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(aka 'Jules Verne's Master Of The World')

 

Directed by William Witney
USA
1961

 

Master of the World was adapted by Richard Matheson from two Jules Verne novels, Robur le Conquerant (1896) and its... sequel, Maitre du Monde (1904)--with more than a little of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea thrown in. Set in 1868, the story is galvanized by an ominous warning of impending doom, delivered in a disembodied but resonant voice from a huge mountain just outside Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Hoping to find the source of the warning, the members of the Weldon Balloon Society, headed by munitions manufacturer Prudence (Henry Hull), send a motorized balloon to investigate. Also aboard Prudence's balloon is his daughter Dorothy (Mary Webster), her fiance Philip (David Frankham), and taciturn pilot Strock (Charles Bronson). Before long, the little party is captured by the brilliant but unbalanced Robur (Vincent Price), captain of the gigantic, state-of-the-art airship "Albatross." Robur explains that he is a man of peace, and that he is using his huge airship to wipe out all warfare by obliterating every weapon of mass destruction on earth--and never mind that a few innocent bystanders may also be killed in the process. Admiring Robur's intentions if not his methods, Strock bypasses every opportunity to stop the madman in his tracks, and for this he is branded a coward by the hotheaded Philip, sparking a battle of words and fists that will persist throughout the film. Meanwhile, Robur attacks such strategic military locations as Paris, Madrid and North Africa (courtesy of stock footage from other films), and as the carnage continues, Prudence renounces his war-profiteering ways. As for Strock, his admiration for Robur does not prevent him from a desperate climactic effort to rescue Prudence, Dorothy and Philip by planting a time bomb in the "Albatross"--a bomb that very well may go off before the "good guys" get off.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 1961

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DVD Review: KSM - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution KSM - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:34:30 (4% PAL Speed-up) 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles German, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: KSM

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• German Trailer
• Trailer
• Photo Gallery 


DVD Release Date:
May 14th, 2012
Keep Case
Chapters:
12

 

Comments:

I guess I must have missed the, pricey, MGM DVD-R version HERE that came out last year.

The German KSM DVD is dual-layered and looks quite good - surprisingly strong. There isn't much fading and black levels are strong. It is transferred in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the disc provides a more-than-acceptable SD presentation. Audio is clean and offered in original English or a German DUB. The only indication of the PAL speed-up was in Bronson's distinctive voice that was a semi-tone higher. There are optional German subtitles and extras include trailers and a stills gallery.

This isn't the most effective Verne-to-screen fantasy sci-fi but I have fond memories of it as a boy. Hunky Bronson, conniving Price and crotchety Hull add good flavor alongside the poor effects. Nostalgia was, personally, high for me but only those with similar keenness need indulge. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution KSM - Region 0 - PAL



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