Master Of The World (1961)

master of the world 1961

Based on the novels “Master Of The World” (1904) and “Robur, The Conqueror” (1911) by Jules Verne. The grandiose soundtrack by Les Baxter tries to instill a sense of wonder and make you forget about the ultra cheap effects. Henry Hull hams it up and in a bit part Vito Scotti as a French chef is even more annoying.

People in Morgantown,Pennsylvania hear a voice coming from a mountain. In Philadelphia, John Strock (Charles Bronson) from the Interior Department calls on arms manufacturer Prudent (Henry Hull). He and his daughter’s fiancee Phillip Evans (David Frankham) are in a loud argument about where to place a propeller on a balloon. Daughter Dorothy (Mary Webster) just has to put up with it.

Strock says the government sent him to take a ride in their balloon over the mountain to see what’s going on. When they’re over the crater a missile shoots them down into the mountain. When they wake up they discover they’re aboard the air ship Albatross run by mad scientist Captain Robur (Vincent Price).

Below is an American warship. Through his voice magnifier he gives them twenty minutes to abandon ship before he destroys it. They open fire. He drops a few bombs on them. Scratch one warship. Robur is really upset when he finds out Prudent is an arms dealer.

His mission is to have the world disarm…even if he has to bomb it into submission. Phillip wants to stop him but Strock informs Robur. Phillip isn’t happy. Neither is Robur. He drops Phillip out of the bomb doors for a bird’s eye view of the landscape. Next he wants to drop Prudent but Strock takes his place.

Phillip being a prize jerk tries to attack Strock while they hang in the air. Of course Phillip’s rope breaks and Strock hangs on to him saving his life. Robur offers Strock a chance to join him. He turns him down but says he won’t interfere with him. Phillip overhears and wants to kill him. Dorothy hears it all and starts to see what a jerk Phillip is. She’s not that pleased with Strock either.

Robur flies over London and drops leaflets demanding they disarm. To make his point he drops bombs on the British fleet. Then he flies over Paris and Madrid and drops a few more. Now it’s off to stop a couple warring armies.

They’re too busy shooting at each other to see the UFO above them. Robur drops some more of his endless supply of bombs. That gets their attention. They both retreat. Now a mountain range gets Robur’s attention. It’s a near miss.

Time to hover over an island for repairs. This could be the opportunity our heroes are waiting for.

There are a few attempts at some exciting scenes but the effects are so bad that instead of using imagination to take a movie viewer away for a while the movie stays where it is and the viewer goes nowhere. The whole project falls flat.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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