The Sons of Katie Elder looks epic in the sweeping vistas of its Mexican locations and its large cast of characters, but it doesn’t feel epic in the scope of its story. Its two-hour length is more than enough to contain its narrative, with a solid twenty minutes to spare. It’s not a bad movie so much as a decent one that takes its sweet time getting to the point.
Seeing Forbidden Planet today is like meeting an old friend’s great-grandfather and seeing the family resemblance. Sort of a gold standard for the science fiction genre during the fifties, this film has its DNA in much of what we’ve seen since in film and on television, particularly the original Star Trek. From fifty years later, however, the movie is also a wonderfully nostalgic mix of forward thinking and amusingly dated social mores.