Geek Speak – Remembering Leslie Nielsen and Irvin Kershner | Ginger and the Geek Podcast and Blogs
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Nov 30 / Daniel J. Hogan

Geek Speak – Remembering Leslie Nielsen and Irvin Kershner

by Daniel

Geekdom lost a couple of greats this week, actor Leslie “Don’t Call me Shirley” Nielsen and director Irvin “Never Tell Me the Odds” Kershner.

Nielsen was famous for his roles in goofball comedies like Airplane! and Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad, and that’s how most of my generation know him, and there is nothing wrong with that.

BUT–did you know he was the star of the 1956 classic science fiction film, Forbidden Planet?  No? Well, rent it, stream it, whatever-you-need-to-do, and watch it ASAP.

Nielsen plays Commander J. J. Abrams Adams, a proto-Captain Kirk in this charming space adventure.  It features an all-electronic music score (in 1956, this was a big deal) and also stars Robby the Robot.

Nielsen is mostly known, to people around my age anyway, for his comedic films, but Forbidden Planet is a great example of 1950s era science fiction.  Check it out.

Kershner is best known for directing Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, which is not only my favorite Star Wars film, but one of my all time favorite films.  Deal with it.

Sadly, there are more than a few folks who think George Lucas directed all six Star Wars films, but die-hard Star Wars fans know better.

Kershner also directed other sequels, including  RoboCop 2 (written by Frank “Dark Knight Returns” Miller).  Sure, it ain’t as great as the first RoboCop, (another of my all time favorite films) but nothing can really compare to the original.  RoboCop 2 does have plenty of intense robot-on-robot action, though.  …What?

So if you are in the mood for a bit of a science fiction tribute this week, watch 1956’s Forbidden Planet and follow it up with The Empire Strikes Back*.

And I promise my blog posts won’t just be “Remembering…” all the time.  It just happened that way :/


*= and for those in the “Star Wars isn’t really science fiction” Camp, shut up.

Daniel J. Hogan is the geek half of Ginger and the Geek. He is a photoblogger, and never calls anyone Shirley. Follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan.