Looking back, the character base developed in The Wizard of Oz has become the “golden standard” for some of the most iconic science fiction/fantasy plot lines that would follow its release: a brave heroine conquers the ruler of an evil kingdom with the help of friends in a far off foreign world. And while the details of such “good versus evil” stories can vary, such as the likes of Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, one thing rings true in all of them: the earth would surely perish without women.
MGM’s Forbidden Planet is glittering midcentury eye candy, a 1950s pulp magazine cover come to life. It’s amazingly entertaining stuff, but modern viewers are going to find a darker and more sex-obsessed film than they might have been expecting. Like all sci-fi films, it tells us much more about the era in which it was made than it does about the future it tries to imagine. Released in 1956, when the United States was at the zenith of its political and cultural power, the movie wears this optimism on its (military) sleeve.