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Forbidden Planet - 50th Anniversary 2 Disc Special Edition [1956] - £10.98

Ahead of its time in many, many ways, Forbidden Planet has been cemented in its role as a science fiction classic over the past few decades, to the point where its 50th birthday is being marked with this special DVD release.

What's more, the iconic film has never looked better. The print of Forbidden Planet has been buffed up to a terrific standard, and while it's a cliché to report that it's never looked better, we challenge anyone to disagree.

The film too is just as compelling. Set in the 23rd century, on a far and distant star Professor Morbius, his daughter and Robby the Robot are seemingly alone, until a space craft from Earth arrives. This sets events in motion that bring a real human core to a genre where such a factor, right to this day, is often lacking.

But it's not just that which makes Forbidden Planet continually worthy of attention. The special effects, for instance, are astounding given the era in which the film was made, while the ideas and ambition that underpin the production are equally of merit. At heart, though, it was and is an utterly compelling movie, which has had a long and profound influence on the genre as a whole.

This 50th anniversary edition also comes armed with extra features, notably several documentaries. But after all these years, it's still the film that's the star, and you simply wouldn't wager against it enduring for another 50 years after this. --Jon Foster

Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):

Rating: 5:
Forbidden Planet shouldnt be a Forbidden Dvd to you : Im not realy a fan of sci-fi but this was brilliant stands on its own even by todays film standards.
This came out in 1956 and 51 years latert is yours to own on dvd this dvd has extras galore and even has a feture film called The Invisible boy and some TCM documentrys aswell if your a fan of sci-fi or even if your not thn this is a film to watch.

Rating: 5:
The best : As the previous reviewer said there isn't much more to be said. This is one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. Its even more remarkable for being over 50 years old now, as some of the special effects, if dated now, are good enough to make you think 'how the hell did they do that in 1956'? Remember no CGI at all.

Its influence on the original Star Trek series in terms of the story and the sets is clear for all to see: A long dead civilisation leaving behind a mind enhancing machine. An apparent Alien force that can't be seen. Sets made of polystyrene etc....

Quite a few important Science Fiction films were made in the 1950's, but this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. If you've never seen it you've missed an absolute classic.

Rating: 5:
UTTER MASTERPIECE WAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME : what in heaven's name is "grahamapplin129" talking about in his review?!!!
how can a dvd that features the superbly remastered version of the film, loads of deleted scenes, loads of lost footage, THREE documentaries, trailers and even a bonus film be considered unspecial and vanilla?
what did he want - a life-size Robby the Robot?!!!

everyone else here has said it for me. quite staggeringly brilliant film with imagination and effects way ahead of its time. puts most modern (past ten years) sci-fi movies to shame.

Rating: 5:
A monster from the Id : This film has a simple, scary core: the unconsciousness is given the power to take physical form and kill. What gives the unconsciousness this power here is a vast machine, an artefact from an ancient, technologically-advanced alien species. The film does well in keeping its secret core hidden. After a second watching everything slots into place, and elements that were previously mysterious make sense.

The film also explores the dangers of power, and the concept of self-destruction through arrogance and attainment of that power.

To a small extent this film is based on Shakespeare's `The Tempest'. However, apart from one particular piece if dialogue, involving the officers lying about each other in order to win over the girl, the adaptation is very loose. The set-up is similar: a man (Morbeus/Prospero) and his daughter (Altaire/Miranda) go and live alone (on an island, a planet, wherever). In Shakespeare Prospero's two `servants', Caliban and Ariel can be equated to some extent with the `Monster from the Id' and Robbie the Robot, but it's not an easy fit. It would be an interesting subject for an essay (as is `My Own Private Idaho' and its relationship to Shakespeare's second instalment of history plays).

The film is in turns slow and meditative (the first approach to the planet, awaiting Robby's first appearance), exciting and scary (the flight from the monster at the end), funny (Robbie supplying booze to the ship's cook) and erotic (anything involving Miranda and her unnatural innocence). It is always intellectually stimulating. The landscape of the alien is beautiful, and the depiction of the alien artefacts astounding. Robbie never impressed me, but you can't deny his influence. Another pleasure is to be found in witnessing a young, handsome, serious and almost unrecognisable Leslie Nielson in the lead role.

One of the best sci-fi movies of all time.

Rating: 2:
"Special edition"? Don't believe it! : Don't get me wrong! I love this film and have wanted for so long to get it on DVD but the previous releases just didn't have any appeal. So imagine my joy when a 50th anniversary "special edition" 2 disc set was released. Ker-ching! I'll have one of those please.

Now, call me picky but when a film as magnificent and as important as this is released in a "special edition" format, one should expect something...well..."special". The film, I am happy to say, is as superb as I remember it. The transter on this disc is beautiful;the sound is gorgeous. In short it has "Golden Age of Hollywood" stamped all over it, going beyond any notion of 50s kitsch. The story of a man (Morbius superbly played as a kind of gruff,dark-side Victor Meldrew by Walter Pidgeon) brought low by his own arrogance is a timeless one. This film still gives many a modern blockbuster a run for its money.

The beef I have with this release are the extras. What a disappointment! Taken as a whole the documentaries are ok, the Robbie the Robot stuff interesting (even the B-featurre "The Invisible Boy" is worth a look). But no animated menus (ok I can live with that), no booklet and, most outrageous of all, no commentary. For the 50th Anniversary and for such an important film, you would think that the Powers That Be would pull out all the stops...but no. This is like a vanilla disc, with the words "Special Edition" tagged on and a few scraps thrown to Joe Public. A commentary, say, from Rudy Behlmer or Leslie Nilesen would have been the perfect tribute to this exceptional movie. A booklet with scene cues and further information on the film, putting it into context, would have added to the viewing pleasure. What a wasted opportunity, particularly when you compare the special treatment given to the releases of "Casablanca", "Robin Hood" and "Spactacus". The lack of imagination shown here is breathtaking.

So, I give the film the highest praise. But the shabby treatment it receives on this disc is unforgiveable. This could have been a great DVD set; instead it is only run-of-the-mill.

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