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  1. "Forbidden Planet" is one of the final science-fiction films from the 1950s I feel an almost-urgent need to see - Gene Roddenberry himself said it was a major influence for "Star Trek" - within the first minute of the movie, you can easily see the inspiration for "Warp Drive." The film introduces the legendary Robby the Robot - a seven-foot-tall robot (interestingly, he makes an appearance in "Lost in Space" where he battles "Robot," for whom he was a major inspiration). The film stars Walter Pidgeon ("How Green was My Valley") as Dr. Edward Morbius, Anne Francis ("The Blackboard Jungle") as Altaira "Alba" Morbius, and Leslie Nielsen ("Airplane!") as Commander John J. Adams. It also features Warren Stevens as Lt. "Doc" Ostrow and Earl Holliman ("Where is Everybody?" on "The Twilight Zone") as Cook. If you listen even half-carefully, you'll easily be able to detect the use of a Theremin in the theme song. Recently, I've watched some important science fiction films from the 1950s: "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The War of the Worlds," "Kiss Me Deadly," and "Forbidden Planet." Of the four, I thought that "Forbidden Planet" was, by far, the weakest of the bunch in terms of "general quality," although there's no denying the influence it had on making "Star Trek," and that alone is enough to place it in the pantheon of 1950s Science Fiction. Likewise, Robbie the Robot as an influence for "Lost in Space." As a movie? It's the weak link of the four, but there's no denying the film's influence, and you can absolutely see "Star Trek" in it, without even looking very closely. The plot is somewhat difficult to wrap your head around, and the viewer walks away from the film with something of a hollow feeling - the acting is fine, the effects quite good, and the character development is surprising, so why am feeling like I saw something "more influential than great?" I feel like I'm missing something here, and I'm hoping that discussion will help me sort things out. Can anyone out there help?
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