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Tobor the Great (1954)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:52 pm    Post subject: Tobor the Great (1954) Reply with quote

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* Note the sneaky blurb at the top of the poster. Tobor is carrying an unconscious woman in elegant clothes, and the slogan suggests he's got lecherous motives!

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Watch this one with child-like eyes and you'll have a great time. "Tobor the Great" is a terrific kid's-fantasy-come-true.

Tobor ("robot" spelled backwards) is the invention of an elderly scientific genius who develops a robot to serve as a pilot on dangerous space flights in place of astronauts.

The inventor's grandson (Billy Chapin) befriends the robot during the development of its complex brain and artificial personality. Commie spies kidnap the inventor and the boy, attempting to get their hands on the valuable robot.

Tobor is incapable of speech, which gives the robot an interesting quality of mystery and strangeness. But he does have the ability to sense human thoughts and emotions ??? he can tell when someone is up to no good! In the climax, Tobor has to break out of his own lab to rescue the boy from the evil commies who kidnapped the youth to gain control of the robot.

Tobor's physical design is pretty impressive. Although he doesn't have the aesthetic appeal of Robby or Gort, he is solidly constructed and a pleasure to watch in action. Although Tobor is less agile than a human being, he moves around much better than Robby or Gort ??? which comes in handy when Tobor has to lift the back end of the bad guys' car and prevent them from escaping!

The movie includes a scene in which the inventor opens Tobor???s chest to show his interior to a group of reporters when Tobor is presented to the public. Obviously the reason for the scene is to show the audience that this is no mere suit with a man inside. It???s a real robot!

It's a nice little touch in a movie designed to inspire younger viewers . . . and to entertain older ones.

The direction by Lee Sholem is decidedly unskilled, and young Billy Chapin is a mediocre actor at best (he's no Michel Ray of 'The Space Children', I'm sorry to say), but Charles Drake holds his own as the boy's father. William Shallert plays one of the reporters in the scene mentioned earlier.

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Pow
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B movie of course, but I always was impressed by the design for Tobor.
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears to have been a theme from the earliest days of sci-fi robots to depict them carrying women around. You'd think some robot designer would have eventually provided contoured arms for the purpose.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orzel-w wrote:
It appears to have been a theme from the earliest days of sci-fi robots to depict them carrying women around. You'd think some robot designer would have eventually provided contoured arms for the purpose.

All posters show the monster or the robot carrying a lady who was just going out for the evening when she was abducted.

Gort is actually the only robot who got to carry a women in the movie ??? and she wasn't dressed up as nice as the one in the poster.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Youtube has the 30-minute TV Pilot for a Torbor TV series.
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bulldogtrekker
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have to say it.

Tobor the Great was a great disappointment to me when I first saw it four or five years ago. There is just not much story to it. The best part is the introduction of Tobor. I will say that Tobor had a great design.



The Invisible Boy is a far more enjoyable movie.






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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a terrific picture of Tobor! I really like the movie, especially the climax in which Tobor becomes a One-Robot-Army and rescues the young boy and the professor. That ending elevates the movie considerably.

Tobor steals a jeep and drives like crazy to get to the boy and the professor. He smashes the barn door down to get inside the barn, he knocks out the bad guys, he lifts up the back of their car to stop the bad guy from escaping, and then he rips off the car door and pulls him out!

My hero! Very Happy

Bulldogtrekker got the picture above from a wonderful website called Attack From Planet B. I just went to it with the link BDT provided. Here's the link to the great write-up on that site for Tobor!




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool faux poster featuring Robby & Tobor.

Got me to wondering why they never did to a film featuring them together?

Universal did it with their collection of monsters in films like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Dracula, & so forth. Monsters met monsters all the time.

Robots battling fellow 'bots, not at all.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of seeing two (or more) of our favorite robots together on screen is very appealing. Making it work story-wise would certainly be no cake walk -- but not impossible for imaginative folks like us. Very Happy

What if it were done this way.

Earth is threatened by aliens who can control the minds of humans and turn the soldiers of our defending armies against each other. But a brilliant scientists, Professor Wells, invents a time machine that can retrieve objects from the past, present, or future, regardless of the distance the objects might be from Professor Wells' amazing machine.

Using his machine, Professor Wells assembles a robot army comprised a few thousand Gorts and few thousand Tobors -- with each individual robot taken from different points in time, working backwards in time to allow both the robots to exist in the past while he removes them from the timeline, never taking one from a point before one he's already taken, so that -- well, you get the idea.

He only takes one Robby from the 23rd Century, because Robby is the brains of the operation.

Robby's Krell processing units contain data on the invading aliens because the Krell had encountered them 200,000 years ago during their exploratory missions into space, and the Krell knew these evil aliens would be a problem someday.

So, with Robby in charge of an army of Gorts and Tobors, mankind is saved from the mind-controlling alien horde!

Afterwards, Professor Wells sends the earliest Gort and the earliest Tobor back to one nanosecond after they were originally taken, so they can continue their existence as if they'd never left.

He sends all the rest of the robots into the sun, so they won't "fall into the wrong hands" --- etc. etc. etc.

We'll call this story The League of Extraordinary Robots!

What do you think?

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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original concept sketch for TOBOR:



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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

It took me several hours to clean up the drawing, but the effort was worth it. This design for Tobor (dated 9/6/53 in the lower right hand corner, one year before Tobor the Great was released) is better in many ways than the design they used in the movie.

The torso, arms, and legs are much trimmer, and the neck doesn't have the bulky collar ring I've always disliked (not to mention the little metal mini-skirt . . . )

Butch, thanks for posting this wonderful drawing! Very Happy




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Zackuth
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to watch this every year on Family Classics on WGN back when I was living in Griffith, Indiana. It came on once a year and I eagerly waited for the showing. After moving to California I didn't see the movie again and I forgot about it. It's been over 40 years since I've seen it, I'm going to have to run down a copy of it.
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alltare
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The name "Tobor" is not original to this movie. CAPTAIN VIDEO, an early 1950s TV show, had several episodes featuring an out-of-control robot of the same name. The name came into being when the label "ROBOT 1" was supposed to be stenciled on its chest, but the stencil was accidentally flipped over, so "I TOBOR" is how it read. Note that this happened a half century before the introduction of I-PHONE.

When I was a kid, I watched CAPTAIN VIDEO religiously.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

I studied the signature on the drawing and figured out that the name is Gabriel Scognamillo, the art director on Tobor.




I wish I could find a better picture of the drawing, as well as any other drawings Mr. Scognamillo did for alternate designs before reaching the one the finally used in the movie.
Very Happy
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

__________________________________

The picture quality of the trailer is very good, but the picture quality of the TV episode is a bit fuzzy. It's still enjoyable, so give a try.


__________________________________

_________________ Tobor the Great - trailer


_________



___ "Here Comes Tobor" (1950's Sci-Fi TV show)


_________

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