Forbidden Planet

USA 1956. Dir: Fred McLeod Wilcox. 98 min. DCP

Presented with Bard Education

Shakespeare meets Astounding Stories and The Tempest becomes interstellar movie magic in Forbidden Planet, one of the finest science-fiction films of the 1950s — or, heck, ever! In the 23rd century, a spaceship (under the command of Canada’s Leslie Nielsen) travels to a remote world to search for survivors of a much earlier mission. There, the voyagers encounter the Prospero-like scientist Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), his Miranda-like daughter Alta (Anne Francis), and their robot Robby (the sprite Ariel). Soon, a mysterious, monstrous (Caliban-like) force begins stalking the ship’s crew. Augmenting its imaginative take on Shakespeare with a little Freudian and Jungian psychology, this lavish, big-budget, great-looking film, shot in colour and CinemaScope, features Oscar-nominated special effects and a pioneering electronic score. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was clearly a fan.



After the film, join Mary Hartman, Bard’s Director of Education, as she leads the audience in a lively and engaging discussion of The Tempest.

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Cinema Sunday films are introduced by Vancouver film history teacher, critic, and intergalactic space pirate Michael van den Bos. In-theatre giveaways courtesy of Cinema Sunday community sponsors Videomatica SalesGolden Age Collectables, and Kidsbooks.



"Imaginative gadgets galore, plus plenty of suspense and thrills, make the production a top offering in the space travel category."

Variety | full review

"An ingenious script, excellent special effects and photography, and superior acting make it an endearing winner."

Time Out | full review


Forbidden Planet also screens as part of Shakespeare 400

Friday, June 24 - 8:30 pm
Saturday, June 25 - 6:30 pm