Newest Reviews
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Matrix, The
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Newest Articles
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
  Tobor the Great A Rival To Robbie
Year: 1954
Director: Lee Sholem
Stars: Charles Drake, Karin Booth, Billy Chapin, Taylor Holmes, Steve Geray, Henry Kulky, Franz Roehn, Hal Baylor, William Schallert, Robert Shayne, Lyle Talbot
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Advances in technology have been moving on apace, and in the near future mankind may eventually get their wish to reach the stars themselves as atomic power is proving the greatest breakthrough available to the space programme. But there will be setbacks, and suppose sometime soon America's Space Agency were forced to experiment on willing test subjects to find out how much the human body could take? And suppose one of the scientists they employed, Dr Harrison (Charles Drake), was none to happy about it?

By 1954, the craze for science fiction was well established in Hollywood movies as everyone looked ahead to wonder what the future held. The genre was applied to a variety of subjects, but there was always that nagging feeling that after it had been established on the big screen for stuff like the Flash Gordon serials, that it was really entertainment for kids. Hence works such as Tobor the Great, aimed squarely at the juvenile audience of the day with its young boy, Gadge (Billy Chapin, best known for Night of the Hunter), as our eyes and ears.

The kids needed a figure to identify with, and scientist's grandson Gadge was depicted as bright and inquisitive, much like the young fans of this type of movie would have been, but most of all excited about the possibilities of what the approaching years had to offer. Possibilities like your very own robot, the Tobor of the title, played by a luckless fellow wearing a very large, clunky suit, which grandfather Professor Nordstrom (Taylor Holmes) has invented as a replacement for manned space missions, being far safer in theory.

Of course, there are still a few issues to be ironed out, as we see in a hilarious sequence where Tobor gets so caught up in a game of asteroids (really) that he flies into a rage and makes to knock the cast around the room, including Gadge, in a potential Ed-209 moment. Fortunately he has a way of tapping into psychic powers, which allow him to respond to and understand his human counterparts, so we are reassured that he's a nice robot and will not go on the rampage during the final reel. Except he actually does, only not because he's rebelling, because he's tracking down the kidnapped Professor and Gadge.

Yes, if there was one subject fifties sci-fi liked just as much as contemplating technology, it was contemplating what to do about those darn Reds across the Atlantic, and that was apparent here as the bad guys scheme their way into the Professor's secrets. Alarmingly, they also threaten to torture Gadge with a blowtorch, but don't get the idea this was action packed even if Tobor does knock a few things down in his rescue mission, because for much of the time the film came across as if it were a dry instructional film, with lots of lecturing and demonstration to sit through. As the theories here were pure speculation, and we still haven't caught up with most of it, there was some amusement to be had in their idea of things to come, but it was well seen there was all that mayhem at the end, as the rest of the flick could have done with the excitement. Music by Howard Jackson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2457 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: