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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Fred M. Wilcox
USA 1956

Forbidden Planet is the granddaddy of tomorrow, a pioneering work whose ideas and style would be reverse-engineered into many cinematic space voyages to come. Leslie Nielsen plays the commander who brings his spacecruiser crew to Planet Altair-4, home to Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), his daughter (Anne Francis), a dutiful robot named Robby…and to a mysterious terror. Featuring sets of extraordinary scale and the first all-electronic musical soundscape in film history, Forbidden Planet is in a movie orbit all its own.

***

Classic '50s sci-fi, surprisingly but effectively based on The Tempest, with Nielsen's US spaceship coming across a remote planet, deserted except for Pidgeon's world-wearied Dr Morbius (read Prospero), his daughter (Miranda) and their robot Robby (Ariel). Something, it transpires, has destroyed the planet's other inhabitants, and now, as Bard and Freud merge, a monster mind-thing Caliban begins to pick on the spaceship's crew. An ingenious script, excellent special effects and photography, and superior acting (with the exception of Francis), make it an endearing winner.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: March 15th, 1956

Reviews       More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

Warner - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner (Ultimate Edition)

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Warner

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:38:33 1:38:16 1:38:30.279

Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,761,090,529 bytes

Feature: 19,854,551,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.81 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : Warner

Bitrate: Warner (Ultimate Edition)

Bitrate: Warner Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3298 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3298 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, None English, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (3:45)

DVD Release Date: April 18th, 2000
Snapper case

Chapters 30

Release Information:
Studio: Warner (Ultimate Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Additional scenes

• Lost footage
• Excerpts from the MGM Parade TV series
• Two follow-up vehicles starring Robby the Robot: 1958 MGM feature film The Invisible Boy and The Thin Man TV Series Episode Robot Client
• Three documentaries
• Science-fiction movie trailer gallery
• Vintage memorabilia
• Robby the Robot replica
• Collectible packaging
• Mail-in offer for a reproduction of an Original Forbidden Planet theatrical poster
 

DVD Release Date: November 14th, 2006
Packaging - see images below

Chapters 25

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,761,090,529 bytes

Feature: 19,854,551,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.81 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Deleted scenes (13:14 in SD)

• Lost footage (9:22 in SD)
• Excerpts from the MGM Parade TV series (2:17 + 3:59)
• Two follow-up vehicles starring Robby the Robot: 1958 MGM feature film The Invisible Boy (1:29:29) and The Thin Man TV Series Episode Robot Client (25:35)
Three documentaries:

• Watch the Skies: Science Fiction, the 50's and Us (55:31 in SD)

• Amazing!: Exploring the Far Reaches of The Forbidden Planet (26:33 in SD)

• Robbie the Robot: Engineering a Sci-fi Icon (13:45 in SD)
• Trailers for Forbidden Planet (3:41 in SD) and The Invisible Boy (2:31 in SD)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 7th, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray case

Chapters 25

 

Ultimate Edition DVD Package

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray (August 2010): The improvement in the visuals may not seem as apparent in the still frame grabs below but in-motion the 1080P image quality looks acceptably impressive. There is more grain noticeable and colors and detail definitely perk-up. It is not overwhelming with a moderate bitrate using the VC-1 encode but this may also be attributed to the special effects of the time that are liberally utilized in the film from the cavernous underground labs and mechanisms to the laser guns, light shows and clunky 'Robbie'. Personally, I find the modest f/x quite endearing and it may be a big reason that I love sci-fi films from the 50's - from This Island Earth to Them! (let's get those gems to Blu-ray). Bottom line is I doubt it can look significantly better - it gave my family a wonderful presentation.

Audio takes, a more demonstrative leap forward with a lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3298 kbps. It has some aggression in the bass response. Aside from Forbidden Planet's ground-breaking inclusion of "Robby the Robot" we had another first - an all-electronic music musical score that really comes through well in the HD track. It is almost too strong and piercing in parts. Unfortunately, again no option for the original stereo/mono audio (NOTE: I've been corrected in that it was originally a 4-track stereo (35mm magnetic prints: left | center | right | surround) and "Perspecta" mono (35mm optical prints: "fake stereo" directional sound system) - thanks Christian and Marvin! Regardless, I've come to enjoy this mix that exports enough subtleties to appreciate its intent. There are also a handful of foreign language DUBs and more subtitle options supporting the Blu-ray's region FREE status.

Digital extras are almost exactly duplicated from the 'Ultimate Edition' - the deleted scenes + 'lost footage' and the1958 MGM feature film The Invisible Boy (1:29:29) and The Thin Man TV Series Episode Robot Client (25:35), plus the three documentaries: Watch the Skies: Science Fiction, the 50's and Us, Amazing!: Exploring the Far Reaches of The Forbidden Planet, and Robbie the Robot: Engineering a Sci-fi Icon. In total almost 4 hours worth - but in SD only and all accessible on the lone dual-layered Blu-ray.  We are only missing the vintage memorabilia (Robby the Robot replica, collectible packaging and mail-in offer for a reproduction of an original Forbidden Planet theatrical poster).

Looking at all those supplements and the a/v improvement - this is a helluva package - one that fans of Forbidden Planet - a film that that continues to grow on me - or this, more innocent, sci-fi genre won't want to pass up. Recommended!

 

***

ON THE DVDs: NOTE: this Ultimate Edition has the same transfer (and digital supplements) on both discs as the Anniversary Edition sold HERE.

 

I don't mean to 'rain on the parade' but I think I may have had higher expectations for the image quality of the new release than it is representing. It is significantly cleaner than the old edition and sharper (for the most part) - although this was a 'given' with the high degree of anticipation of this release. Contrast is improved but I am ambivalent to make any bold statements on the colors. It could be the lighting but the uniforms of Commander Adams crew shift from blue to silver and even brown in some scenes.

 

Black levels may have been brought up a shade - which is very acceptable and I am unsure of any other manipulation, but it seems apparent that the old release had some brightness boosting. As other reviewers are probably gushing about this new transfer, perhaps my comments might be construed as unwarranted complaining. While I am at it though - another gripe is the audio - a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 track that sounds fine. Framing shows a bit more information on the edges of the new releases. 

Other than that - everything else is all good with the new edition - I went for the Ultimate as opposed to the Anniversary only because it was the only one available at the time. My sons like the Robby the Robot toy figure and the gaudy tin box is a cute keepsake. Some of the extras are filler, although interesting to some... but I enjoyed the additions of the 'Robby' features - The Invisible Boy is a hoot! A commentary might have been warranted as the film has much more to offer than simply what is on the surface, but so be it.

Overall, if you are at all into this genre of 50's sci-fi classics this ranks up with some of the best (This Island Earth , The Day the Earth Stood Still and Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Kind of a must-own in my mind, but my advice is go for the Anniversary Edition unless you are a true zealot about the film. 

Gary W. Tooze


Ultimate Edition Package

 


DVD Menus

(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

 

Ultimate Edition -2nd disc ('The Invisible Boy')

 


Screen Captures

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Subtitle Sample
: Not exact frame

 

 


 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Warner (Ultimate Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures

 

:

Report Card

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Warner Ultimate

 
DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner (Ultimate Edition)

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Warner

Region FREE - Blu-ray


 



 

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