I first saw this movie when it originally came out. I was about 9 yrs. old and found this movie both highly entertaining and very frightening and unlike any other movie I had seen up until that time.
BASIC PLOT: An expedition is sent out from Earth to the fourth planet of Altair, a great mainsequence star in constellation Aquilae to find out what happened to a colony of settlers which landed twenty years before and had not been heard from since.
THEME: An inferior civilization (namely ours) comes into contact with the remains of a greatly advanced alien civilization, the Krell-200,000 years removed. The "seed" of destruction from one civilization is being passed on to another, unknowingly at first. The theme of this movie is very much Good vs. Evil.
I first saw this movie with my brother when it came out originally. I was just a boy and the tiger scenes really did scare me as did the battle scenes with the unseen Creature-force. I was also amazed at just how real things looked in the movie.
What really captures my attention as an adult though is the truth of the movie "forbidden knowledge" and how relevant this will be when we do (if ever) come into contact with an advanced (alien) civilization far more developed than we ourselves are presently. Advanced technology and responsibility seem go hand in hand. We must do the work for ourselves to acquire the knowledge along with the wisdom of how to use advanced technology. This is, in my opinion, the great moral of the movie.
I learned in graduate school that "knowledge is power" is at best, in fact, not correct! Knowledge is "potential" power depending upon how it is applied (... if it is applied at all.) [It's not what you know, but how you use what you know!]
The overall impact of this movie may well be realized sometime in Mankind's own future. That is knowledge in and of itself is not enough, we must, MUST have the wisdom that knowledge depends on to truly control our own destiny OR we will end up like the Krell in the movie-just winked-out.
Many thanks to those who responded to earlier versions of this article with comments and corrections, they are all very much appreciated!! I hope you are as entertained by this story as much as I have been over the past 40+ years ....
Rating: 10 out 10 stars