Forbidden Planet is ‘50s science fiction at its best. For all the skirt chasing and retro schmaltz, it still manages to turn inward rather than outward, fostering an experience which more closely resembles an episode of Star Trek* than it does many of its other sci-fi contemporaries. It is not what I expected.
Yes, the captain’s communicator is on a wire and the crewmen all try to make out with the scientist’s scantily clad (and possibly teenage?) daughter. That kind of stuff totally dates the movie and basically sums up my expectations. But!
I appreciate this cerebral attempt to look forward to the future with optimism, and to create science fiction that explores a few simple philosophical themes in a unique way. For a movie with plenty of (awesome) visual spectacle, Forbidden Planet mostly trades action for conversation, and it’s better off for it.
*Pretty sure Gene Roddenberry just straight-up said Star Trek was inspired by Forbidden Planet