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Anne Francis, Forbidden Planet
Image credit: Forbidden Planet: Kobal Collection


FROM Forbidden Planet (1956)

PLAYED BY Designer Robert Kinoshita's creation Robby the Robot, which went on to appear in a handful of other movies and TV shows

PROGRAMMING In this sci-fi version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Robby is the Ariel figure, at the beck and call of solitary Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter Altaira (Anne Francis, pictured).

SPECIAL FEATURES Though he looks like a jukebox (especially the way his parts awaken and twirl when someone asks him to do something), he's a skilled butler, capable of making dresses for Altaira or synthesizing gallons of whiskey.

MEMORABLE LINE ''I rarely use [oxygen] myself, sir. It promotes rust.''

WHY HE PUSHES OUR BUTTONS Although today he seems quaintly stiff and clunky, Robby was clearly influential — such mechanical men as the Robinsons' robot on Lost in Space (also designed by Kinoshita) bear his classic imprint.


Originally posted Jul 14, 2004

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