Filmsite Movie Review
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Pages: (1) (2) (3)
Plot Synopsis (continued)

A Second Deadly Disturbance Back at the Flying Saucer:

That night, electronic disintegrator fencing had been erected by Lt. Farman (as ordered by Adams), activated, and tested around the perimeter of the spacecraft to protect it. After cleaning up, the Cook asked for the Lieutenant's special permission to walk outside the fencing, and although dubious that the Cook was looking for wild radishes, Lt. Farman agreed.

The Cook secretly met with Robby who provided him with 480 pints of "genuine Kansas City bourbon" (a total of 60 gallons, in 480 individual bottles). While the Cook sampled the smooth liquor, Robby turned when he thought he heard something, and the Cook asked: "What's up? Somebody coming this way?" Robby replied: "No sir, nothing coming this way."

While the Cook was still outside the perimeter with Robby, the fence reacted to something unseen by sputtering and shorting out with bright purple sparks, but then stopped. [Note: It was soon determined to be an invisible creature that intruded across the fence line.] The officers thought that there might be a problem with the system. But they failed to notice giant footprints making deep imprints in the soft desert soil, leading toward the stairs into the ship. Another indication of an unauthorized invisible entry (seen in the camera's tracking) was the buckling or bending of the steps due to massive weight being applied. After a short silence, screams were heard coming from within the ship.

Morbius' Fears of Humankind Possessing Krell Knowledge:

In Morbius' study (with Altaira standing by the door), Adams and "Doc" insisted that Morbius bring back his knowledge to Earth of his important discovery of Krell culture and civilization. A heated argument ensured - he strongly objected to being ordered around or having his "scientific find" taken under government supervision.

He stated his belief that humanity was not ready to learn of his find. He preferred to be the sole arbiter in charge of dispensing Krell knowledge in small doses according to his own timetable:

Morbius: You're too arbitrary, Commander. Perhaps I do not choose to be dictated to in my own world.
Adams: Dr. Morbius, a scientific find of this magnitude has got to be taken under United Planet supervision. No one man can be allowed to monopolize it.
Morbius: For the past two hours, I've been expecting you to make exactly that asinine statement...For close on 20 years now, I've been constantly, and I hope dispassionately, considering this very problem. And I have come to the unalterable conclusion that man is unfit, as yet, to receive such knowledge, such almost limitless power.
Doc: Whereas Morbius, with his artificially-expanded intellect, is now ideally suited to administer this power for the whole human race.
Morbius: Precisely, doctor. Such portions of the Krell science, as I may from time to time deem suitable and safe, I shall dispense to Earth. Other portions I shall withhold. And in this, I shall be answerable exclusively to my own conscience and judgment.

The Investigation of the 'Force' (or Creature) That Attacked Ship:

Their intense discussion was interrupted by a radioed call from the spaceship from Lt. Farman that Chief Quinn had been murdered inside the spaceship while working alone on the monitor, when everyone else was outside on guard duty. There were gruesome details of his death: "His body is plastered all over the communications room." Adams and "Doc" rushed from the house to return to the ship, while Morbius appeared stunned at his desk - realizing that the mysterious Force or invisible demon had returned: "It's started again."

After an investigation of the intrusion and murder, the next morning, "Doc" showed Commander Adams a plaster cast created from one of the footprints, and described its grotesque shape, size, and nature. The tracks were made by a bi-pedal, tree-dwelling, other-worldly, invisible creature with four sloth-like clawed feet. The arboreal creature's contradictory features appeared to violate all known evolutionary laws - it was a confused hybrid of a four footed and bipedal creature, and was both a predator and herbivore:

Thirty-seven inches by 19....This thing runs counter to every known law of adaptive evolution....Well, notice this structure here. Characteristic of a four-footed animal. Yet our visitor last night left the tracks of a biped. Primarily a ground animal too. Yet this claw could only belong to an arboreal creature like some impossible tree sloth. It just doesn't fit into normal nature anywhere in the galaxy. This is a nightmare.

During an impromptu disciplinary hearing on the Cook's drunkenness, he admitted to being guilty for drinking "four pints of 120-proof bourbon" - but oddly, there was no trace of a hangover ("Now, that ain't natural, sir"). His alibi and excuse was that his drinking companion "ROBERT" (or Robby) had argued him into drinking excessively during the time of Quinn's murder: "Him and me, we kind of got to toasting each other's good health. Just for cordial interplanetary relations, you understand." As a result of the Cook's testimony, Robby was cleared of any responsibility or wrong-doing involving the murder. Adams then turned his suspicions toward Morbius ("Maybe it leaves us with the same one"). He suggested to "Doc" that they should maybe return to the Krell laboratory to "get our IQ's boosted a couple 100 percent" with the 'plastic educator'.

The crewmen held a brief ceremony at the burial site for Quinn, and afterwards, Adams offered a few words for his epitaph: "Fine technician. A good shipmate." Altaira, Robby and Morbius arrived at the ship soon after the ceremony concluded. The scientist again restated his doomsday warning about the Force on the planet, due to his own visualized premonitions of an impending catastrophe:

I warned you while your ship was still in space. I begged you not to land on this planet. Believe me, Commander, that is only a foretaste. The Bellerophon pattern is being woven again. Remain here, and the next attack on your party will be more deadly and general....I seem to visualize it. I - if you wish, call it a, a premonition.

After they drove off, Adams told "Doc" what he really thought of Morbius' prediction: "I'd say it sounded like an ultimatum."

A Third Night-time Attack on the Crew by the Invisible Creature:

The crew prepared for another assault on the spaceship, protected by the electrified force-field fencing, an atomic cannon, laser batteries, radar, and a "clear field of fire" for the M.A. alert system - while Adams' "edgy" and "trigger-happy" men were tense but ready for any eventuality. The system was successfully tested for any further intrusions.

The radar system detected the movement of something huge approaching the force-field (from the nearby arroyo) ("It's still coming!"), and the fence's defensive shield sputtered and sparked. The crew directed volleys of high-energy weapons' fire straight toward the unseen roaring image or figure, but direct hits had no effect. The intrusive figure became more visible when the blasters created an outline of the target in their beams. The attacking figure appeared to be a horrendous, reddish, two-legged, monstrous creature that roared like a lion when caught in the crossfire. Two crewmen near the creature were dashed to the ground. Lt. Farman came to their defense by mindlessly rushing forward and firing with his electron rifle, but he too was picked up and tossed aside. (Morbius' description of the exponential power gauges, to the power of 10, was being dramatically illustrated. The Krell machinery was increasing the strength and energy output of the powerful creature tenfold - and toward infinity if needed.)

During the attack, Morbius was dozing uncomfortably in the Krell laboratory (at the desk with the viewing screen) - he was undoubtedly creating the invisible creature in his sleeping mind. While unconscious, his primal fears of the invasive spacemen were visualized as a monster that was being fueled by the powerhouse within the Krell's technological laboratory. Behind him, the power gauges flickered madly on and off. He was startled awake by Altaira's screaming - and at that same instant, the large creature in the force-field suddenly vanished, and the power gauges grew dark and began to normalize. She ran down the corridor into his arms and described how she had just awakened from a terrible nightmarish dream - eerily similar to the attack:

I just had a terrible dream. There was blood and fire and thunder and something awful was moving in the middle of it. I could hear the roar and bellow.

As he comforted her ("Now, now, now, you know a dream can't hurt you"), she replied: "Not me, not us." She expressed concern about the safety of Commander Adams - without specifically naming him: "The thing I saw was trying to break into camp. It was gonna kill - You'll take care of him for me, won't you, Father? You'll protect him." However, Morbius was unwilling to aid the space-explorers, especially Adams: "My darling, I'm completely helpless as long as he remains here so willfully."

After the attack had subsided, Adams bolstered his crew by announcing that they had repelled the invisible being with their neutron-beam weapons: "Whatever it was, our main battery stopped it," but then told "Doc" a different version: "It just went away for some reason. It'll be back." He realized that they were dealing with a highly unusual entity and scientific impossibility - "an invisible being that cannot be disintegrated by atomic fission." "Doc" had another theory of what they were dealing with - an organism that was composed of some sort of molecular structure with energy that could renew itself second by second - enough to withstand a blast of three billion electron volts:

It must've been renewing its molecular structure from one microsecond to the next.

The two realized that they must take the tractor-vehicle to return to Morbius' home to confront him: "We pick up the girl and her father whether they like it or not?" Adams cited the official regulation that would back up their decision to declare the planet a disaster area and evacuate: "Section 86A, evacuate all civilians from disaster area." "Doc" added two words: "Where feasible."

They were reminded of the earlier fate of the Bellerophon expedition - and the imperative to use the Krell's brain enhancer to get more answers:

Doc: Now, if you'll remember the Belerephon expedition, their ship was vaporized trying to lift off.
Adams: Which makes it a gilt-edged priority that one of us gets into that Krell lab and takes that brain boost.

Before departing for Morbius' home, Adams ordered his second-in-command to await their return, but prepare for evacuation and lift-off:

Get the ship operational. Do your best to wait it out for me and the doctor. But the second that fence shorts again, you lift off and report back to Earth base on conditions in this sector.

The Startling Revelation of Fatally-Injured Doc - "Monsters From the Id":

When they arrived, Adams volunteered to use the brain enhancer instead of Doc: "I'll take the first go at the IQ booster." At Morbius' front door, Robby confronted them, and insistently refused to let them in ("I am monitored to admit no one at this hour!"). The robot did not harm them, but disarmed them by neutralizing their blaster-weapons with a beam. Altaira appeared and admitted them - counter to her father's orders given to Robby. She commanded the robot with a special code: "Robby, Emergency Cancellation. Archimedes."

As Adams hugged Altaira, "Doc" took the opportunity to sneak away to the Krell laboratory. Adams explained to Altaira what had happened at the spacecraft, and how she was in danger:

We were attacked. Three more men dead, including Jerry Farman. I don't know - it was just some kind of big outline in the disintegrator beams....Well, anyway, we fought it, and we lost. I figure it'll be back.

Altaira argued with Adams about not leaving her father behind, or trying to make Morbius return home by force: "But I can't possibly leave him alone, I just can't...By force? I can't agree to that either." She claimed that she was "immune" to the deadly force, and expressed her declaration of love for him and concern for his safety: "Please, please, if you love me, go."

Just as Adams realized that "Doc" had slipped away to take the brain boost, Robby carried his limp body back into the room. He had used the brain enhancer in the lab and was near death. Although fatally injured and in pain, he was able to provide vital information to Adams with his boosted mind: ("You ought to see my new mind - it's up there in lights").

In a few final words with his dying breath, he described how the highly-advanced Krell had succeeded by creating a great technological machine to free themselves from their bodies. The highly-evolved beings were able to materialize anything that they could imagine, and project it, create it, or "materialize" it anywhere on the planet. However, they had forgotten one crucial thing - their own species' monstrous, secret and deadly subconscious - their ID - comprised of their base primal urges and drives. The Id was a component of their primitive inner beast - the debased part of human nature that resided deep inside their subconscious minds and would be released. They had been destroyed by the release of their own irrational urges located at the bottom of their rational psyches. This was the reason that the entire Krell race had become extinct in just one horrific night - everyone had unleashed their "monstrous" Ids:

Morbius was too close to the problem. The Krell had completed their project. The big machine - no instrumentalities -- true creation....But the Krell forgot one thing...Monsters from the Id.

Morbius walked in and confronted Altaira and Adams together, mocking them: "How romantic!" Then, he noticed the dead "Doc" on the couch and denounced him for his attempt to gain knowledge from the brain enhancer: "The fool. The meddling idiot. As though his ape's brain could contain the secrets of the Krell." Altaira complained about her father's uncaring callousness: "Father, he's dead." Morbius continued: "He was warned, and now he's paid. Let him be buried with the other victims of human greed and folly." Altaira responded that although she would have been loyal to her father and remained with him, he had made her choice simple by exposing his insensitivity and disregard for human life: "Morbius, you wanted me to make a choice. Now you've chosen for me."

She declared her love for Adams in defiance of her father's wishes - she would leave with Adams and his crew ("I'm ready to go with you, darling"). She ran to pack her things, while Morbius complained that her actions were "foolish" and that "she would be terribly punished."

Morbius' Ultimate Acceptance of His Own Monstrous Id:

Adams directly demanded that Morbius describe the Id: "What is the Id?" Morbius began by calling the Id an outdated and obsolete Freudian term:

It's an obsolete term, I'm afraid, once used to describe the elementary basis of the subconscious mind.

[In the model of Freudian psychology, the human psyche was composed of three parts, Ego, Super-Ego, and Id. The Id was located in the subconscious, and was the primitive part of the mind that included instincts, sexual drives, base and aggressive tendencies, and hidden memories.]

The Commander began to slowly grasp what "Doc" had said as he was dying - that the Krell from 2,000 centuries earlier were short-sighted, and had forgotten that their "big machine," the one that harnessed the subconscious power of all the individual Krell brains, and could create projections of solid matter anywhere else on the planet, could also unleash hidden, destructive primitive forces. The pensive Morbius objected, pointing out that there were no Krell alive, although they had left behind artifacts that still allowed the "living monster" to be present:

Adams: Monsters from the subconscious. Of course, that's what Doc meant. Morbius, the big machine, 8,000 miles of klystron relays. Enough power for a whole population of creative geniuses, operated by remote control. Morbius, operated by the electromagnetic impulses of individual Krell brains.
Morbius: To what purpose?
Adams: In return, that ultimate machine would instantaneously project solid matter to any point on the planet, in any shape or color they might imagine. For ANY purpose, Morbius! Creation by mere thought.
Morbius: Why haven't I seen this all along?
Adams: But like you, the Krell forgot one deadly danger - their own subconscious hate and lust for destruction.
Morbius: The beast. The mindless primitive! Even the Krell must have evolved from that beginning.
Adams: And so those mindless beasts of the subconscious had access to a machine that could never be shut down. The secret devil of every soul on the planet all set free at once to loot and maim. And take revenge, Morbius, and kill!
Morbius: My poor Krell. After a million years of shining sanity, they could hardly have understood what power was destroying them. (pause) Yes, young man, all very convincing, but for one obvious fallacy. The last Krell died 2,000 centuries ago. But today, as we all know, there is still at large on this planet a living monster.
Adams: Your mind refuses to face the conclusion.
Morbius: What do you mean?

Robby interrupted by announcing that something was approaching the house from the direction of southwest. (The "living monster" was another manifestation of Morbius' subconscious bringing a deadly Force to reality). They watched as trees were uprooted by the invisible creature. To protect them, Morbius closed his steel shutters, but they were ineffective. As the thing-creature began to break down the steel shutters, Adams became accusatory that Morbius was the awakened monster:

You still refuse to face the truth...Morbius, that thing out there - it's you!

Morbius demanded that Altaira renounce Adams as her lover: "Tell it you don't love this man," but she refused. Then he commanded Robby to destroy the creature ("Stop it, Robby. Don't let it in, kill it Robby!"), but Robby was incapable of fulfilling the order. Adams reinforced the notion that Robby knew what Adams had guessed - that the creature was generated by the Krell machine and was a manifestation of his master's own subconscious (Adams: "It's no use. He knows it's your other self"). The directive that Robby must never harm humans, its failsafe device, forced the robot to sputter, short-circuit, freeze up, and entirely shut down.

The group fled and took refuge behind the solid steel doors of the Krell laboratory.

[Note: Morbius didn't want to face the conclusion that the Krell civilization hadn't realized that they were destroying themselves from within through their incredible technological advances. Their "plastic educator" invention had expanded their minds, provided access to the immense, regenerating power of the great machine, and allowed for their inner subconscious thoughts to be instantly realized. However, the Krell (and Morbius) didn't realize that the deadly force ("living monster") was a manifestation or extension of their own subconscious, evil minds and urges. And in just one night, their freed inner selves destroyed their entire civilization.

Morbius was also the "id monster" that had killed the members of original Bellerophon expedition, when they wanted to abandon Altair-IV and return to Earth. And now, the great machine was again reacting to and feeding Morbius' baser and destructive subconscious thoughts in his 'inner beast' - and materializing or externalizing projections from his mind - to commit acts of violence on the crew of the C-57D cruiser in the form of an Id monster. Morbius' obsessed desire was to remain on the planet, repel any intruders, continue his research, keep Altaira possessively and jealously for himself, and remain the sole possessor of the Krell's secrets. When Altaira pledged her loving allegiance to Adams, his primitive, subconscious malevolent force targeted her too.]

Inside the Krell laboratory, Adams "jumbled the combination" to the closed door in order to prevent the creature from reading Morbius' mind to gain entry ("Whatever you know in here, your twin self out in the tunnel knows too"). They struggled with each other as Morbius cried out: "I'm not a monster, you...", while Adams shouted back: "We're all part monsters in our subconscious, so we have laws and religion." With time running out, Adams forcibly sat Morbius at the brain-boost machine as he explained the incredible power of the Krell technology, and how Morbius' own projected or externalized sub-conscious was responsible for unleashing tremendous destruction. Conveniently, Morbius was aware of the Id monster only in his dreams:

Adams: Here's where your mind was artificially enlarged. Consciously it still lacked the power to operate the great machine, but your subconscious had been made strong enough....Twenty years ago when your comrades voted to return to Earth, you sent your secret Id out to murder them. Not quite realizing it, of course, except maybe in your dreams.
Morbius: What man can remember his own dreams?
Adams: At least when our ship was approaching from space, you remembered enough to warn us off. But then when you thought we were threatening your little egomaniac empire, your subconscious sent its Id monster out again. More deaths, Morbius. More murder.

And because his daughter Altaira was now defying him, his subconscious wrath had even been extended to her too:

Even in you, the loving father, there still exists the mindless primitive, more enraged and more inflamed with each new frustration. So now you're whistling up your monster again, to punish her for her disloyalty and disobedience. And if you don't do something about it soon, Morbius, it's going to be coming right through that door.

The indestructible, 26 inches-thick multiple steel doors of the Krell laboratory began to melt and turn red hot as the monster drew unlimited energy and power from the great machine. The power gauges in the lab lit up and flickered wildly as they registered the power drain: (Adams: "That machine is going to supply your monster with whatever amount of power it requires to reach us. Look now. Red-hot. Soon it'll be white-hot, then it'll soften and melt").

The tormented Morbius begged for his daughter to believe in him: "Alta, say you don't believe this of me. Tell me you don't," but she refused to respond. He finally comprehended his mistaken path and human flaws, and realized that he must be immensely guilty of tremendous hubris. He confessed that he was the source of the monstrous creature, but then admitted after his startling confession that he was powerless to control his subconscious desires or the Krell machine:

Yes, I must be guilty....Guilty. Guilty. My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it.

Morbius was hinting for Adams to kill him in order to save his daughter, but Adams, who had drawn his blaster, could not bring himself to kill Morbius, and he lowered the weapon. The anguished Morbius, who still feared that he would hurt his beloved daughter, rushed toward the molten-hot door, to confront his own monster directly. He shouted out that he denied its existence:

Stop. No further. I deny you, I give you up.

As he stood gesturing toward the door to confront his evil self, the power gauges flickered wildly as the creature disappeared. His moment of truth had compelled him to physically place himself between the creature and the others, and turn the evil monster away from his subconscious, but it also caused his own self-sacrificing fatal injury (off-screen) - he collapsed to the floor as the power gauges dimmed and turned silent. His living nightmare ended only when he allowed himself to be destroyed by the amplified forces of his own fears.

Altaira rushed over to his side, as he uttered a few dying words to Adams. He instructed the Commander to activate an irreversible, self-destruct mechanism by throwing a floor switch, that would completely and explosively destroy the entire "forbidden planet" and all of the terrible Krell technology within 24 hours.

Son, turn that disc. The switch, throw it. In 24 hours, you must be 100 millions miles out in space -- the Krell furnaces, chain reaction - they cannot be reversed.

Morbius perished in Altaira's arms.

Departure from the Forbidden Planet of Altair IV and Its Obliteration:

A dissolve from the red, blinking self-destruct button transitioned to the C-57D flying saucer in deep space as the crew returned to Earth. They would not be safe until after reaching 100 million miles from the planet. Adams, Altaira, Robby (at the controls as the new astro-gator), and the rest of the crew, at the ship's main viewing plate, witnessed the destruction of Altair IV and the entire planetary system. Commander Adams gave his final assurances to Altaira in a closing speech (as he held her in his arms), while everyone observed the planet's explosive destruction in an expanding white fireball behind them - the thousands of Krell thermonuclear reactors underwent a chain reaction and vaporized the alien world and all of its destructive secrets.

[Note: The thermonuclear blast would be reminiscent of the immense destruction caused by the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, in August of 1945.]

Adams comforted her with the thought that her father's name would shine once again after mankind had worked its way up to the level of Krell advancement - in about a million years:

Yes, Alta, your father, my shipmates, all the stored knowledge of the Krell. Five seconds, four, three, two, one. Alta, about a million years from now, the human race will have crawled up to where the Krell stood in their great moment of triumph and tragedy. And your father's name will shine again like a beacon in the galaxy. It's true, it will remind us that we are, after all, not God.

The Krells' (and Morbius') destruction was, in part, punishment for appropriating the powers of God.

Previous Page