Why is it that we remember so few science fiction films today that were made prior to 1968? Certainly Stanley Kubrick's '2001' cast a long shadow that its predecessors (and followers, for that matter) seldom escaped. But was it merely the fact that its arrival at the peak of the international "space race" made plausible the exploration (and entertainment) that we previously dismissed as fantasy? Or did Kubrick's technical verisimilitude allow (or force) us to outgrow the simplistic atomic-age paranoia that often provided subject matter for so many of the entries made in the 1950s and early '60s?

Revered by the likes of 'Star Trek' creator Gene Roddenberry and 'Empire of the Sun' author J.G. Ballard as a thoughtful alternative to the monster movies and pie-tin flying saucer flicks with which it competed, 'Forbidden Planet' was released in 1956 and has grown in stature since then as one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. But other than its venerated status among the cream of the sci-fi crop, the question remains: is 'Forbidden Planet' still as entertaining as it is respected?