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The Invisible Boy

The Invisible Boy (1957)

October. 18,1957
| Adventure Comedy Science Fiction

A Super Computer plans world domination with the help of Robbie the robot and a 10 year old boy who is the son the computer's inventor.


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Perfect cast and a good story


Excellent but underrated film


Although it has its amusing moments, in eneral the plot does not convince.


Pretty good movie overall. First half was nothing special but it got better as it went along.


Loose follow-up to "Forbidden Planet" sees the return of Robby the Robot in the present(1957) as he befriends a ten-year old boy named Timmy(played by Richard Eyer) whose father(played by Philip Abbott) is a Pentagon scientist who has built a super computer. It was designed to help humanity, but instead gets ideas of world conquest, as it reprograms Robby to do its bidding, which includes threatening to kill little Timmy if the authorities don't give in to its demands. Can Robby and Timmy save the Day? Exceedingly silly and unbelievable film is a total waste of time, good only for kids. Still, the unexplored subplot of Robby being taken from the future by a time-traveling scientist is more interesting than anything else in the film!


At every turn the extraordinary is dismissed with casual abandon. I think a formula was used to determine the dialog in this film, especially where interaction between the boy and his parents are concerned. What would a normal person be to expected to say in a given situation, use an opposite response. I focus on dialog because dialog is what I have the most trouble with in this film. The few times I have seen this I have wondered at what seems to be totally disconnected reactions to strikingly bizarre situations, and I have come to the conclusion that it was done on purpose. I have no insight into the minds of writers or directors, but considering the weak story, something needed to be done to make a potentially really boring plot engender at least a little interest. Even at the risk of making a silly movie. Another possibility is that everyone came to work loaded every day. I don't know how to rate it. I will need a time machine to go into the past and become invisible so that I can sit in on the planning of this one.


The Invisible Boy is an entry of sort in the long list of "Invisible" movies this being one of a boy, Timmy. Timmy gets to be a grand daredevil in this movie, flying in a huge kite that takes him among the clouds, almost falling to his death several times, going into outer space, having his own robot "Robbie" who seems to have all the same powers and intellect that he had in Forbidden Planet, and lastly becoming invisible! Whew, thats a lot of stuff to happen to one 10 year old in one movie but they manage to pack it all in within the first third to half (except the space part). So what happens after the first third to half? a long drawn out non Timmy picture that is worth fast forwarding and must have put the kiddies to sleep for sure who saw this in the Saturday matinée in the theaters. The ending is pretty cool along with the first half and we get to see Robbie take on a "rocket patrol" of heavily armed air force ground troops who try to stop Robbie using rifles, machine guns, bazooka's, recoil-less artillery and flame throwers (that was very cool to watch)! The dialog used by the scientists elevate this past strictly being a children's picture to one that sci fi fans, and of course all robot fans (who isn't a robot fan?), will enjoy seeing. If your tuning for the invisible factor you wont like it as the invisible bits are played for the typical invisible yucks you've seen in movies along the way of a 3 Stooges or Abbott and Costello movie and after seeing those jokes it's not funny anymore, luckily the invisible stuff lasts less then a third of the movie. I give it an elevated 7 of 10 because it's a curiosity sci fi movie, not because it's particularly all that great. Worth it to see Robbie and Timmy get into world domination troubles though!


"The Invisible Boy" isn't so much a sequel to "Forbidden Planet" (though the script makes it clear that Robby is the same robot, stolen by a time-traveling mathematician) as it is a sequel to Robby's appearance in "Forbidden Planet".Everyone loves Robby. When I reviewed the Heath HERO 2000 robot for a magazine 20 years ago (has it been that long?), I wanted to use the photo of Robby holding the dead Warren Stevens, with the caption "I love you, Robby." But MGM's licensing fees were too high.One can criticize many points of plot and characterization, * but the film's main problem is that Robby is no longer Robby. Though Marvin Miller still provides the voice, Robby's lines are (mostly) flat and his demeanor deferential. The droll sarcasm of Dr. Morbius's creation is gone. Robby is now a victim of the supercomputer's evil plot, his personality so drastically altered that he considers killing Dr. Merinoe (but stops, presumably because Merinoe is the only source of the unlocking code). Robby is no longer the independent automaton so appealing in the earlier film, but unsympathetic and even boring.There is one surprising moment (which ought to have gotten the film a PG rating) when the supercomputer threatens to command Robby to torture Timmy unless Dr. Merinoe supplies the unlocking code -- and he refuses! I've been watching films for over 50 years (and I saw "The Invisible Boy" in first run), but I can't think of ANY film (or TV show) I've seen with such a scene. The hero ALWAYS acquiesces, protecting one or two individuals to the possible detriment of millions."The Invisible Boy" isn't a bad film, but it's more "cute" than disturbing, and hardly the film Robby's fans wanted.* Example: If the story is supposed to be contemporary, then the supercomputer would have had to have been built in the '30s! Given the film's obviously tight budget, there was no way to create a plausible late-20th-century environment, so this point was simply ignored.