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The 50 Best Sci-Fi Movies

42. Forbidden Planet (1956)

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly

All of the other interplanetary films on this list owe a great deal to Forbidden Planet, a true sci-fi originator that's just as fascinating today as it must've been for audiences 55 years ago.

Set on the fictional outer space region of Altair-4, director Fred M. Wilcox's fast-paced adventure was the first movie to ever take place on another planet, as well as the first flick to show humans traveling on a man-made spacecraft. Such trivia would sound like a bunch of hooey if the film itself sucked, however, so it's a good thing that Forbidden Planet is a well-made and technically ambitious success.

Loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest (seriously), Wilcox's flick follows a father/daughter team as they adapt to life on a mysterious planet, where man's evil thoughts can create monsters and a walking tin can known as "Robby the Robot" is man's best friend. Trust us, it's nowhere near as hokey as it sounds.

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