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Tobor the Great


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Drake, Karin Booth, Billy Chapin, Taylor Holmes, Steven Geray
  • Directors: Lee Sholem
  • Writers: Carl Dudley, Philip MacDonald
  • Producers: Carl Dudley, Richard Goldstone
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014Y4VQ0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,090 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tobor the Great" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

TOBOR THE GREAT - FS (DVD MOVIE)

Customer Reviews

Movie: Tobor the Great Review When I was 8 years old, I saw "Tobor the Great" at summer camp.
T. Thompson
He was not the 20 to 60 foot tall robot, dedpending on how he's drawn to fit the scene from the cartoon, but somewhere in the 7 to 9 foot range.
JACK LOBO
TOBOR is one of the most delightful juvenile sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s, and one of the best movie robots of all time!
Donald J. Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Long on July 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
TOBOR is one of the most delightful juvenile sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s, and one of the best movie robots of all time! Although TOBOR was closer related to the tin-can clanking robots in the old Republic movie serials of the 1940s than to more futuristic versions like Robby and R2-D2, he endeared himself to 1954 audiences of kids who loved to see a 7-foot-tall robot as a hero. The archetypal boy-and-his-robot movie, like Robby in The Invisible Boy (1957) this one works as sheer entertainment and no doubt inspired many young boys in the Fifties to grow up to be scientists. Billy Chapin as Gadge heads an all-star cast of sterling character actors during the cold war McCarthy era. Stephen Geray is tops as the villainous spy you love to hate, and was supported by top character heavies Peter Brocco and Henry Kulky. They were nicely counterbalanced with Taylor Holmes as TOBOR's inventor, Professor Nordstrom, and Charles Drake as a pre-NASA-era rocket scientist. Highly recommended! Great fun for all ages! Three cheers for TOBOR THE GREAT!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Christenson / Lunamation on October 15, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Tobor is Robot spelled backwards. Invented by a scientist (Taylor Holmes) for the space program, Tobor is befriended by the scientist's grandson, played by Billy Chapin (who appeared in the Christmas episode of Dragnet, the one in which someone stole a statue of Jesus from the church, and is the brother of Lauren Chapin, who played Kathy on Father Knows Best). But foreign spies are after Tobor to turn his technology to evil uses.

This is one of the best Robot movies for kids from the 1950s, though not quite as entertaining as the Disney movie The Invisible Boy, which featured Robby The Robot from Forbidden Planet. The name Tobor was used again for a robot in a more recent movie - Sharkboy and Lavagirl.

The cast includes some of the most familiar and prolific B-move character actors including Robert Shayne, who portrayed Inspector Henderson on the Superman TV series; William Schallert, best known as Patty Duke's dad on The Patty Duke Show, with 300 film & TV credits - and still appearing in films today, like Sweetzer (2006); and Lyle Talbot, who appeared in everything from The Clyde Mystery (1931) to Newhart, including Plan Nine From Outer Space, Batman and Robin, and 42nd Street.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Thompson on August 22, 2012
Format: DVD
***** SPECIAL NOTE FOR TOBOR the Robot FANS *******

Tobor wasn't limited to this movie!

Apparently, years later Guild Films made a TV pilot featuring Tobor (and a kid named Tommy). The series was to be called: "Here Comes Tobor", and the pilot was called: "Tobor and the Atomic Submarine". There are many citations about this TV show on the Internet, even Amazon, so check it out if you are a Tobor fan!

*****************************************

Movie: Tobor the Great Review

When I was 8 years old, I saw "Tobor the Great" at summer camp. To my 8 year old mind in the 1950's, the idea of robots was the most exciting thing I could imagine. So I was thrilled with "Tobor the Great", seeing it as a child did in those days, days in which we had dial telephones, B&W small screen TVs, comic books, and "Leave it to Beaver" attitudes.

Tobor looked magnificent!

It is probably hard for anyone in the 21st Century to look at this film with such eyes, so much has been developed since this movie came out. It is important to remember that the iconic "Robby the Robot" of "Forbidden Planet" would not appear for several years, and when he did, the budget was much higher!

For its time, and especially for its budget and studio, "Tobor the Great" was actually groundbreaking on a number of levels, visual style, and characterization. This is what to look for in the film. When looked at in comparison with other films of the time put out by Republic, it is possible to understand this.

And this is why I recommend this film -- to see a change in approach to sci-fi that had only once before been attempted, in "The Day The Earth Stood Still.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on May 24, 2008
Format: DVD
My friend and fellow sci-fi fanatic have our own personal "wish lists" of films we've always wanted to see. Well, Tobor has topped my list for the past 20 years or so. It's almost never shown on t.v., and even the VHS tape of the film has been out-of-print for years. So it was with great enthusiasm that I greeted this long-overdue DVD release.

Unfortunately, like so many things that we build up in our minds to be great, the reality is that Tobor isn't really the "lost classic" I'd hoped it would be. Oh, it's hardly a bad film. The production values are first-rate, especially the expansive lab set wherein the title character is created. And I was impressed that there was some real SCIENCE in this science-fiction: The idea of using artificial beings to test the dangers of space travel is a fine idea.

Where Tobor misses the mark is with the ludicrous plot device of the robot creating an ESP-based link with its inventor's grandson, which then proves useful when the boy is kidnapped by criminals intent on stealing the mechanical man. It's as if the writers couldn't decide if their story was a kid's movie, or serious sci-fi. With about equal amounts of both, the result is not that satisfying.

But if you like 50's sci-fi, you may still find this a worthwhile purchase. It does retain much of the "gee whiz" innocence of the era, and I'm sure the nostalgia factor is high for anyone growing up during that time.

For a much better boy-and-his-robot picture, check out THE INVISIBLE BOY, available as a bonus feature with Forbidden Planet (Two-Disc Special Edition).
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