Tag Archives: Science fiction film

Planet Of The Apes

Planet Of The Apes is one of those sci-fi films that everyone has seen or at least knows about. It is perhaps one of my favourite sci-fi films and I think that Charlton Heston is great in it. I especially like the ending where Chuck discovers… well that would be spoiling the film. This is so much better that the Tim Burton remake from a few years ago.

Yeah, I know that I haven’t really said much here, suffice to say that it is a very good film.


Forbidden Planet

Directed by Fred M. Wilcox
Produced by Nicholas Nayfack
Written by Screenplay: Cyril Hume
Story: Irving Block & Allen Adler
Starring Walter Pidgeon
Leslie Nielsen
Anne Francis
Music by Louis and Bebe Barron
Cinematography George J. Folsey
Editing by Ferris Webster
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Release date April 1, 1956
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Forbidden Planet is another 1950s classic science fiction film. It stars a very young Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon and marks the debut of Robby the Robot. It is quite interesting but very talky in comparison to some of its contemporaries. The film is perhaps more intellectual than the other sci-fi films of the era.

It’s very interesting to see Leslie Nielsen in a serious role, 20 years before he appeared in Airplane!/Flying High! It is also interesting to see Robby the Robot before he was in Lost In Space. His voice is different here and he’s a bit annoying, but I still expected him to say, “Danger Wil Robinson!” but he didn’t.

The alien enemy Krell is interesting too and I like the way in which it was animated. It was animated by Disney veteran Joshua Meador.

Overall Forbidden Planet is intereting (that word again) but very talky and not as exciting in my opinion that some of the other films of the era.


I Confess

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Alfred Hitchcock Written by George Tabori
William Archibald
Paul Anthelme (Play)
Starring Montgomery Clift
Anne Baxter
Karl Malden
Brian Aherne
O. E. Hasse
Roger Dann
Dolly Haas
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography Robert Burks
Editing by Rudi Fehr
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date March 22, 1953
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This is a Hitchcock movie where he once again revisits one of his favourite themes of someone being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. It is a theme that he would also look at again in The Wrong Man a few years later. The difference here is that the accused knows who the murderer is but cannot tell the police. The reason for this is that the accused is a priest and the murderer told him about what happened during confession. The murderer ends up framing Father Logan in order to save his own neck, while Father Logan cannot say anything in his own defence. It’s an interesting concept and the film is quite entertaining.

There is also a documentary about the film on the DVD and as usual it features Peter Bogdanovich. I know he’s a well-known director and some of his movies are pretty good, but does he do anything these days other than appearing in documentaries about Hitchcock? He seems to be in every one that I have seen. It’s also the same with when you are watching a documentary on an old horror or sci-fi movie and you hear from Bob Burns, isn’t there anyone else?


The Incredible Shrinking Man

Directed by Jack Arnold
Produced by Albert Zugsmith
Written by Novel: Richard Matheson
Screenplay: Richard Matheson & Richard Alan Simmons (uncredited)
Starring
Grant Williams
Randy Stuart
April Kent
Paul Langton
Billy Curtis
Music by Uncredited: Irving Getz, Hans J. Salter &Herman Stein
Cinematography Ellis W. Carter
Editing by Albrecht Joseph
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) April 1, 1957
Running time 81 min.
Language English

This is another of those fifties sci-fi films that I have been watching lately. This movie is about Scott Carey who after being exposed to a radioactive fog whilst vacationing on his brother’s boat, begins to shrink. The first half of the film deals with Scott trying to come to terms on his condition and the effect that it has with his marriage. The smaller he gets the angrier he gets and the more tyrannically he becomes towards his loving wife Louise.

The 2nd half of the film is where the action begins. By this time Scott is small enough to live in a doll house. After Louise leaves the house for the shops, after being directed to by her increasingly angry husband, the families’ cat is accidentally let into the house, where Scott must try to escape it. The cat knocks him into the basement where he then has to battle a massive tarantula. In the film’s climax, after he gets his freedom Scott realises and accepts that he is not going to ever stop shrinking.

“And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears locked away and in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God there is no zero. I still exist.”

The film is incredibly enjoyable although the special effects are quite corny looking by today’s standards, but very effective. The scenes with the spider are scary enough for this arachnophobe to have to cover his eyes whenever it was on the screen. I only hope that the update that is due out later this year and starring Eddie Murphy (whose career of late has been built solely on playing Donkey in the Shrek films and remaking movies from the 1950s) is half as enjoyable.


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