Starring Charles Drake, Karin Booth, Billy Chapin, Taylor Holmes, and Steven Geray. Directed by Lee Sholem.
It was a “boy and his robotic” film where by researchers develop a robotic spaceman with the intention of substituting it for genuine astronauts on early exam flights. It was a little bit cliched, but the producers considered that Robot spelled backwards would make a wonderful title for the film.
Dr. Harrison and Prof. Nordstrom develop the robotic Tobor for house flight, intending that he should really be controlled by ESP. They announce their options at a push conference which will spread the news worldwide, then they grow to be worried that push conference stability was breached since an further particular person attended and they wouldn’t want the information and facts falling into the wrong hands! The further particular person was a spy he and his henchmen kidnap Nordstrom and his grandson, but Nordstrom cleverly alerts Tobor to cost to the rescue. The spies tear open up the boy’s shirt and threaten to use a blowtorch on him, and the composition tends to make the torch look to be pointed at the boy’s temple even though he concentrates on summoning his hero Tobor. .
Area of interest marketplace motion pictures were not a new concept in the 50s. Tobor was developed for pre-teen matinee audiences. Knowing this, the film wants to be lower some slack for not grappling with deep principles or extraordinary action. It truly is a kids’ film. As these types of, Tobor quantities to a type of sci-fi “lite.” However, it really is worthwhile viewing for its enlargement on the robotic archetype.
Dr. Harrison quits his position at a (pre-NASA) house company since he does not believe human beings should really go into house. He joins an more mature scientist, Dr. Nordstrom, who agrees and is functioning on a tremendous robotic to do that process instead. They do the job alongside one another in Nordstrom’s basement lab, at some point unveiling their development to a decide on group of fellow researchers. Tobor (robotic spelled backwards) has the energy and toughness to withstand the harshness of house. He can be controlled remotely, but also has plenty of onboard intelligence to work independently. He’s also been presented some fuzzy capabilities to “sense” thoughts and read through ideas.
A communist spy had infiltrated the group of researchers. The spies determine they will have to steal Tobor right before he’s handed above to the American governing administration. Meanwhile, Nordstrom’s grandson, nicknamed “Gadge” has grow to be fascinated with Tobor. Given that Tobor has reasoning and thoughts, he and Gadge develop a friendship bond. Nordstrom’s household stability thwarts the spies’ attempt to steal Tobor. They then organize a kidnapping of Nordstrom and Gadge to at the very least find out his tricks. Nordstrom has Tobor’s remote controls with him (an ear piece and unique pen), so instructs Tobor to rescue them. The spies figure out that Nordstrom is stalling, get indignant and demolish the pen. Tobor stops chilly. Harrison switches Tobor to telepathic manner. Tobor resumes, adhering to Gadge’s ideas. Tobor breaks into the spies hideout and fights them. Harrison and the military get there and all is perfectly. Tobor has proven his capabilities and presented a deep house mission. Nordstrom and Gadge observe the liftoff. The finish.
Tobor is a Disney-esque wide range of sci-fi, which has a specified allure. It has the identical easier ethos as the outdated serials, Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. Tobor himself is completely the star and fairly perfectly accomplished for a reduced-price range film. Provided the evolution of the robotic archetype inside of sci-fi, Tobor adds some attributes which are somewhat in advance of the curve. The movie’s large-eyed adoration of science and engineering is attention-grabbing, primarily presented the decades of technophobia motion pictures which will crop up later. In Tobor, engineering is our steadfast good friend — and savior.
This, even though shallow, is very distinct. The communist spies want to steal Tobor. Dr. Nordstrom worries that Tobor’s superior programming to be subverted into harmful takes advantage of.
Robot Ability! — Prior to Tobor, robots had been by typified as powerful, silent brutes — generally with harmful powers.
Tobor is endowed with the capability for impartial considered AND to sense thoughts. This moves Tobor out of the standard realm of senseless mechanical minion and closer to the part of artificial human. For decades, writers and audiences would stay fascinated with the notion of a robotic which is virtually human (Star Trek TNG’s “Details” character, Robin Williams in Millennium Gentleman, and the minimal boy in Spielberg’s A.I., and so on.). This is aided by Tobor have a type of face also. Compare Tobor to Gog and Magog in Gog unveiled previously in 1954. Gog’s style and design was deliberately NOT humanoid.
Tobor panders to its audience, in this circumstance eight to twelve yr olds. Pandering motion pictures are attention-grabbing for how the protagonist(s) are likely to be superlative and their antagonists are bumbling fools. This will be a frequent undercurrent in teen pandering motion pictures to appear. The teens are the good kinds who help save the entire world, even though the adults are all idiots who should really never be trusted with the entire world. Tobor just isn’t fairly that flagrant, but is clearly geared toward a place of look at from a twelve-yr-outdated in the 50s.
Although the sub-genre of technophobia would be gearing up in the a long time to appear, Tobor stands out as a single of the engineering-by-rose-colored glasses motion pictures. Compared with the relatively customary robotic rampage scene, Tobor continues to be below command of his human masters — he only seems like he’s rampaging. With his artificial intelligence and psychological programming, Tobor is a technological expression of Nietzsche’s übermensch — the “superman” which mere guy was supposed to “evolve” into.
No Babes — A minor place. Tobor does not carry off a swooned shapely babe as revealed in the poster. This abducting-our-ladies trope receives a great deal of publicity in 50s sci-fi — primarily the posters. From time to time the poster suits, these types of as the kinds for Creature from the Black Lagoon (’54). There, the gill-guy does abduct the wonderful woman. Or Robot Monster (’53) in which Ro-Gentleman does carry off younger Alice with the intent of “obtaining” her. All also typically, having said that, the only babe kidnapped is the a single on the poster. The film has no these types of scene. Provided Tobor’s focus on audience,