Host Intro All right, I wanna let you know that next week, "Joe Bob's Summer School" is going on a special field trip for Food Science 504. You're not gonna believe this, but we're going to the world-famous restaurant Spago, in Beverly Hills, California, where the one-and-only Wolfgang Puck is gonna teach me how to cook. And we'll be watching the classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the Clint Howard gross-out horror flick, "The Ice Cream Man."
And speaking of yummy, our next movie is the 1956 cult favorite that stars Anne Francis in many leg-baring futuristic mini-dresses. Anne Francis may have INVENTED the mini-dress, now that I think about it. You didn't have many girls dressed like this in the fifties. I'm talking about, of course, Forbidden Planet, and Anne will be joining us in a little while to give us all the dirt on Leslie Nielsen and Robby the Robot.
The movie takes place in 2200 A.D., when Nielsen and a crew of whiskey-loving, horny astronauts land on a planet where the only survivor of a previous colonization is Walter Pidgeon and his luscious, virginal daughter, who doesn't mind making out with crew members in the bushes even though an invisible monster is tearing people to shreds. Let's do those drive-in totals. We have:
7 dead bodies.
One dead tiger.
Two nekkid bewtocks female, this time.
Gratuitous underground tour.
And we're showing it in letterbox format, 'cause it was shot in Widescreen Cinema Scope -- so I hope your TV's not as dinky as mine is. It's a pretty cool movie -- I give it three and a half stars, subtracting a half-star for the scenes without Anne Francis in em. Check it out, and like I said, Anne'll be joining us in a little bit.
[fading] The nekkid bewtock count has been going up lately, you guys notice that? This is like the fourth set of bewtocks we've had in Summer School alone. I think the TNT Bewtock Patrol has loosened up a little.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #1
The famous Robby the Robot, which caused a sensation back in 1956. We tried to find Robby and have him on the show, but we think he's been bought by some Japanese guys. My friend Mick Garris, the director of many Stephen King films, including "The Stand," used to OWN Robby and keep him in good working condition -- well, he never really WAS in very good working condition; I think they kinda shoved him around from inside somewhere -- but Mick SOLD ROBBY and we can't find him. Anyhow, that's Leslie Nielsen as the commander -- now a household name for the "Naked Gun" movies. You notice that he acts the same in these early serious movies as in "Naked Gun"? You just change the writing a little bit and suddenly he's doing comedy. But he never changed. Okay, I don't want to kill too much time here, cause we got Anne Francis coming out at the next break. So, roll film.
[fading] By the way, who here knows what a philologist is? I'll give you a hint: a philologist would know what a philologist is. Course, if the philologist wasn't called a philologist, would the philologist still know what a philologist is? Or would a philologist by any other name still be a philologist? Okay, I'll tell you. A philologist is an expert in philology.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #2
The words we've all been waiting for: "Father!" The first words of Anne Francis, as Altaira Morbius, the lust-inspiring daughter of Walter Pidgeon. This is where the movie gets really interesting. And this ROOM also just got interesting, because live, in person with us tonight, is the cult heart-throb herself, Anne Francis. Welcome, Anne.
Anne, that famous dress you're wearing -- what kind of planning went into that?
ANNE: That was planning, studio planning.
And what were they going for there?
ANNE: They had one outfit that Dorry Sherry's wife, Virginia Sherry, wouldn't allow us to use 'cause she said it was too sexy.
You mean...there was a more revealing outfit? That we didn't get to see?
ANNE: No. No. No.
ANNE: It was just sort of like a silver lame' all the way down, with silver boots. And then there was a silver hood. Everything was completely covered.
But she though it was too . . .
ANNE: And over that was a coat that was see-through plastic and silver gloves.
And so . . .
ANNE: Too sexy. . .
They though that was too sexy. And they went with the shortest minidress in the history of motion pictures (LAUGHTER) up to that time.
ANNE: Yeah. Yeah... Go figure.
Did you ever wear that in public? Like to a promotional event or anything?
ANNE: No. No they wouldn't have let it out of the studio.
Okay, I gotta ask you this.
Were you really madly in love with Leslie Nielsen?
ANNE: Of course.
ANNE: Sure. Why not? He was gorgeous.
Did you have a . . . hot love affair with Leslie...
ANNE: Oh, of course. Of course.
...on the set?
ANNE: I thought he was fabulous.
ANNE: I was madly in love with him before I met him. Because I'd seen him do wonderful, wonderful work on live television, you know, back in the days....which I had come from before I came out to the studios.
Are you still good friends today?
ANNE: Sure. Haven't seen him for quite awhile. But we've done a couple of shows since then together. Yeah, great guy. A lot of fun.
This is your first role and, of course, among your most famous ones, but you're really well known for a particular Twilight Zone episode. Do many people ask you about that?
ANNE: We go from Father to Marsha. (LAUGHTER)
And it's the one where you're a mannequin who comes to life.
ANNE: "After Hours." Yes, the mannequin who comes to life and doesn't remember that she's a mannequin. And goes to the store to buy a gold thimble for her mother. And then she gets embroiled in a horrific experience of being on the 13th floor. And. . . . the whole place is empty.
Well, a beautiful mannequin . . . The beautiful mannequin that comes to life is kind of an evergreen story that's been used many times in the movies. And they always take, like, the most gorgeous girl in Hollywood at the time and do the mannequin story.
ANNE: Oh, you're kind.
You have psychic powers in this movie. The animals do your will. But . . .you really do have psychic powers I understand. Is that true? Didn't you will a person to have a heart attack or something?
ANNE: Oh, no way.
I'm sorry. I got the story wrong.
ANNE: No way would I do that. Oh no. No. No.
ANNE: What happened was that there was a lady who lived next to us when my daughter Jane was a little girl. And she was so angry and mean with all the little kids in the neighborhood. You know, she'd come out and scream at them, 'Don't come near my roses! Don't do this!' She'd bring sheep manure and throw it over my fence, saying it was my German shepherd's stuff and it wasn't, you know. It was stuff that the gardener had put there. And one day she came and she said if I didn't keep my dog -- I had a big wall -- if I didn't keep my dog inside my property -- Smokey never was outside my property -- that she was going to poison him. I thought, oh my gosh. I said, "You wouldn't want to do that." And she said, "I would think no more of poisoning a dog than I would a mosquito." And I thought there were dogs in the neighborhood that did prowl and I thought that would be horrendous to do that. And then, right at that moment, my little daughter, she was my little daughter at that time, Jane, said, "Ma, is she really going to kill Smokey?" I said, "No, honey." But then, you know, I got scared she might throw something over the wall. So I had read how you can put a mirror around your home to protect it from evil. So that's what I did. I would put a mirror, in my mind, on my house, outward, so that any evil thoughts that would come toward it would go back. And that woman had a heart attack a few days later. And I thought, "Oh my God. Did I do that?" You know, I did a lot of prayer work.
You didn't mean to give her a heart attack. But . . .
ANNE: I don't think I did.
But your spiritual powers were so strong.
ANNE: But, no, I don't say it was my spiritual power, but I'm just saying that, you know, you really have to think twice about all of these little things you read about.
ANNE: Be careful before you put a psychic mirror around your house. (LAUGHTER)
All right. We'll talk more with our special guest-lecturer Anne Francis at the next break. But let's get back to "Forbidden Planet." And whatever happened to that Anne Francis mannequin, by the way, that they used . . .
ANNE: What Anne Francis mannequin?
Your Anne Francis mannequin in the "Twilight Zone" episode.
ANNE: Oh my gosh. You had me going for a second there.
You know it's probably a collector's item today.
ANNE: Well, I have the head that was originally done.
You have the head?
ANNE: Yes. It's sitting on top of my dresser in my bedroom.
We don't want something like that getting into the wrong hands. I'm glad that you have it.
ANNE: I sprayed it gold.
You know what? You can put it in your car.
ANNE: I should put the mirror around it.
No, you can put it in your car and use the car pool lane.
ANNE: You're right! That's a good idea. I will.
ANNE: That's a great idea.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #3
Well, we're seeing more and more of why Anne Francis is so popular in this movie. There you were making out with Jack Kelly, probly best known as Bart Maverick. By the way, Anne, since this IS UFO Studies 666, I want to ask you, do you believe in any kind of other life out there? (LAUGHTER)
ANNE: No I'm just getting over six-six-six -- that number! (LAUGHTER)
It was a little joke we made about UFO studies, you know.
ANNE: I see. Do I believe there's any life out there? Well, I've seen things out there, but then, you know me -- I can see things, you know. Remember when they had all that big hullabaloo about Phoenix, Arizona, and the flaming lights in the sky?
ANNE: I've seen that out over Palm Desert, where I live. Up when I went up in the mountains up in Pinion Crest I've seen that. And I've seen one silver disc out there. So, yeah, something's going on.
You actually had an eerie experience with some kinda ghost, when your daughter was little, right? What was that about?
ANNE: That has absolutely nothing at all to do with "Forbidden Planet." (LAUGHTER)
Well, we've done a little research. We want to ask you about other things, Anne.
ANNE: It's too long and too involved to tell you, Joe Bob.
All right. But you have daughters right?
ANNE: I have two wonderful daughters.
Are they as good-lookin as you?
ANNE: They're gorgeous.
All right, let's talk about your TV show, "Honey West," for a minute. It was on in 1965 and one of the things I remember is that your lace garter belt was a gas mask. Well, why don't you describe the character.
ANNE: Now there you're wrong. Somebody told . . .
. . . No.
ANNE: 'Cause I never had a lace garter belt that was a gas mask. So there! (LAUGHTER)
Well, you had all kinds of gadgets on the show, right?
ANNE: Yeah but . . .
Anne, work with me a little bit, okay?
ANNE: No. No. No. Not when you say these things.
All right. Well, describe the character for me, then. I'll just listen
ANNE: She was fun-loving. She was adventurous. She was a lady detective. She had a marvelous time. All the bad guys she would, you know, kick in the butt. And all the good guys, she'd save and she knew karate. She has an ocelot cat named Bruce. A bit of trivia here.
And the network cancelled it after only one season because they could buy the rights to The Avengers for less than it cost to make the show. But people still talk about it. Maybe it was Mrs. Peale that had the garter belt gas mask.
ANNE: It's on TV Land. You don't want to talk about TV Land.
Okay, one of the other the cable networks. We're gonna see what new dress Robby the Robot makes for Anne as we continue with "Forbidden Planet." Didn't you name your dog after Walter Pigeon?
Don't tell me that's not true.
ANNE: Walter Smidgen was his name.
Walter Smidgen. Ok.
ANNE: And I was down in Palm Springs visiting, with Smidge along with me, and somebody thought they were being very cute and said I was visiting so and so at such and such place in Palm Springs with Walter Pigeon.
ANNE: That caused quite a stir. Especially with Mrs Pigeon. (LAUGHTER)
Did you like Walter?
ANNE: You're very nosy aren't you?
Was he . . ?
ANNE: I did not have an affair with Walter Pigeon, no.
I didn't think you had . . .
ANNE: He played my father, remember?
Well, I know, but wouldn't it have been difficult to have an affair with Walter Pigeon while you were having an affair with Leslie Nielsen?
ANNE: I know, and then there was Jack Kelly, too, so...
Jack Kelly. So you're making . . .
ANNE: . . . sure.
...out with him.
ANNE: Oh sure. (LAUGHTER)
Anyway, but you named your dog Walter Smidgen.
ANNE: Uh huh.
That could be considered a tribute, or it can considered, you know...
ANNE: Well, Smidgen was his name, and I chose Walter for his first name for obvious reasons.
. . . okay.
ANNE: And I thought it was funny. And now that I look back it wasn't. (LAUGHTER)
I know a woman who calls her dog Joe Bob, and I know several women who call Joe Bob a dog.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #4
Something sabotaged the "klystron generator," not to mention the "gyro-stabilizer." What WAS all that stuff, Anne?
ANNE: That was all wonderful stuff that was in the script, Joe Bob. (LAUGHTER)
Okay. A Rod Serling script by the way. Professor Joe Bob here . . .
ANNE: No it wasn't.
Rod Serling and someone else right?
ANNE: Rod Serling no. Rod Serling did not. It was a Cyril Hume who wrote the script. You're thinking of Planet Of The Apes or something.
Professor Joe Bob here with Anne Francis, who plays Altaira in "Forbidden Planet." Anne, you are such a flirt in this movie. Were you nekkid in that lagoon?
ANNE: Of course not.
Okay, I don't mean to offend you . . .
You looked naked. They made you look naked. They did a good job with the effects.
ANNE: If you look fast, as I'm coming out of the lagoon, you can see a whisk of pinkish sheet foam in the breeze. You have to look quickly. (LAUGHTER)
Hey, how was it working with Robby the Robot?
ANNE: Oh Robby was wonderful. He was . . .
I hear he got really drunk one time during the filming.
ANNE: Oh, you know something? You just are full of stories aren't you? (LAUGHTER) You're just full of all kinds of information.
Now, come on, this is a famous story.
ANNE: It became famous when I opened my mouth and told it once, and from then on it's just become...
Robby the robot got drunk right?
ANNE: Well, there were two different guys who worked inside Robby the Robot 'cause working inside Robby the Robot -- in defense of this one fellow -- it was a very tough job. It was hot inside there. It was really rough and this one day he had a couple martinis for lunch and then he got in the suit. There's a scene, you know, where Robby walks from this big kind of jeep-van kind of thing he's attached to, and when he was walking away, something happened and his feet kind of went, like, on an incline, and he started going this way, downward. And about fifteen grips got him before he hit the ground 'cause he was the most expensive actor in the show. He cost a million dollars to put together. That was important stuff.
So that was the . . .
ANNE: A drunken actor you can replace.
But the guy almost ruined the robot suit. Okay.
ANNE: A robot you can't replace.
Okay, let's go back to the movie. Because that was a REALLY short segment. How many times have you actually watched this movie, Anne?
ANNE: Do you know, I haven't really watched it that often, but I just saw it at a Los Angeles theater a couple of weeks ago, in Cinemascope. We had 2100 people there. We had the greatest time.
ANNE: Yeah. It was fun. I enjoyed it.
Did you find that you remembered it? Do you know it by heart?
ANNE: Yeah, pretty much so.
Okay. Then which is it? The klystron generator or the klystron transmitter?
ANNE: Oh no! That part I didn't have to memorize, Joe Bob. That part was not my responsibility.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #5
[Shot of Joe Bob's REALLY lame, thrown-together-looking "robot"]
Wow, this is a TALKY movie. Do they have to give the WHOLE history of Krell civilization? Anyway, we have a special treat for our guest-lecturer Anne Francis. Let me get a little history about Robby the Robot out of the way first. Robby was such a hit in "Forbidden Planet" in 1956 that he did another movie the following year called "The Invisible Boy." He also appeared in many TV shows throughout the years, including Lost in Space, "The Twilight Zone," and even "The Love Boat." In 1970, MGM sold Robby the Robot at an auction to a prop museum, where he proceeded to get vandalized over time by wrong-doing hoodlums. In 1974, he was restored by a guy named Fred Barton, and sometime after that, my pal Mick Garris, the director of "The Stand," bought him. Mick then sold Robby to Bill Malone, who just directed the remake of "House on Haunted Hill," and then we think Bill sold him to some kinda Japanese touring sci-fi exhibit. But guess who has the licensing rights? Who bought all the old MGM films a few years ago? TURNER! Turner Entertainment has the rights to Robby the Robot, and we used our pull to arrange for a very special reunion. Anne Francis, your old friend Robby the Robot! [lame robot brought in] What do you think?
She's so happy, she doesn't know what to say. Just like you remember him, right? We spent a LOT of money getting him here, so I hope it was worth it.
ANNE: I think he's been using the Thighmaster. He's a little thinner down here than I remember.
Okay. What's going on? [Looking offstage] You couldn't get the robot right? I asked for a robot and asked for the robot so many times that you told me you had the robot. It's one of those Time Warner bureaucracy things, right? We have the rights to the robot. Anne, I'm so embarrassed.
ANNE: I know, but don't get upset.
I'm so embarrassed.
ANNE: It's all right. It's all right.
They do this.
ANNE: It's a nice robot. Don't hurt his feelings. (LAUGHTER)
You try to cover it up with this.
ANNE: It's got blue eyes like Frankie.
You don't know the kind of people I work for here.
ANNE: He's beauti- I don't know why he . . .
He's not that tall is he? Robby the Robot is about six feet, you know.
ANNE: No. Robby's about this tall and he did not have black rubber gloves. (LAUGHTER) God knows what they're for.
Don't you dum-dums know that? Good grief! I'm sorry. I'm sorry . . .
ANNE: That's all right that's all right . . .
Anne, but thanks so much for coming by. Let's get back to the movie, and that was humiliating to do that kind of thing to me. The gorgeous Anne Francis, ladies and gentleman. Thank you. (APPLAUSE)
ANNE: Thank you. It's been fun.
[fading] Are you single Anne?
ANNE: So, well, what does that mean?
Still available. (LAUGHTER) Just had to find out. Before you leave.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #6
[open on lame robot]
Most "Forbidden Planet" fans know that the movie is based on Shakespeare's play "The Tempest." [to camera men] You guys all knew that, right? Dr. Morbius is Prospero, the magician who controls the action in the play. Altaira is his daughter Miranda. Commander Adams -- that's Leslie Nielsen -- is Prince Ferdinand. Robby the Robot is Caliban, the earthly spirit. The monster is Ariel, and I won't say why, cause that'll give away the ending. Oh no! I ruined it! You know the ending now! It's the same as "The Tempest." Leon is over here bawling like a baby, I ruined the surprise. Even the minor characters in the movie are based on the play. Like the cook with a taste for the sauce, he matches Stephano, the drunken servant. That's the veteran actor Earl Holliman, best known as Angie Dickinson's sidekick on "Policewoman" and many movies, Sharkey's Machine. He was also in the first "Twilight Zone" episode, the one where he wanders around a deserted city the whole time, and then you find out he's part of a test to see how humans respond to being alone in space flight. Anybody who was anybody in those days got to do a "Twilight Zone." Okay, let's keep it going. Back to the flick.
[fading] "Forbidden Planet" is actually based on Shakespeare's play AND Freud's concept of a tripartite psyche. Would you like me to explain the tripartite psyche? I didn't think so.
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Commercial Break #7
What a great way to save special effects money! The creature is invisible! It's a giant four-footed arboreal killer sloth, right? But you can't see it! Genius! But it's no wonder the crew of the spaceship couldn't kill the monster -- they're only hitting it with three-billion electron volts! It's a MINISCULE amount, like, subatomic physics kinda miniscule. Three-billion of em wouldn't be enough to cook a snail. You hit a grain of SAND with three-billion electron volts and you don't even see a difference! All right, time for the exciting Shakespearean/Freudian conclusion to "Forbidden Planet." Go.
[fading, close-up] Three-billion electron volts. I need that much just to do this. Is my left eyebrow moving? [it's not] I guess I need more than three-billion. Full power!
"FORBIDDEN PLANET" Outro Break
[open on lame robot]
Well, that was a LITTLE confusing there at the end. The Krell used an underground power-plant to create little Princess Leia holograms but they forgot about their own lust for destruction -- the Monsters of the Id -- which don't like strange men talking to Daddy's little girl, do they? See, not only does this movie employ Freud's concept of the tripartite psyche -- the id, the ego, and the superego -- it also utilizes the archetypal Electra pattern, the female equivalent of Oedipus. Or in layman's terms, it's that incest thang. And speaking of the Princess Leia hologram, this movie, no doubt, is where George Lucas got the idea for that scene in Star Wars. When he was creating "Star Wars," he watched tons of old sci-fi flicks, including "Forbidden Planet," and you can also trace R2D2 and C-3PO back to Robby the Robot [shot of lame robot]. Would somebody get RID of this thing? Anyhow, I wanna thank Stanton T. Friedman and Anne Francis for stopping by tonight. Also lemme remind you that next week's Summer School course is Food Science 504, and we'll be taking a field trip to the famous Spago in Beverly Hills so Wolfgang Puck can teach me how to take something out of the oven while it's still edible. And we'll be watching the food classics "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Ice Cream Man."
That's it for me, Professor Joe Bob, wondering if a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?
Did you guys hear the one about this guy Jake? He's struggling through a bus station with two huge suitcases when a stranger walks up to him and asks "Have you got the time?" Jake puts down the suitcases, looks at his wrist and tells the stranger "It's a quarter to six." The stranger says, "Hey, that's a pretty fancy watch!" Jake brightens up a little. "Yeah, it's not bad. Check this out" - and he shows him a time zone display not just for every time zone in the world, but for the 86 largest cities. He hits a few buttons and from somewhere on the watch a voice says "The time is eleven 'til six" in a West Texas accent. A few more buttons and the same voice says something in Japanese. Jake tells the guy, "I've put in regional accents for each city." The display is unbelievably high quality and the voice is amazing. The stranger is dumbstruck. Jake says, "That's not all." He pushes a few more buttons and a tiny but very high-resolution map of New York City appears on the display. He tells the guy, "The flashing dot shows our location by satellite positioning." Then he says, "View recede ten," and the display changes to show eastern New York state.
The stranger tells him, "I want to buy this watch!" Jake says, "Oh, no, it's not ready for sale yet -- I'm still working out the bugs. But look at this." And he demonstrates that the watch is also a pretty decent little FM radio receiver with a digital tuner, a sonar device that can measure distances up to 125 meters, a pager with thermal paper printout and, most impressive of all, the capacity for voice recordings of up to 300 standard-size books, "though I only have 32 of my favorites in there so far" says Jake. The stranger says, "I've got to have this watch!" Jake says, "No, you don't understand; it's not ready --" Stranger says, "I'll give you $1000 for it!" Jake says, "Oh, no, I've already spent more than --" "I'll give you $5000 for it!" Jake goes, "But it's just not --" "I'll give you $15,000 for it!" And the stranger pulls out a checkbook. Jake stops to think. He's only put about $8500 into materials and development, and with $15,000 he can make another one and have it ready for merchandising in only six months. The stranger frantically finishes writing the check and waves it in front of him. "Here it is, ready to hand to you right here and now. $15,000. Take it or leave it." Jake says, "Okay," and peels off the watch. They make the exchange and the stranger starts away happily. Jake calls to the stranger, "Hey, wait a minute." The stranger turns around warily. Jake points to the two suitcases he'd been trying to wrestle through the bus station. "Don't forget your batteries."
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.
[fading] A black guy, a white guy, a Catholic priest, a Lutheran minister, a Rabbi, a hooker, a chicken, a football player, a baseball player, a wife, a husband, a Pole, a Russian, a little boy, a dog, a drunk, an Irishman, Saint Peter, and a penguin walk into a bar. Bartender says, "What is this, a joke?"
Two peanuts are walking down the street. One is a salted.
[The following is from previous 2-9-98 comments on Turner Classic Movies]
ANNE: I had such fun being the only woman in "Forbidden Planet." Leslie Nelson always had an incredible sense of humor, always was mischievous, with puns and other such things. Walter Pigeon was a master of limericks. So he, and Les, would try to outdo each other with limericks, none of which I can tell you on the air!
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