I'm sorry to see that Anne Francis has passed away, not long after Leslie Neilsen.
Apparently they are both more remembered for other roles, but I remember them best for Forbidden Planet, which--along with The Day the Earth Stood Still--is among my favorite old science fiction movies. I don't remember exactly when I saw Forbidden Planet, but it may very well have been at a theater when it first came out; I would have been only six or seven, but my Dad took me to quite a few movies when I was younger than many people would think appropriate for the content.
Dad was pretty iconoclastic sometimes; at least, he didn't seem to hold many opinions because they were popular. His take on "age-appropriate" seems to have been "whatever the kid can understand sufficiently to enjoy", and he determined that by trial and error. He gave me a copy of Moby Dick when I was maybe nine or ten, and I recall enjoying it even though I had to struggle through parts of it at the time, and probably missed a lot of what the author wanted to say. When I read it again some years later I appreciated having had the earlier opportunity even though I naturally understood the book very differently when I was older.
I understood Forbidden Planet differently, too, when I saw it again later in life, and it motivated me to read The Tempest earlier than I might otherwise have done so.
It seems that a remake of Forbidden Planet is planned. I'm not sure how great of an idea that is; when I heard about what they'd done to The Day the Earth Stood Still in its remake, I decided to catch it on TV or on a rented video, and even if they don't utterly ruin it by making egregious changes from the original, Forbidden Planet without Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen just wouldn't be the same.
That's one past future that I'd just as soon they leave alone.
Home Truths column for August
1 week ago