Cast: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Richard Anderson, Earl Holliman, George Wallace, Robert Dix, Jimmy Thompson, James Drury, Harry Harvey Jr., Roger McGee, Peter Miller, Morgan Jones, Richard Grant, Frankie Darro, Marvin Miller, Les Tremayne, James Best, William Boyett
In the 22nd century, the crew of United Planets Cruiser C-57D is nearing the end of a year-long voyage. They were sent from Earth to the star Altair, to search for survivors of a scientific expedition sent there twenty years earlier. Soon after Commander John J. Adams (Nielsen) establishes orbit around Altairís fourth planet, his ship is scanned by a powerful radar on the planetís surface. Chief Quinn (Anderson) makes radio contact with someone on the planet. Dr. Edward Morbius (Pidgeon), a member of the Belerephon scientific expedition, has a chilling response to Commander Adamsí greeting, ďNo assistance of any sort is required... Your best procedure would be to turn back at once.Ē Commander Adams demands landing coordinates and Dr. Morbius reluctantly provides them. The cruiser lands in a desert, under a green sky with two moons, and its armed crew secure the immediate perimeter. A vehicle approaches at high speed and stops near the ship. The robot driver, Robby, takes Commander Adams, Lt. Doc Ostrow (Stevens), the shipís doctor, and Lt. Jerry Farman (Kelly), the executive officer, to Dr. Morbiusí residence. Dr. Morbius invites the wary crewmen for lunch at his spacious and stylish home. He mentions that he put together Robbie during his first months on Altair-4. After a delicious meal produced by Robby, Dr. Morbius tells the officers that as they can see all is well, he is in no need of assistance. When Commander Adams asks to interview the other members of the Belerephon party, Dr. Morbius says that within the first year on the planet every man and woman on the expedition succumbed to a deadly, incomprehensible force. Only Dr. Morbius and his wife were immune. She died of natural causes a few months later. The irresistible force destroyed the Belerephon when the three remaining survivors tried to take her off. When Commander Adams wonders why Dr. Morbius and his wife survived the deadly monster that roams the planet, Dr. Morbius speculates that it was because of their intense love for this world. Altaira (Francis), Dr. Morbiusí daughter, unexpectedly joins the men for coffee. Dr. Morbius wishes his visitors off the planet, but Commander Adams decides he must communicate with his home base for instructions. This requires cannibalizing part of the shipís electronics to build special communications equipment. The next day Dr. Morbius sends Robbie with materials to help build the improvised transmitter. Altairaís girlish innocence combines with her status as the only woman on the planet and her revealing costumes to give her a special sexual appeal. Lt. Farman introduces her to kissing, but Commander Adams interrupts Farmanís exploits. Altaira is upset when Commander Adams lectures her on the disturbing effect she has on his men. She complains to her father, but begins to develop a romantic interest in Adams. That night something silent and invisible enters the spaceship and sabotages a communicator component. The next morning Commander Adams and Lt. Ostrow travel to Dr. Morbiusí house. Adams seeks out Altaira and the two patch up their differences. They are clearly very attracted to each other. Commander Adams and Lt. Ostrow enter Dr. Morbiusí study and discover strange furnishings and inscrutable notes and diagrams. Commander Adams suggests Morbius has had something to do with the break-in at the ship. Dr. Morbius denies any involvement. He tells them that for the past nineteen years he has immersed himself in the study of the planetís extinct civilization, the Krell. They were far ahead of humankind, and had abolished sickness, crime and all injustice. Then, on the threshold of a supreme accomplishment, their race was destroyed in a single night. Dr. Morbius leads Commander Adams and Lt. Ostrow on a dizzying trek through a sector of a Krell-built machine so massive that its limits are out of sight in the horizon. Dr. Morbius repeats his concern for the safety of Commander Adams and his crew. At night an unseen beast attacks the ship, members of the crew are killed, and the extreme danger posed by the mighty entity again loose on the planet becomes evident. Commander Adams realizes that only leaving Altair-4 may save his ship and crew. He will take Altaira with him, if the planetary force does not prevent their escape.