Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jason watches THE TIME MACHINE and FORBIDDEN PLANET

It was a super-cheesy dumb blonds in sci-fi double feature at the Stanford.

First up, THE TIME MACHINE (1960) roughly followed the trajectory of H. G. Wells' novel. Sure, you have to gloss over the idea that the Eloi, some 800,000 years in the future, still speak English. And I love the thinking behind a movie that in 1960 predicted London would be nuked into oblivion in the distant future of...1966. As far as the dumb blond, that would be Eloi Weena, played by Yvette Mimieux. Of course, maybe this is a bit unfair, since all the Eloi, by nature of their characters, are sort of idiots. But in all seriousness the mannequin was a more compelling female lead.

And the second half was the classic alleged adaption of Shakespeare's The Tempest--FORBIDDEN PLANET. What's not to love--electronic theremin soundtrack, Robby the Robot, monsters from the Id, an unrecognizable dark-haired Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon as the reclusive survivor Dr. Morbius (and finally some recognition for the scientific contributions of philologists!). And, of course, Anne Francis as the dumb blond Alta Morbius.

Once again, of course, the dumb blond character is really just naive, and there's a good reason behind it. In this case, she's led the ultimate secluded life, with just her father and Robby the Robot to keep her company. It's still just striking how there are no strong female characters in either movie. Apparently girls in the 50's and 60's didn't need role models.

Total Running Time: 201 minutes
My Total Minutes: 253,920
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