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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tobor The Great (1954)

Starring Charles Drake, Karin Booth, Billy Chapin, Taylor Holmes, Steven Geray
Directed by Lee Sholem
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A scientist creates a robot to replace the men being subjected to dangers preparing for spaceflight, but its powerful abilities attract the attention of a foreign spy ring.

A real charmer, this production may have been the first "boy and his robot" picture and is a lot of fun. Although the premise is a fine starting-off point, the rest is pure fantasy, as "Tobor," (robot spelled backwards), not only has the ability to react to human emotions, but can be controlled by thought and a tiny device containing micro-circuitry, in reality decades from the film's 1950s setting.  However, it's not too difficult to leave realism behind in embracing the story, enlivened by a wonderful cast of characters, including Holmes' kindly scientist and Chapin as his earnest grandson.  Although there's no ground-breaking effects work, Tobor comes to life convincingly, and the robot would later return in a television pilot, Here Comes Tobor.

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