5.3/10
1,128
51 user 13 critic

The Invisible Boy (1957)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Family | 18 October 1957 (USA)
A ten-year-old boy and Robby the Robot team up to prevent a Super Computer from controlling the Earth from a satellite.

Director:

Herman Hoffman

Writers:

Cyril Hume (screenplay), Edmund Cooper (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Eyer ... Timmie Merrinoe
Philip Abbott ... Dr. Tom Merrinoe
Diane Brewster ... Mary Merrinoe
Harold J. Stone ... Gen. Swayne
Robert H. Harris ... Prof. Frank Allerton
Dennis McCarthy Dennis McCarthy ... Col. Macklin
Alexander Lockwood Alexander Lockwood ... Arthur Kelvaney
John O'Malley John O'Malley ... Prof. Baine
Robby the Robot ... Robby
Gage Clarke ... Dr. Bannerman
Than Wyenn Than Wyenn ... Prof. Zeller
Jefferson Searles Jefferson Searles ... Prof. Foster (as Jefferson Dudley Searles)
Alfred Linder Alfred Linder ... Martin / Computer
Ralph Votrian Ralph Votrian ... 1st Gate Sergeant
Michael Miller Michael Miller ... 2nd Gate Sergeant
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Storyline

Timmie is a typical ten-year-old boy: he loves fun and mischief and hates to study. When his scientist father, in an attempt to improve Timmie's mind, plops him in front of the Super Computer, the boy learns more than how to beat his dad at chess. With designs on world domination, the computer has Timmie reactivate Robbie the Robot and directs the metal hulk to do his bidding. But while Robbie is an efficient minion, can he be made to harm the boy who gave him life? Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The science-monster who would destroy the world! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

S.O.S. Spaceship See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM released this film, which features a sequence set aboard an Earth-orbiting satellite, in October 1957, the same month in which the USSR inaugurated the Space Age by launching Sputnik. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Dr. Bannerman pronounces Colonel Macklin dead, tape marks denoting the actors' positions are clearly visible on the floor as the camera pulls out and the cast members obligingly stand up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Tom Merrinoe: General Swayne! Certainly didn't expect to see you in person.
Gen. Swayne: Thought I'd be my own messenger boy this time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over an entry gate to someone's lovely, expensive home, and towards the end of it, we hear and see a motorcade enter the property. See more »

Connections

Featured in Logopolis 12 & 13 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nightmare revisited
15 January 2006 | by robin-414See all my reviews

I feel compelled to add my two pennyworth, as the shade of this movie has been with me for most of my life. One of the most terrifying things I ever saw on TV, and I think I was only four, so this was back in 1959, was a clip from The Invisible Boy. I had no idea what a robot was, and so my introduction to the concept was this most impressive creation, 'Robby'. They must have been very generous with the footage, because I saw the whole kite sequence and the aftermath. I must have been watching through my fingers for most of the time, because when the kid is talking to Robby, he is on the top of a stepladder, and for a long time, I didn't even realise that the robot had a proper body, I thought it was just a great big glass head. Also, I thought that the chap announcing the clip had said Robin the Robot, and, I thought, hey, that's my name, so there was a scary identification thing happening there, too. I only remember that this sequence played on my mind - big giant glass head and a small boy - I was plagued by the notion that Robby the Robot might, one day, come lurching into our house, with his big old twirling pirate-earring antennae.

Flash forward to January 2006. I had never seen a single section of this film since that nightmarish trailer on our little old wooden television set. Now I have it in my grasp, after finding it on DVD. I cut straight to the scene that scared me so much. It's astonishing how clearly it has registered on my memory. I even remember some of the dialogue.

Having now watched this movie all the way through, I can only concur with several of the other reviews, and there is little that I can add. It certainly is a pretty uneven movie, and it looks like several different writers and directors worked on different sequences without ever liaising, although I don't believe this to be the case.

One of the other reviewers referred to this, I think, as a child's nightmare, and that's a very apt description. The film's unevenness of mood adds to its bad-dream quality.

The sequences that contain intentional humour are quite well-devised, but seem to belong to a little film of their own. The cast of competent nobodies deal with their lines pretty well, whether they know what the heck is going on or not.

Robby has quite a lot to do, and, under the evil influence of the super-computer (this is part of the standard published synopsis, so I'm not giving anything away), gets to be menacing, which he's really rather good at, although his credibility wavers at one point, when he actually pops up from behind a bush in the garden. That has to be seen to be believed.

I'm so glad I laid this ghost after 46 years, especially as the film is one of the strangest things I've enjoyed in many a long day.

It's not really a good, or well-crafted film, but it's weird enough to merit my recommendation, especially as it has big, scary old Robby the Robot!


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