Thursday, 1 March 2012

Master Of The World

The fabulous adventures of the man who conquered the earth to save it!

 Bronson in 'Masters of the Universe' would of been more entertaining

This hybrid of sci-fi & adventure was released in 1961 & starred Vincent Price as Captain Robur who is determined to start a war to end all wars & bring peace on earth with his airship named The Albatross. A scientist and his team including Charles Bronson end up by misfortune trapped on the ship. Captain Robur refers to them as 'guests' but that are clearly prisoners on board his outrageous creation.

Vincet Price plays the mad scientist in the only way that Vincent Price could. It's typical Price yet it's a part he's played countless times & with most of them being stronger performances. The films strength is in the questions raised of who should be blamed for war? Are the people that build the machines that kill the savages or the people that use them the ones to blame? However this concept isn't played with nearly as much as it should be and is overlooked in favour of the adventure element of the movie.

A major draw for this picture back when it was released would of been the special effects. Seeing people dangled from a rope against superimposed backgrounds may of been a big thrill back then but now it just kind of looks silly. This wouldn't be a problem if the film delivered in other areas but unfortunately it doesn't.

The plot is a predictable cliche with a forced love triangle thrown in for good measure which consists of.. 'good guys trapped in air vs mad scientist, they escape death a few times and finally get back to earth taking the ship down with them'. I guess a film like this would of served purely as a entertaining popcorn flick back in the day but I'm not convinced it would of even succeeded at that.

Screenwriter Richard Matheson has said in interviews that he thought Bronson was miscast as a government agent with good intentions. Though from watching the film I find it hard to understand exactly what he thought was required from this paper thin role. Bronson spends the first hour of the movie observing and asking a few questions. Then come the hour mark he comes alive, shows off some physical attributes & then the film comes to an end. It's a very poorly written character which I can't see anybody being able to make very memorable.

Taking on 'Masters Of The World' was a really poor decision from Bronson. From the script it must of been pretty clear that this part would do him no favours whatsoever. He'd just finished one of his most memorable roles as Bernardo O'Reilly in The Magnificent Seven & surely would of been offered much more interesting parts than this completely forgettable role.

Unless you are an enormous Vincent Price fan I'd recommend staying well clear of this film.

Would you trust THAT face?

Year Of Release: 1961
Director: William Witney
Also Starring: Vincent Price & Henry Hull
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Character: John Strock
Age during shoot: 40
Bronson Kills: 0
Bronson Rating: 4/10
Film Rating: 3/10


1 comment:

  1. Charles Bronson seems to do here the same role that Kirk Douglas played in 20,000 Leguas Under the Sea.