5.2/10
560
23 user 22 critic

Tobor the Great (1954)

Approved | | Sci-Fi | 1 September 1954 (USA)
A young boy-genius befriends his grandfather's robot, designed as a test pilot for space travel and coveted by foreign spies.

Director:

Lee Sholem

Writers:

Philip MacDonald (screenplay), Carl Dudley (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Drake ... Dr. Ralph Harrison
Karin Booth ... Janice Roberts
Billy Chapin ... Brian 'Gadge' Roberts
Taylor Holmes ... Prof. Arnold Nordstrom
Steven Geray ... The Foreign Spy-Chief
Henry Kulky Henry Kulky ... Paul - Spy-Henchman
Franz Roehn Franz Roehn ... Karl
Hal Baylor ... Max - Spy-Henchman
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Storyline

As projected here, a thinly-disguised NASA, working with nuclear rockets, is ready for manned flights in the mid-fifties...but Dr. Ralph Harrison doesn't think so, and resigns in protest. Colleague Prof. Nordstrom promptly enlists his aid in developing an alternative robot Spaceman! Naturally, foreign spies are keenly interested... Uses documentary footage of early space research. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Man-Made monster with every human emotion

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vingança do Monstro See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tobor's design was the brainchild of Robert Kinoshita, the television and film effects man and prop designer. The designer would go on to design Robby the Robot for the classic 1956 film Forbidden Planet, as well as the B-9 Environmental Control Robot for the mid-1960s hit sci-fi television series Lost In Space. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, a model of the earth, rotating on its axis in space, is seen moving from West to East - the wrong way. See more »

Quotes

Brian 'Gadge' Robertson: Gee, Tobor, you're wonderful!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wow...talk about a tough audience!
27 November 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I'm sure surprised to see that this film only has an overall IMDb score of 4.7--talk about a tough audience! Sure, by today's standards the film might seem dated or even quaint, but in its day it was a dandy little sci-fi yarn--and is still pretty entertaining today.

The film is about a really cool elderly scientist. His home is an amazing compound complete with traps and high-tech gadgets and he is working on a robot (named 'TOBOR' in his hidden basement lab--a place even Batman would be proud to own). Charles Drake is a younger scientist of like mind who comes to work with him on TOBOR. The idea is to have a robot that can be controlled from Earth and used to safely explore space. Unfortunately, the evil Commies (though they are never explicitly called 'Communists' in the film) want the plans for TOBOR and will do anything to get it--anything.

The film was obviously meant to appeal to children as well, with young Billy Chapin playing the scientist's precocious grandson--a kid who is as smart as many adult scientists. But I never found the kid as annoying or cloying as precocious kids in some movies. Oh, and by the way, Billy is Lauren Chapin's real-life brother. Fans of "Father Knows Best" may remember her as the youngest in the family, 'Kitten'.

Overall, highly entertaining and fun despite some limitations imposed by a lower budget. Yes, the Earth does NOT revolve the wrong direction in space nor is it surrounded by space clouds! And, the stars look fake because they are all the same brightness. But, even with these minor problems, the film is well worth seeing and is among the better sci-fi films of the day. Clever and cool.


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