October 24, 2011The Space Age Look of Forbidden Planet
So, I discovered a few things while watching the classic movie, Forbidden Planet, the other night:
1) The costumes and sets are deliciously space age/atomic.
2) The young Leslie Nielson was also surprisingly delicious.
See? He even makes talking into a ridiculous space-microphone look good. Or maybe he is making the uniforms designed by Walter Plunckett look good. Either way, it’s gold.
If you have never seen this great 1956 film, you should go out and do it! Now! The sets are awesome. I kept simultaneously pointing at the screen and punching Tom’s arm for pretty much the entire movie.
And, really. Can you blame me?
The sets were designed for this film by Cedric Gibbons and Arthur Longeran. The whole film was shot indoors on sets with painted backdrops and elaborately designed props. And they range from the “space age” look:
To a more atomic home setting, which is the Doctor’s home on an alien planet in the film.
I LOVE the chartreuse/pink and gold combo. It’s fantastic!
Behind these dapper and heroic space stallions you can see the pink sofa set with connecting side tables.
The sofa upholstery is shot through with a prominent metallic thread that made them so shiny. In fact, I was so in love with them, it was a little hard to concentrate on the dramatic dialogue.
In this wider shot you can see the connecting side tables and matching coffee table.
The Doctor’s house itself was interesting, since the house was portrayed as having few solid walls, and was mostly just glass and steel. Here it is, in all it’s painted backdrop glory.
It also had quite a few nice brutalist-type sculptures, like this little fish guy.
And some nice light fixtures, like this desk lamp in the Doctor’s study.
And the sputnik lights! There were two of them, and they were positioned on the wall like sconces over some metallic wallpaper.
Overall a great classic movie, both in terms of story (it is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest), sets and filming. Check it out! Your little mid-century-loving hearts won’t be disappointed.
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