Forbidden Planet
September 25th, 2021

Forbidden Planet [1956]

Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle as we screen Fred M. Wilcox’s Oscar nominated (Best Effects, Special Effects) film Forbidden Planet [1956].

Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

Downtown Central Library Auditorium
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203
(Enter from Clinton Street between Oak and Washington Streets)
716-858-8900 •
COVID protocol will be followed.

TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

A rocket ship lands on a distant planet to investigate the disappearance of settlers, and the crew discovers a scientist, his daughter and a highly intelligent robot named Robby.


  • Academy Awards – 1957 – Nominee for Best Effects, Special Effects
  • National Film Preservation Board – 2013 – National Film Registry

Courtesy of TCM:

Fred M Wilcox enjoyed success as a director over the course of his Hollywood career, owed mainly to a vast supply of imagination and a fierce attention to detail. In 1926, he was hired by MGM as a publicist. M Wilcox received his start directing films, including work on the drama “Lassie Come Home” (1943) with Roddy McDowall, the adventure “Courage of Lassie” (1946) with Elizabeth Taylor and the Edmund Gwenn drama “Hills of Home” (1948). Shortly thereafter, he received directorial credit for the Jeanette MacDonald musical comedy “Three Daring Daughters” (1948), the fantastical drama “The Secret Garden” (1949) with Margaret O’Brien and the drama “Shadow in the Sky” (1952) with Ralph Meeker. He also appeared in the drama “Tennessee Champ” (1954) with Shelley Winters. in the forties and the sixtiesLater in his career, M Wilcox directed “I Passed For White” (1960). M Wilcox passed away in September 1964 at the age of 57.


  • I Passed for White (1960)
  • Forbidden Planet (1956)
  • Tennessee Champ (1954)
  • Code Two (1953)
  • Shadow in the Sky (1952)
  • The Secret Garden (1949)
  • Hills of Home (1948)
  • Three Daring Daughters (1948)
  • Courage of Lassie (1946)
  • Lassie Come Home (1943)
  • Joaquin Murrieta (1938) – short film

Here is a curated selection of links for additional insight/information:

  • Cultivate Cinema Circle info-sheet – link
  • “Fasten your seat belts, fellows. Get those space helmets clamped to your heads and hang on tight, because we’re taking off this morning on a wonderful trip to outer space. We are guiding you to “Forbidden Planet,” which is appropriately at the Globe. And we suggest you extend an invitation to Mom and Dad to go along.For this fanciful interstellar planet, which has been dreamed up at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and put on the screen in Eastman color and properly spacious CinemaScope, is the gaudiest layout of gadgets this side of a Florida hotel. It offers some of the most amusing creatures conceived since the Keystone cops.Best of the lot is Robby, a phenomenal mechanical man who can do more things in his small body than a roomful of business machines. He can make dresses, brew bourbon whisky, perform feats of Herculean strength and speak 187 languages, which emerged through a neon-lighted grille.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times (1956) – link
  • “An engaging 1956 science fiction gloss of Shakespeare’s Tempest, with a ship full of American astronauts landing on a mysterious planet where Walter Pidgeon and his miniskirted daughter, Anne Francis, guard the remains of a lost civilization. Even as the SF cliches fall fast and heavy, this is great to look at, thanks to the sumptuous MGM sets and the fine animation and matte work by Walt Disney Studios.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader (2012) – link
  • “The film does show its age in its pervasive sexism. There are no women in the C-57D crew. Aware that his crew of “competitively selected super-perfect physical specimens” haven’t seen a woman for 378 days, Adams is concerned that they might behave improperly (for Motion Pictures Production Code versions of improperly). He has good reason to worry about his men, but not about Altaira, who is unimpressed with crewman Farman’s kissing prowess. [Farman and Altaira kiss] Altaira: Is that all there is to it? Farman: Well, you’ve sort of got to stick with it. Altaira: Just once more, do you mind? Farman: Not at all. [They kiss] Altaira: There must be something seriously the matter with me…because I haven’t noticed the least bit of stimulation. It’s probably a mercy that Farman is killed by the guardian soon after. Egregious 1950s sexism aside, Forbidden Planet works as pure entertainment. It’s a great whodunnit. It even hews to a classic mystery trope: the film drops clues here and there, clues that will lead to the reader (or viewer, in this case) saying at the end ‘well d’oh, I should have known.’ No surprise that the movie is widely held to be a SF film classic.” – James Davis Nicoll, Tor (2020) – link
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