Master of the World (1961) Movie Review

Master of the World (1961)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Vincent Price in Master of the World (1961)

20,000 Feet in the Air

Strock (Charles Bronson - The Magnificent Seven), a government man, is sent to Morgantown, Pennsylvania to investigate strange goings on involving what seems to be a volcano in a mountain. Persuading Prudent (Henry Hull - The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw), an ammunitions manufacturer, to take him up in his air balloon to inspect the mounain Strock, Prudent, his daughter Dorothy (Mary Webster - The Tin Star) and beau, Evans (David Frankham), end up being shot out of the sky. When they come around they discover themselves on the flying ship, The Albatross, helmed by Robur (Vincent Price - The Big Circus) who is more than happy to show his guests around but seems to have a strange idea when it comes to his plans to stop war.

So yes, "Master of the World" sounds not too dissimilar to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" with a submarine switched to an airship but still with a man with noble ideas but a mad way of doing things in control. And for those in the know it is little surprise as "Master of the World" is also based on a Jules Verne story, in fact it is a combination of a couple of storylines. It isn't just that "Master of the World" has similar story ideas to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" but it visually has some similarities from the interior of the airship to various costumes and also the movie's pacing.

Charles Bronson and Mary Webster in Master of the World (1961)

Now I am not going to go too far in to detail because it is the specifics of "Master of the World", the various close calls and brushes with danger which make it worth watching. But what I will say is that this is a movie which if you think Vincent Price hams it up it is nothing compared to Henry Hull who even when he hasn't got anything to say keeps on moving about to try to grab attention and it ends up ridiculously annoying. It is even more annoying than Charles Bronson being badly miscast as Strock.

What this all boils down to is that "Master of the World" is entertaining but sometimes it is for what is wrong with it be it the similarities to "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" or for the diversity of stock footage it uses when showing scenes of war.