘physical operationalities’, whatever they are.
I knew the film’s reputation as The Tempest in space, but I saw more of Night of the Demon in it. That last comment probably says more about me than it, though.
* - still not that hard: The Day The Earth Stood Still