I present to you my personal selection for "FAVORITE FANTASY MOVIE"
Truly a movie ahead of its time with stunning special effects, stunning performances, and a rewrite of Shakespeare's "The Tempest". This movie starred Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Edward Morbius; Anne Francis as Altaira "Alta" Morbius; Leslie Nielsen as Commander John J. Adams; and Robby the Robot as Himself.
Following is the Wikipedia outline. If you've never seen this one, find it, rent it, buy it, whatever it takes, and watch it! And after you do I challenge you to tell me what name appears as the creators / engineers / special effects team that was responsible for the astounding scenes they created. They were so good that the movie was nominated for an Academy Award. (HINT: it is NOT listed in the Wikipedia article, only the names of the experts involved. I'm looking for the company given credit on the screen!).
Early in the 23rd century, the United Planets Cruiser C-57D travels to the planet Altair IV, 16 light-years from Earth, to discover the fate of an expedition sent 20 years earlier. Soon after entering orbit, the cruiser receives a transmission from Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), the expedition's master of languages and their meanings. He warns the star ship to stay away, saying he cannot guarantee their safety; he also states further assistance is not necessary. Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) ignores the warning and insists on landing.
They are met on arrival by Robby the Robot, who takes Adams, Lieutenant Jerry Farman (Jack Kelly), and Lieutenant "Doc" Ostrow (Warren Stevens) to Morbius's home. There, Morbius explains that an unknown "planetary force" killed nearly everyone and then vaporized their starship, Bellerophon, as the survivors tried to lift off the planet. Only Morbius, his wife (who later died of natural causes), and their daughter Altaira (Anne Francis) were somehow immune. Morbius fears that the C-57D and its crew will meet the same fate. Altaira, having only known her father, becomes attracted to several of the Earth men.
Later the next night, equipment aboard the C-57D is sabotaged, though posted sentries never see the intruder. Adams and Ostrow confront Morbius the following morning. They learn he has been studying a highly advanced native species, the Krell, a race that mysteriously died suddenly 200,000 years before, just as they were on the verge of achieving their crowning scientific triumph.
In a Krell laboratory, Morbius shows Adams and Ostrow a device he calls a "plastic educator", a device capable of measuring and enhancing intellectual capacity; he uses it to display a three-dimensional, moving thought projection of Altaira. The Bellerophon's captain tried the machine and was instantly killed. When Morbius first used this machine, he barely survived; he later discovered his intellect had been permanently doubled. His increased intelligence enabled him, along with information from a stored Krell library, to build Robby and the other "technological marvels" in his home. Morbius then takes them on a tour of a vast cube-shaped underground Krell machine complex, 20 miles (30 km) square, still functioning and powered by 9,200 thermonuclear reactors. Afterwards, Adams demands that the fantastic knowledge of the Krell be turned over to Earth supervision but Morbius refuses, citing the potential danger that Krell technology would pose to mankind if it were to fall into the wrong hands and be misused.
In response to the sabotage, Adams orders a defensive force field fence deployed around the starship. This proves useless when the intruder returns undetected and murders Chief Engineer Quinn (Richard Anderson). Later, Dr. Ostrow (Warren Stevens) is confused by a casting made from one of the large footprints the intruder left behind: its contradictory features appear to violate all known laws and principles of evolution.
When the intruder returns, the C-57D's crew is prepared. They quickly discover that the creature is invisible. Its roaring image becomes visible as it stands within the fence's force field, further enhanced by the crew's directed high-energy weapons fire, all of which have no effect. It kills several of the crew, including Astrogator Jerry Farman. Back in the Krell lab, Morbius is startled awake by Altaira's screaming; at that same instant, the large creature suddenly vanishes.
Later, while Adams confronts Morbius at his home, Ostrow sneaks away to use the Krell educator; as Morbius had warned, however, he is fatally injured. Ostrow explains to Adams that the Great Machine was built to materialize anything the Krell could imagine, projecting matter anywhere on the planet. However, with his dying breath, he also says the Krell forgot one thing: "Monsters from the Id!" Morbius points out there are no Krell still alive. Adams asserts that Morbius' subconscious mind, enhanced by the "plastic educator", can utilize the Great Machine, recreating the Id monster that killed the original expedition; Morbius refuses to accept this conclusion.
After Altaira declares her love for Adams in defiance of her father's wishes, Robby detects the creature approaching the house. Morbius commands the robot to kill it, but Robby knows it is a manifestation of his master. His programming to never harm humans comes into conflict with Morbius' command and shuts Robby down. Powered by the Great Machine, the creature melts the indestructible metal doors of the Krell laboratory where Adams, Altaira, and Morbius have taken refuge. Morbius finally accepts the truth: the creature is an extension of his own mind, "his evil self". He then confronts the creature, saying, "Stop! Come no closer! I deny you! I give you up!" This act triggers a backlash in the Great Machine which mortally injures him (possibly a stroke, although the nature of the injury is never discussed), as the power indicators connected to the Great Machine go dark one by one. With his last ounce of strength, Morbius then directs Adams to turn a small disc until it locks. As he does so, a plunger switch rises up out of the floor. At Morbius's urging, Adams then throws the switch by pushing it straight down until it also locks. A red-and-white warning indicator surrounding the switch then lights up. The dying scientist then warns Adams and his daughter that within the next 24 hours they must be at least 100 million miles out in space, because Adams has just linked all of the Great Machine's thermonuclear reactors together, and has initiated an irreversible chain reaction which will destroy Altair IV completely.
From deep space, with the C-57D now at a safe distance, and safely on course back to Earth, Adams, Altaira, Robby, and the rest of the crew witness the destruction of Altair IV on the ship's main viewscreen. As the planet disappears in a flash of disintegration, Adams comforts Altaira, pointing out that, if nothing else, a million years in the future, her father's tragic experience will remind mankind that, "we are, after all, not God." With those words, the ship continues its journey back to Earth, and the film concludes.
ENDING COMMENT; Rumors have been floating around for several years now about a remake, with many potential directors' names being mentioned.
Who would be your choice to direct this remake and why?
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Science fiction and fantasy stories take place in worlds that have never existed or are not yet known. Still a little confused about what falls into the realm of sci-fi and fantasy? The genre generally includes:
1. All stories set in the future, because the future can’t be known. This includes all stories speculating about future technologies, which is, for some people, the only thing that science fiction is good for. Ironically, many stories written in the 1940s and 1950s that were set in what was then the future—the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s—are no longer “futuristic.” Yet they aren’t “false,” either, because few science fiction writers pretend to be writing what will happen. Rather, they write what might happen. So those out-of-date futures, like that depicted in the novel 1984, simply shift from the “future” category to:
2. All stories set in the historical past that contradict known facts of history. Within the field of science fiction, these are called “alternate world” stories. For instance, what if the Cuban Missile Crisis had led to nuclear war? What if Hitler had died in 1939? In the real world, of course, these events did not happen—so stories that take place in such false pasts are the purview of sci-fi and fantasy.
3. All stories set in other worlds, because we’ve never gone there. Whether “future humans” take part in the story or not, if it isn’t Earth, it belongs
to this genre.
4. All stories supposedly set on Earth, but before recorded history and contradicting the known archaeological record—stories about visits from ancient aliens, or ancient civilizations that left no trace, or “lost kingdoms” surviving into modern times.
5. All stories that contradict some known or supposed law of nature. Obviously, fantasy that uses magic falls into this category, but so does much sci-fi: time travel stories, for instance, or invisible man stories.
(From and article in Writer's Digest)
So, my friends, do you have any other thoughts and ideas about Science Fantasy? Are there even more divisions and sub-divisions? Leave your thoughts and comments, and have a FANTASTIC week!
Randy Massey works in the construction industry, and is a Steel Detailer by trade. He lives in Michigan with Sharon, his wonderful wife, who has put up with him for over 35 years. Reading has always been a passion of his, following such favorites as: Tolkien, Lewis, Asimov, and, more recently, Riordan and Collins. Loving all types of literature, with Fantasy and Science Fiction being his favorites, writing followed easily behind. He hopes his works will be enjoyed by many in the years to come.