Rogue Cinema Mid-Term Examination – Forbidden Planet (1956) – By Philip Smolen

Remember mid-term exams? Cruelly placed after your holiday vacation, mid terms could wreck your cumulative grade in a class with one fell swoop. One day you were coasting along with a solid B+, and then: WHAMMO – your mid-term exam ruined everything. You spent the rest of the year struggling to get your grade back to where it was. The worst part about a mid-term was that the teacher always put in questions from stuff you studied back in September. Since you used short term memory for your test preparation, all that knowledge flew out of your head the moment the test was over. And it was impossible to recall information you learned months ago. I swear mid-terms to me were an exercise in cruelty.

Well, fellow Roguecinemaniacs, it’s mid-term exam time again! Only this is not for Calculus, Organic Chemistry or American History. This mid-term exam is going to test your knowledge about one of the great sci-fi films of the 1950s – MGM’s “Forbidden Planet” (1956). Exactly how much do you remember about this wonderful amazing movie? Well, we’re going to find out. Below you will find a comprehensive list of questions designed to see how much of this iconic movie you know. Broken down into five sections (Fill in the Blank, Matching, Multiple Choice, True/False and Essay), this text will hopefully make you smile as it takes you down the sci-fi memory lane. Hopefully, it will also make you want to watch the movie again. Now remember – NO CHEATING! Don’t go putting on the DVD to find your answers. See how much you know. Get ready… and… BEGIN!

Professor Smolen’s Sci-Fi Cinema 101 Mid-Term

NAME: _____________________

Part 1: Fill in the Blank (Complete the sentences) (25 points)

1. In the film “Forbidden Planet” (1956) men and women of Earth landed on the moon at the end of the ________.

2. Space Commander JJ Adams (Leslie Nielson) and his crew are on a deep space rescue mission. Their objective is to reach the planet ________ which is part of the main sequence star _______.

3. Once in orbit around the forbidden planet, Commander Adams speaks with _______ who was once part of the _______ expedition.

4. Once the crew of the ______ has landed on the planet, they are met by a strange creature that is monitored to respond to the name ______.

5.  During their first night on the new planet, the Earth ship is visited by an invisible being that destroys the ship’s _________.

Part 2: Matching (Place the letter of the answer next to the clue) (10 points)

A. Altaira                        ___ Device used by Altair 4 technicians

B. Krell                           ___ Ship’s doctor

C. Ostrow                       ___ Wife

D. Plastic Educator         ___ Area for transitioning from Light Speed

E. Shuttle Car                 ___ Only female on Forbidden Planet

F. Id                               ___ Bourbon

G. Julia Marsden             ___ Native Race

H. DC Stations               ___ Brain Boost

I. 60 Gallons                  ___ Subconscious

J. Hyperdrive                  ___ Allows attainment of the Speed of Light

Part 3: Multiple Choice (Circle the best answer) (25 points)

1. Commander Adams is usually joined on his jaunts around the new planet by two other officers. They are Ostrow (Warren Stevens) and (A) Chief Quinn, (B) the Ship’s Bosun, (C) Lt. Farman, or (D) Crewman Dix.

2. “Another one of those new worlds. No beer, no women, no pool parlors, nothing. Nothing to do but throw rocks at tin cans and we have to bring our own tin cans” were the words spoken by what crewman? (A) Lt Farman, (B) the Cook, (C) Crewman Strong, (D) the Ship’s Bosun

3. The opening narration in “Forbidden Planet” is by a very famous radio voice over artist who also appeared in many other sci-fi movies including “War of the Worlds” (1953). He is: (A) Les Tremayne, (B) Paul Frees, (C) Marvin Miller, (D) Paul Reubens

4. What is Dr. Morbius’s specialty? (A) Astrophysics, (B) Philologist, (C) Microbiology, (D) Alien Civilizations.

5. What was the title of the original script treatment for “Forbidden Planet”? (A) Demon Planet, (B) Horror Planet,  (C) Eyes to the Stars, (D) Fatal Planet.

Part 4: True/False (Place a T [for True] or an F [for False] next to the statement) (10 points)

1. Electronic music composers Louis and Bebe Barron never wrote music for another major film. ___

2. Actor Walter Pidgeon preferred his role as Admiral Nelson in “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1961) more than his role in “Forbidden Planet”. ___

 3. Robby the Robot is unable to destroy the invisible Id monster because it is really Dr. Morbius. ___

4. Actor Marvin Miller was the voice for Robby the Robot. ___

5. The Id monster is defeated by the astronaut’s ray guns. ___

6. The costumes and props for “Forbidden Planet” were frequently reused on “The Twilight Zone” (1959-1964) TV show. ___

7. MGM used its own special effects technicians on “Forbidden Planet”. ___

8. The ultimate goal of the Krell race was to totally free themselves from physical instrumentalities. ___

9. Doctor Ostrow gives Commander Adams the key information to put together the cause for all of the mysterious deaths. ___

10. Dr. Morbius’s daughter has no idea what a bathing suit is. ___

Part 5: Essay (Choose one of the two essay questions and be sure to use examples.) (30 points)

1. Compare and contrast the movie “Forbidden Planet” with William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”. Be sure to cite similarities and differences.

2. Explain Dr. Morbius’s feelings and motivations towards his daughter Altaira. What has the Krell machine done to alter his feelings toward her?

Bonus Question: How many Oscars was “Forbidden Planet” nominated for?

Answers and a scorecard will be provided in next month’s Rogue Cinema. Stay tuned!