Long ago (perhaps 1960s) I saw one of the worst science fiction movies ever made. I remember nothing about it except it was awful, and contained the following line (which I may not remember 100% correctly):

Any quantum mechanic could fix that.

That's it. Does anyone know anything about this turkey?

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    If that one line is all you can remember (perhaps incorrectly) from it, how do you know it was a science fiction movie? Did it have any "science-fictional elements" (space aliens, ray guns, and like that) that you can recall (and neglected to tell us about)? If not, your question would seem to be off topic here.
    – user14111
    Jul 24, 2021 at 3:31
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    One of the worst science fiction movies ever made? Have you seen any of the last ten Hollywood blockbusters?
    – user14111
    Jul 24, 2021 at 3:35
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    @user14111 if the OP states a work is SFF-nal but no details state as such we give the question the benefit of the doubt and leave it open. See meta.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 24, 2021 at 12:08
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    I'm thinking it might be from "Forbidden Planet" (1956) - actually a sci-fi classic. It was rather well made and very forward-looking for its time, even thought it doesn't look it by today's standards; a very cerebral story based off Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and very much apparent inspiration for Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. Although a benchmark for sci-fi storytelling, it did have a few cheesy moments. I believe the line you quoted was spoken by "Quinn" (Richard Anderson) in a two-shot with "Commander Adams" (Leslie Nielsen) as they stand over a bench laden with strange equipment.
    – Anthony X
    Jul 24, 2021 at 13:05
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    Why is that line memorably stupid? If in that fictional future, there are people trained to work with devices based on the principles of quantum mechanics, would it be implausible that they came to be known as "quantum mechanics?
    – jamesqf
    Jul 24, 2021 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


This sounds very much like a quote from what was one of the seminal sf works of its time, and one of my personal favourites, if a little cheesy by today's standards.

The movie I'm thinking of is Forbidden Planet, from 1956.

The actual quote from the movie is:

I'll bet any quantum mechanic in the service would give the rest of his life to fool around with this gadget.

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    IIRC the gadget in question is a core component of the ship's FTL drive. Due to the circumstances found on the planet, the commander needs to consult up the leadership chain for new orders; the only way to send an FTL message is to extract and repurpose a core component of the FTL drive, temporarily stranding them on the planet. I believe the quoted line comes up as the chief works on the task.
    – Anthony X
    Jul 24, 2021 at 13:37
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    The other bad science dialog I remember from that movie was something along the lines of "a billion electron volts!" used as if that was a lot of energy.
    – user2490
    Jul 24, 2021 at 20:35
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    I wanted to upvote this answer but couldn't after reading "by today's standards".
    – user14111
    Jul 24, 2021 at 21:37
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    @user14111 I did think about removing that comment, but I decided to stand by it. While most modern sci-fi certainly suffers from a glut of lazy, derivative writing, it has got less 'cheesy' in general, I feel. Don't get me wrong, I love me some good cheese Jul 24, 2021 at 22:20
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    In my youth Forbidden Planet was considered a leading contender for "best science fiction movie ever made". I don't know about that, but if it had been made in the last 20 years it would be a shoo-in for "best science fiction movie of the last 20 years". But that is faint praise; you could say the same about The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman or Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity.
    – user14111
    Jul 24, 2021 at 23:35

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