Last month I watched the classic 1956 science fiction movie, Forbidden Planet, for the 300th time. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I have viewed it many times over the course of six-plus decades. It never gets old, and its production values were way ahead of their time. I believe, as do many others, that this film was a precursor to Star Trek, which premiered nearly a decade later. The similarities were quite apparent.


But until recently there was something about the film that I did not know—probably for the better. It had to do with a scene that wound up on the cutting room floor, one that would’ve left a sour taste in the mouths of many who watched it. Here’s the deal. (For the film’s backstory check out my post, “Where No One Has Gone Before.” It contains a brief synopsis.)

Adams (Leslie Neilsen) and Alta (Anne Francis) fall for each other in a hurry.

Starship C-57D, under Captain J.J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen), is speeding through space following its crew’s experiences on the planet Altair IV, where they’d come to search for a long-missing science party. The only survivors were Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter, Alta (Anne Francis). Morbius, utilizing the tools of a long-dead, highly advanced civilization, the Krell, had unwittingly destroyed the others back then with a monster from his subconscious. Now, when Alta chose to accompany Adams, whom she loves, back to Earth, Morbius’s monster, having already destroyed some of Adams’s crew, nearly killed his daughter. Realizing this, Morbius warned them off the planet and, staying behind, triggered a device that would destroy it in 24 hours.

“My world is gone, my dad is dead. Let’s get hitched!”

This led to the powerful ending that we all saw. As Adams and Alta watch on a view screen, Altair IV is blown to smithereens. Alta is beside herself—her father dead, the only home she ever knew destroyed. That’s when Adams, comforting her, delivers the last lines of the film: “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.”

End of story. Perfect, right? Except the deleted scene had Adams and Alta getting married right after her heartbreaking moment! Who came up with that? Fortunately, it was deleted, partly because Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen argued against it. Forbidden Planet remained a gem from beginning to end.

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