Saw the movie “Master of the World” on Netflix streaming last night. It’s a 1961 American International flick combining two Jules Verne novels, Robur the Conqueror and its sequel, Master of the World.
The film was an attempt by American International Pictures to create a prestigious epic adventure along the lines of 1956’s Around the World in 80 Days. While it boasted a larger cast and more location work than was then the norm for AIP, it still utilised stock footage, including the opening miniature shot of Elizabethan London from Laurence Olivier’s Henry V as a stand-in for Victorian London, with the skyship Albatross superimposed over the top. Additional scenes of the Albatross destroying both sides in a naval engagement are created in the same manner, with stock footage borrowed from model shoots of Napoleonic sea battles.
The script combined elements of both Jules Verne’s novels, Master of the World, and Robur the Conqueror. Robur, genius, inventor and in this instance, creator of powered heavier than air craft Albatross, with his hand picked crew chooses to use weapons of war to force the governments of the world to lay down their arms and live in peace.
The story stars Vincent Price as a Robur, who with his flying machine tries to save the world from war. A young Charles Bronson plays the government agent assigned to investigate the events caused by Robur. Also in the movie is Henry Hull, best remembered for playing the lead in Universal Pictures’s Werewolf of London (1935). is another movie I saw in 1961 and did not care for. Now, fifty-one years later, I think it was a pretty good movie, considering the lack of CGI effects.