Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  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 3871 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: