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 Post subject: Forbidden Planet (1956)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:16 pm
Posts: 249
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Last night I attended the monthly Pubmeeting of a somewhat informal Swedish SF/F group, Uppsalafandom. Although the meetings are held in my excellent residence, Hotel Uppsala, many of the members live between here and Stockholm. I am delighted to belong to this group of highly intelligent, well-informed, articulate, and enthusiastic people.
I engaged one person in a discussion about SF films. I mentioned, as I never fail to do, the great American classic of 1956, Forbidden Planet. The august Walter Pidgeon shares centre stage with Robbie The Robot, an American film icon if ever there was one (competing internationally with the Odessa Steps:). The story is quite interesting, combining as it does action, quasi-comedy with Robbie, and psychological depths that are probably rare in today's media. The effects are famous and well-worth seeing: real SOW stuff. The film is available in a 50th Anniversary Two-Disk Special Edition. Viewing this supurbly remastered film is an aesthetic experience of the first order. For it is, I think, more beautiful than the celluloid version was when I saw it in 1957.
I was not surprised when my friend told me that he had not seen the film. This is usually the reply I get when I ask younger people about this. All I can do here is to recommend this film with only one qualification. A basic knowledge of Sigmund Freud's middle-period work is needed to fully understand this fine film. Although Freudian ideas are highly controversial today, the viewer can suspend his or her belief and use these notions as temporary hypotheses.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Couldn't agree more, George. An excellent film, and from a post-1950s' perspective incredible to think that Leslie Nielsen was once a romantic lead :lol:

It was inspired by "The Tempest", so I guess that would make Robbie the Ariel character. He went on to star in TV series "Lost in Space", which helped turn me on to SF as a child.

There's also the rock musical "Return to the Forbidden Planet", which borrows heavily from the plot and is huge fun.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:49 pm 
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Isn't R2D2, Robbie's love child? -- or am I thinking of someone else?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Thanks Pete and Bob. I knew about the connection with The Tempest, although I don't remember the play. I've been out of touch with SF films since, I think, Alien, and have no idea of what can be bought on DVD. If either of you can suggest some films that have the quality of F.P., I'll be online with Amazon in a femtosecond. The memory of that film is so powerful that I literally trembled with joy when I found it in my mailbox.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:37 pm 
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George, I've started a thread here:-

http://www.ttapress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1213

Let's see what everyone regards as the classics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:23 pm 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
That's A great idea Pete. I know a good number of people who would like to see the list. I have seen all the films you mention, and dislike only This Island Earth. I bought it several months ago. Well, Metalunan super scientists need one smart Earthling to help them defeat some enemy? I cannot even say that it goes downhill from there, for it goes in a circle in which the brave Earthlings do exactly zilch! They go to that planet, get involved in some shenannigans without wanting to, escape pretty easily, commandeer a handy spaceship , and fly back home with a friendly Metalunan who conveniently dies. That's it. I've left out nothing essential, I think. What a disappointment it was to see it again after about fifty years.


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 Post subject: A bit of nostalgia
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
For what it's worth to anybody but myself, I saw all those films in the great RKO STRAND, in my birthplace, the Far Rockaway neighborhood of New York City. With a lot of strategic googling I found some photos of this theatre and memorialised the building with the help of Carol Marston. Our result ishere .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Location: Sussex Coast
Wow, that really was an awesome interior. Sadly gone the way of so many old cinemas. There was fine art deco cinema called the ABC near me in Brighton, but it has been a casino for about a decade now. At least they preserved the facade.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:58 pm 
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In NYC anything older than about fifty years was considered to be Ancient and not worth preserving. I'm glad you liked those photos. I have them backed up in severL places, since the link to them is now dead.


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