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

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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