For this week’s class, we’re turning our attention to Science Fiction Film through the 1950s and Forbidden Planet. Before Wednesday, April 22, watch the lecture and Forbidden Planet, and post a comment here of at least 250-words summarizing both.
Remember to email me at jellis at citytech.cuny.edu with your research essay project ideas and I’ll get back to you with some helpful feedback.
Also, I will have office hours on Wednesday between 5-6pm on Google Hangouts. I’ll post a link to our OpenLab site beforehand.
Stay well and good luck!
16 thoughts on “Assignment: Lecture 9 on Science Fiction Film through the 1950s and Forbidden Planet”
In our April 15th lecture, we discussed the advent of SF in film and SF film through the 1950’s. Literary SF, like any literature, functions differently than film does in portraying a story. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan said “the medium is the message,” meaning that the story is shaped by the medium in which it is presented. SF lit. deals with ideas using words, it analyzes and provides access to interiority, whereas film deals with ideas by giving the visual shape. It deals with visual surfaces, so we don’t have the same access to interiority (unless, e.g., voice-over is employed – sometimes a mark of lazy film-making). However SF film does some things that lit. can’t do; it uses illusion and can make the imagined seemingly real. Though in the reverse way, film can be limiting, as it confines the imagination to images that are already established by the film-maker.
The first SF film was considered to be “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” by George Melies (1902). It was based loosely on H.G. Wells’s The First Men on the Moon and Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon. Other important films included Fritz Lang’s 1926 “Metropolis” (German, silent), James Whales’s adaptation of “Frankenstein” (1931), “The Thing From Another World” (1951), “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951) (based on Harry Bates’s Farewell to the Master (1940)) and War of the Worlds (1953).
“Forbidden Planet” (1956 by MGM Studios and directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox) was a space opera based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1610-1611). The movie takes place in the 23rd century, as a starship commander and crew attempt to locate a (thought to be) lost party on a distant planet. The commander, John J. Adams, manages to contact a human colonist on the planet (scientist Dr. Edward Morbius), and is told by him not to land – “the colonists need no help and can’t guarantee the crew’s safety.” They land and meet the scientist and his daughter Altaira (along with Robby the Robot), who knows little about human (earth) culture and is hit on constantly by the men of the visiting crew, which doesn’t go unnoticed by her father Morbius. Strange things start to happen – Altaira’s pet tiger nearly kills her, and the men’s ship is sabotaged by an “invisible force.” The men discover Morbius was studying the technology of the creatures that were native to the planet, the Krell. Morbius harnesses Krell technology that can make come to pass anything that one desires or simply thinks about. Ultimately Morbius’s subconscious begins to control the technology causing havoc for the crewman and anything that Morbius’s subconscious doesn’t like. Could this invisible power, called the “Id,” have killed the wife of Morbius on the planet before the crew arrived? Did it make Altaira’s pet tiger nearly attack her? The invisible monster of Morbius’s Id ends up killing multiple members of the crew and is uncontrollable. Finally, Morbius admits that his Id controls the monster, and he confronts it. The monster flees, and Morbius advises that Adams and is daughter (along with Robby the Robot and the remainder of the crew) escape the planet before it self-destructs. Morbius destroys the planet along with the technology so that it doesn’t fall into another human’s hands, as he believes we were “not ready” for it.
Interestingly, Robby the Robot adheres to the “Three Laws of Robotics” discussed in earlier lectures. He refused to kill the crewman but obeys Morbius’s command to put his arm in a “disintegrator” (Morbius stops Robby in time to save the arm). There are the sexist overtones common to movies of the time; the men take their turn trying to “teach” the girl, which basically means competing to make out with her or see her naked – though entertainingly and in good humor. More importantly, the film speaks to the effects of powerful technology in the hands of the naturally flawed (humans). The film was made just after the dawn of the nuclear age, and is perhaps a reflection on the state of humanity, which Adams notes in the film, “should not play god.”
At the beginning of this class, we started to learn about how the Science Fiction films and Science Fiction literature function differently. There are 4 points, in the first point, the medium is the message. How the media have their affordances and constraints that determine what you can do and don’t. in the second point, SF literature deals with ideas using words and TV deals with Auditory and visual ideas, there are some elements that easily expressed in words, and it is hard to be represented in films. And vice-versa. In the third point, how the media tries to adapt to the other, sometimes, it will bring the used method that is not the best. Somehow, breaking some basic rules of his own media. The fourth point, the literature allows the readers to use their imagination to determine how the environment is, how the appearance of the protagonists, the beings, the spacecraft, etc. the movie bring a sole option represented on screen. This can be or not close to our imagination. This way film limits the limitless options of the written words.
The class continues with a series of good data for those who received this class of SF must be primordial knowledge. The first-ever film of science fiction is “Le Voyage Dans la Lune” (1902). The first major SF film was Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 1926. It was a silent German movie. Other movies that were discussed Frankenstein (1931), the Thing from Another World (1951), The Earth Stood Still (1951), War of the World (1953).
Finally, the forbidden planet (1956) from MGM Studios, and directed by Fred McCloud Wilcox. This film is particular because the majority of the SF films and works are based on previous SF works. But, this film is based on Shakespeare’s play called Tempest. This play can be catalog in the genre phantasy. The comparison character by character of the play and the film let us see how well connected both are. The final thought how the new system of copyright where giants like Disney are narrowing the path, where the artist can use old SF works to create new stories inspired by those previous ones. The right to stand on the shoulders of Giants can be a great battle that will be occurred in the 21st century, where the artists will fight back to get that right again.
Today during our lecture today, we finally decided to take a dive into classic sci-fi films. Starting from the first sci-fi film ever directed by George Nelies. He was also one of the earliest filmmakers. Was responsible for “voyage da lalune” was released all the way back in 1902! Which revolves around two different novels. Jules Vern’s “Earth to the moon” and H.C Wells “first men on the moon”. Which are about the first men to the moon. Hint the titles of the novels. Fast forward a quarter century we get our first ever major SF production. “Metropolis” directed by Frits long. Was a silent German film just like the first SF film ever “Voyage da lalune”. Which is about a “Highly stylized futuristic City where a beautiful and cultured Utopia exists above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated workers”. “The forbidden planet” the bread and butter of today’s Lecture. The forbidden planet was Directed by: Fred M. Wilcox. MGM took a massive gamble on this film. “Projecting what should have been another Sci B-movie”. Turned out to be the biggest one of the biggest shock in sci-fi history nether the less film history all together. “Forbidden planet” set the standards for SF with jaw dropping visual and special effects that still hold up to this day! The film is based on Shakespeare’s play called “Tempest”. Forbidden planet was a about a crew traveling to mercy in 1979, to rescue a stranded scientist and his daughter.”upon arriving the planet the crew learns of the discovery of an ancient civilization that existed,and the mysterious monsters stalking them”. Later on in the film the scary “monster” end up being projections made by the scientist mind, the monster is latter referd as the “ID” the film script went to different stages the planet Mercury was later changed into a fictional planet called “Altair IV, and instead of the film taking place in 1979 they decided to fast forward a few centuries. All the way to the 23 century.
In our last lecture, lecture 9 we discussed Science Friction through the 1950’s. Marshall McLuhan said “the medium is the message” meaning that the story is shaped by the medium, each medium has things you can and can’t do. Science Fiction literature deals with ideas using words. Science Fiction films deals with ideas by giving them visual shapes. Science Fictions also has voice- over which would be considered lazy film making. Science Fiction films does things that Science Fiction Literature can’t do, it uses illusions to make things appear real. Science Fiction films con be limited as they restrict the imagination to images that’s already exist. The first Science Fiction film was by George Melies, Le Voyage Dans La Lune – voyage to the moon. We discussed some early Science Fiction films such as Fitz Lang’s 1926 Metropolis. The Thing (1951) was about shape shifting aliens. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) was about aliens tries to install peace of human society. 1953 War of the World, aliens landed on earth. 1955 This Island Earth, Uranium is obtained. Forbidden Planet, MGM studios produced the film by Fred McLeod Wilcox, spaceship lands to investigate a colony. Some definitions of Science Fiction are, Super Ego- all laws and rules that we’ve learned. Id- bodily desires, what we feel. In Forbidden Planet the starship C-75D reaches the distant planet Altair IV to determine the fate of an earth expedition sent there 20 years earlier.
Lecture 9 introduced the idea of constraints in different media. For example it covered how radio comes with the medium of audio, how TV has visuals and audio and how text although having neither (except visual in its own way) all create different effects on the audience. To further explain this point Professor Ellis explained how your imagination of audio may not match a visual adaptation therefore leading you to feel disappointed in the work produced. I found this to be very true especially with superhero films today. Marvel and DC have adapted their visual comics into the form of film media which has not always received a positive reception. There were 3 other points that we covered including how SF uses analytical and metaphorical methods to express SF through different mediums. As we continued the lecture we learned about important SF and the SF film boom. Forbidden Planet was our assigned viewing and I have to say it was a very solid SF tale. Personally for me, there is something about the charm of the film that pushes you to explore more of the works during this time period. From the moment the film began you see the men in the ship using advanced technology and almost immediately are met with great anticipation. The captain picks up his communicator to contact Doctor Morbius about their mission. He warns them to retreat but they refuse leaving the viewer curious and engaged in the story. “Robby” the robot created by Dr. Morbius is your average SF piece of junk robot you probably imagined as a kid. However as the story progresses we grow a connection with Robby at times serving as a comic relief and others as a threat to the main plot. I enjoyed the effects although dated I feel like they still work for me and help engage me in this world. I was too big of a fan of how Morbius’ daughter was portrayed as I feel like she couldve used more development. However something about that raw portrayal did make this story feel different from what we see in SF female characters today. I actually could not predict what this monster was. I did have some theories but none of them were correct. Regardless I thought it was a great film and a great representation of the SF Film Boom.
In lecture 9, Science Fiction film is discussed, alongside the film “Forbidden Planet.” It was stated that Science Fiction deals with ideas using words, being analytical and providing access to inferiority. However, Science Fiction film deals with ideas by bringing the visions in one’s to right in front of them; it shapes the ideas into a visual. It was said that it is metaphorical, which tends to make an attempt to grasp the meanings of the visuals difficult. Science Fiction film uses illusion to make the imagined seem real. During the lecture, the films “The Thing” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” we’re briefly mentioned with their significance in SF films. “Forbidden Planet” was spoken of also. This film was directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox, and released by MGM Studios. This is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.” The premise of this movie is a starship crew under the management of Commander John J. Adams seek a what seemed to be lost planet in the 23rd century. After coming in contact with a human colonist and meeting his daugter Altaira, weird things begin to happen. They are threatened by an invisible force, and they soon find out that the colonist mentioned had been studying the technology of the creatures on their planet, the Krell. This began to get out of control as the colonist’s subconscious begins to take the steering wheel when it comes to the technology. Without trying to, anything the colonist doesn’t fancy begins to be attacked due to the lack of control of his subconscious.
During this lecture, we learned about science fiction films through the 1950s. The first topic discussed how science fiction literature differed from the films. First point was that the story is shaped by the medium in which the story is presented. As Marshall Mcluhan, a media theorist, quotes “Medium is the message”. The medium has affordances which are things you can do with it and constraints which are things you cannot do with it. For example, an affordance of music can be sounds you can hear, and a constraint is visual that you can see. The second point explains that science fiction deals with ideas using words. It provides access to interiority; can be able to go in depth about how something works. The third point is that science fiction films deals with ideas that gives them visual shape. Literature provides easy access to see the interior of the characters minds; however, films do not allow this easy access. The fourth point explains what the films can do that literature cannot do, use illusion to make the imagined seemingly real. When a reading adapts into a movie, what you imagined from the reading may be different from what is depicted in the movie, and it can be jarring. Next, we learned about some of the first science fiction movies that came out in the early 1900s, and the science fiction film boom in the 1950s. Some examples of early science fiction movies are “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” in 1902, “Metropolis” in 1926, and “Frankenstein” in 1931. Some examples of films in the 1950s boom are, “The Thing” In 1951, “The day the Earth stood still”, and “War of the Worlds” in 1953. Then we learn about the film “Forbidden Planet” that came out in 1956. It is an adaptation of an older form of science fiction. It is a space opera that is an interpretation of William Shakespeare’s play; “The Tempest”. The film is about a crew on a spaceship traveling to a distant planet to determine the fate of an expedition sent there 20 years ago. When they land, they meet Robbie the robot, who takes the crew to the remaining survivors of the old expedition, Morbius and his daughter Altaira.
On this assignment, we spoke about film through the 1950’s. We spoke about the quote, “The medium is the message”. This refers to the limits of the medium and what can be used to its advantage. Certain rules like the medium of a message is molded by the medium it is presented in. SF literature primarily deals with literature and such is given interiority as well as deep explanation into certain subjects. The Film we saw was Forbidden Planet (1956). The film was extremely enjoyable but the end of the story in my opinion seems to have holes. The monster is born of the Id which is primal desires. Mobius’s wife was unaffected because he desires to protect his wife. Even if Altairia was to disobey Mobius he would not be able to harm her with the monster of his subconscious. Even subconsciously protection of your children seems to be am factor of the Id. I think a more beneficial solution would have been to leave Mobius with Altairia so he could learn about the Krell and avoid the pitfalls that they fell into rather than destroy all the knowledge they acquired. Even if it would seem dangerous the technology, they build along the way like Robby would be extremely useful which was considered child’s play to them. Even though the captain thinks that we should not “play god” there were many extremely useful things the Krell had that would’ve done great for them. The romantic Subplot between the captain and Altairia was forced and did not really make sense to me but I liked the captain and Mobius a lot. I wish it explained how he was able to survive the IQ multiplier while only becoming unconscious and not immediately dying like Doc.
The ninth lecture was we covered how science fiction differs depending on what medium is used to tell its story. The focus was on differences between film and written literature, their affordances and strengths. With the written style of telling a story you can be a lot more descriptive. The written form allows the author creative freedom regarding being descriptive with multiple details that a reader has the allowance to imagine their own visual experience in their mind what is being read. With film there is less left for the viewer’s imagination, and the experience is driven more by the director’s artistic interpretation of either a piece of literature they’re reenacting, or their own story being told. Then we went of major science fiction films and their history.
The next portion of our lecture was on our viewing for the week “Forbidden Planet” directed by McLeod Wilcox. I thought it was interesting that it is a science fiction piece based on a Shakespeare play “The Tempest.” As I was watching it, it also reminded me of a story I use to hear when I lived out in Montauk on Long Island. There was this old conspiracy story called the Montauk Project that happened around World War II, where the government was supposedly doing mind and teleporting experiments at the fort. There is a story where they thought they unleashed a beast from one of their subject’s subconscious and they named it the Montauk Beast. This film where Morbius’s mind unleashed a beast of bad thinking reminds me of that.
In Lecture 9, we learned about Science Fiction films through the 1950s. First, we discussed the media theorist, Marshall McLuhan, and his saying “The medium is the message”. This means that devices have their medium, for example, radio has the medium of audio compared to a TV that has the medium of audio and visuals. We talked about the differences between SF literature and SF film. SF literature deals with the ideas of using words, it is analytical and provides access to an interiority. For example, in stories, you can read the character’s thoughts compared to SF films which are not as common. On the other hand, SF films deal with ideas by giving them visual shape. It is metaphorical which makes it more difficult to understand the meaning of the visual that can be made clearer with words. SF films do somethings that SF literature can’t do like use illusion and make the imaginable seemingly real however it also constrains our imagination. The first SF film was “Le Voyage Dans La Lune”(1902) directed by George Melies. Another important film was James Whale’s “Frankenstein”(1931) that was an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein(1818). There are some changes between the two like in the film Henry Frankenstein has an assistant which was not the case in the original Frankenstein. Also, some films that took place during the SF film boom of the 1950s included “This Island Earth”(1955) that felt in the category of Space opera. It explored the tension between isolation and embrace of the other. Lastly, we discussed the ‘Forbidden Planet”(1956) released by MGM Studios and directed by Fred Mcloud Wilcox. The film was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest(1611). The film opens up with a spaceship landing to investigate the fate of a colony, whose sole survivors are Morbius and his daughter, Altaira. The crew is threatened by an invisible force called Caliban. The monster was made possible by Krell technology discovered on the planet. It destroys Morbius and the end Altaira is saved as she goes with the crew on their spaceship.
During this lecture, we focused on Science Fiction film throughout the 1950’s – the Science Fiction film boom. In the beginning, we questioned; How does science fiction literature function differently than film? We focused on four main points.
1. The Medium is the Message – Each medium has different affordances. A story is shaped by the medium in which the story is presented.
2. Ideas – Science Fiction literature deals with ideas using words. It is analytical and in depth. It explains how or why something works.
3. Science Fiction film deals with ideas by giving them visual shape. It is metaphorical. You are able to see what is going on.
4. Science Fiction film does things that Science Fiction literature can’t do. It uses illusion and makes the imagined, real.
We then spoke about George Melies, the director of the first Science Fiction film. He was one of the earliest filmmakers. He directed Le Voyage Dans La Lune, which was released in 1902. It is based loosely on Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon. Next, we discussed the first major Science Fiction film, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. It is a German, silent film about a girl living in a heavily industrialized society, trying to help others who are at a low. Due to sabotage of her work, she and a partner must save the world. Afterwards, we discussed James Whale’s film, Frankenstein, which was released in 1931. We learned that James Whale was openly gay and homoeroticisim demonstrated in the film adds layers to the story. We then discussed various films that were released during the Science Fiction film boom. They include:
1. The Thing (From Another World) 1951
2. The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
3. War of the Worlds 1953
4. This Island Earth 1955
5. Forbidden Planet 1956
We focused on Forbidden Planet and learned that it is an adaptation of something much older than Science Fiction. It is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Towards the ending of the lecture, we discussed what the tripartite mind consists of.
1. Superego – Laws and rules we learn as we grow up.
2. Id – Our bodily desires and impulses.
3. Ego – Sense of self that forms between the superego and the id. It is the string that balances the two.
During this lecture, we learned about the differences Science Fiction stories and Science Fiction films and how they each take a similar but different approach to telling the stories written. Science Fiction on it’s own, such as short stories, comic books or novels, have an approach where they use words to describe an action going on in a particular scene. Science Fiction films deal with their ideas in a similar way but instead use visual components to expand on the ideas written on paper. When reading a Science Fiction story, the author expands his own thoughts to make the picture show up into the readers mind, by giving specific details such as surroundings or what the character is thinking in that exact moment. Films have the opportunity to show those thoughts visually, they’re allowed to show what the surroundings look like and sound like, and their characters are allowed to express their feelings using facial expressions provided by the actors. Both forms of telling a story of Science Fiction work well, it’s just up for the consumer of those stories to choose how they go through with knowing the story. Forbidden Planet was a film that was loosely based off of another type of Science Fiction work written by Shakespeare called The Tempest and it was one of the many films that took off during a period of time where lot’s of Science Fiction movies were released.
The topic of our 9th lecture is Science Fiction Films through the 1950s and the assigned film Forbidden Planet. Science fiction films are similar to SF literature in that the purpose of both mediums is to entertain the audience by exposing them to stories that are fictitious but are rooted in science. Each of the mediums has different affordances and constraints and appeals to audiences utilizing different methods. Radio as a medium uses auditory aspects to convey its message and lacks visual aspects, television and film use both auditory and visual aspects to communicate ideas, and literature lacks both auditory and visual aspects and utilizes text which is translated into mental images by the reader. Unlike SF, literature which is analytical allows for thorough explanations of the scientific aspects of the story and of detailed descriptions of the characters and their thoughts, SF films do not allow for these things most likely due to the time and cost required to develop the films and because we do not require so much detail because the images are formed for us. Although SF films do the work of creating images to convey the story, when compared to the books that inspired them, the reader may at times find the films less satisfying because they lack detail and explanation.
During the 1950s there was an increase in SF film making. The films were based on well-known SF novels and stories. Some famous SF films of the 1950s include The Thing From Another World (1951) based on John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There published in 1938, The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) based on Harry Bates’, Farewell to the Master (1940), War of the Worlds (1953) based on the novel of the same name by H.G. Well published in 1898, This Island Earth (1955) based on the novel of the same name by Raymond F. Jones which was published in 1952, and the assigned film for this lecture Forbidden Planet (1956) which is based on a novel published in 1956 by W.J. Stewart a pseudonym of Philip MacDonald.
Forbidden Planet, released in 1956 by MGM Studios and directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox, is an SF film about a search and rescue mission to a distant planet known as Altair IV. When the cruiser C57D arrives at the planet, the ship’s crew is hailed and warned to return home by Dr. Edward Morbius, one of the individuals they have been tasked with locating. Upon Commander J.J. Adams’ insistence, Morbius provides him with landing coordinates and they are soon safely on the planet. After being picked up in a transport vehicle Commander Adams and some crew members proceed to Morbius’ dwelling where they meet him and his daughter Altaira. Upon meeting Altaira the members of the crew are immediately changed by her presence turning on each other to gain her favor. The crew members are attacked by a strange and mysterious creature that evening and attempt to discover what has attacked them. After some interesting explanations regarding the technology of the planet’s previous inhabitants, the crew members learn that the creature is created by Morbius’ subconscious and powered by the alien power source. The story ends with Morbius’ death and the destruction of the planet as the Commander and his team make their way back to Earth. Morbius’ behavior can be attributed to Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and superego. The characters such as Morbius, the Commander, and his crew seem to be morally good (superego), but their instinctive behaviors (id) are apparent in the way Morbius behaves towards his visitors, his daughter, and in his anger that creates the creature, and in the how the crew bad mouth each other because of jealousy and a desire to gain favor with Altaira. The ego is apparent when Morbius fights the creature and instructs the Commander on how to destroy the planet, and also how although the crew members were rivals at some point they come together to complete their mission.
I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the film was to me, and as a result, I will watch other SF films from the same period once the semester has ended.
In the ninth lecture we discussed science fiction films and the differences between literature and films. For a literacy to become film, literacy will adapt to make a media as a result some aspects of the literature will be removed from the film. On that same token, the film can also create new ideas to support the adaptation of the literature. The 4 characteristics that differ films from literary science fiction are: The medium is the message meaning the story is shaped by which the story is presented, literature deals with ideas using words, films deals with ideas using shapes, and fils does things that literacy cannot like hallucinations. The first science fiction film was directed by George Nelies, named “La Voyage Dans la Lune” or A Trip to the Moon in 1902. Based loosely on Jewels Verm’s “From the Earth to the Moon” and H. G. Wells’ “The First Man on the Moon”. The first major science fiction was Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” in 1926. It is about a heavily industrialized futuristic society that had this separation between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. We then discussed the films of the 1950s consisting of “The Thing from Another World” in 1951, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in 1951, “War of the Worlds” in 1953, and “This Island Earth” in 1955. The film most discussed was “Forbidden Planet”. Made in 1956, directed by Fred McLoud Wilcox, and produced by MGM studios. Its a space opera that is an interpretation of William Shakespear’s “The Tempest” published in 1623. The story follows Captain Adams and his crew of the Starship C57D as they fly towards planet Altair 4 in search for the Bellerophon spaceship that went missing for 20 years. To their surprise they were already expected.
During lecture 9, we covered 1950’s Science Fiction Films and how SF literature differs from film. To quote Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message.” Relating to SF works, this can mean there will be certain gains and losses by using the two to tell a story. In the film, where you gain visual and audio of what you’re taking in, you are able to make the imagined real. But with this comes the possibility of surface-level work, meaning the story they are telling through this medium has little to no depth and its purpose is only to entertain the eyes instead of the mind. SF literature provides us with a narrative but without the audio and visual, everything is left to our imagination. It deals with ideas using words, which are analytical. Written stories can go in-depth on how things work and give the reader insight into a character’s thoughts.
The first SF film, “Le Voyage Dans La Luna,” was created by French director, George Melies. It was loosely based on two pieces of SF literature: “Men on the Moon” by HG Wells and “Earth to the Moon” by Jules Verne. In the 1950s, an SF Film Boom occurred, in which several films were created all based upon pieces of work that had been previously printed in magazines in novels. “The Thing” (1951) was based on JW Campell’s “Who Goes There” (1938), “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951) based on Harry Bates’s “Fair Well to the Master” (1948), “War of World” (1953) based on HG Wells’s novel from 1898, and also “This Island Earth” (1955) based on Raymond Jones’s novel from 1952.”
“Forbidden Planet” directed by Fred Wilcox is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” written around 1610 or 1611. It is known as one of the last plays that Shakespeare wrote and is a story of magic, enchantment, and betrayal. The film hints towards the 3 parts or tripartite of the mind which are: the superego, which contains the laws and rules we learn as we grow, the id, which are our impulses and deep emotions, and lastly the ego, which is said to form from the tension of the superego and id.
Science Fiction literature differs from Science Fiction Film in four major ways. One, like Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” Each medium has certain strengths and weaknesses. Science Fiction literature is visual, and imagination driven whereas Science Fiction film is visual and auditory. Second, Science Fiction literature is analytical and deals with ideas using words. Films do not give easy access to the inner thinking of characters and authors. Third, Science Fiction Film deals with ideas by giving them a visual shape, it is metaphorical making it harder to grasps its meanings. Fourth, Science Fiction film does things that Science Fiction literature cannot such as use illusions or make the imagined seemingly real. Science Fiction film also has the ability to constrain our imaginations. Forbidden Planet was directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox released by MGM studios in 1956. It is a space opera adaption of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Many of the characters in the film directly parallel the characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Forbidden Planet a spaceship crew in the 23rd century is investigating a colonized planet and its two lone survivors during which the crew is menaced by an invisible force that turns out to be the male survivors powerful subconscious. The movie deals with the significance of the Sigmund Freudian concepts of the id, ego, and superego. The superego is made up of the laws and rules we learn as we grow up. The id is our bodily desires and impulses that we feel. The ego is the sense of self that forms from the tension between the id and superego.