1,001 Movies – Week 64

“Forbidden Planet” to “Frankenstein”


Forbidden Planet (1956) – What did this 1956 science fiction legend not have? Major stars, cheesecake, humor, electronic music, suspense, Shakespeare, and the best robot ever. Wow, talk about your allegorical metaphors. A starship comes to a distant colony to investigate loss of contact and finds there are only two colonists left, Walter Pidgeon and his very grown up daughter, Anne Francis. Oh yeah, there’s Robby the Robot, but he’s not human – he’s better. The Marines have landed and the same things start happening to them that happened to the colonists. It’s scary stuff; a multi-layered mystery, great special effects and one heck of a moral. (KWR)

The Four Musketeers (1974) – The second of Richard Lester’s Musketeer trilogy is possibly an even better film than The Three Musketeers despite on-set disagreements and subsequent court cases! There genuinely is nothing more entertaining that watching Ollie Reed trying to fence (except, possibly, watching Ollie Reed try to sing – see Tommy). (KT)

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) – One of the best British comedies of the 1990’s and it still remains a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It’s full of fine performances, some wonderful settings and hilarious lines that linger in the memory. (My favorite bit is Rowan Atkinson as the bumbling clergyman.) Hilariously superb script from Richard Curtis. (GS)

Frances (1982) – Jessica Lange‘s smart, sexy, violent breakout performance as Frances Farmer, a brilliant, beautiful and self-destructive 1930’s actress. Farmer was articulate, left-leaning, loose cannon whose values and ideas managed to threaten everybody who crossed her path. Sam Shephard is excellent as the (fictitious) writer who tries to save her. (BW)

Frankenstein (1931) – Well, here we are again – Icon Time. You all know how I feel about this one. I can only add that James Whale’s work directorially more interesting, on the whole, than Tod Browning’s stagey production of Dracula (1931). When you think “Frankenstein”, you think “Boris Karloff”. (KCL)


Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)

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