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Invisible Boy, The

Entry updated 24 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1957). Pan/MGM. Directed by Herman Hoffman. Written by Cyril Hume, based on "Invisible Boy" (23 June 1956 Saturday Evening Post; vt "The Brain Child" in Tomorrow's Gift, coll 1958) by Edmund Cooper. Cast includes Philip Abbott, Diane Brewster, Richard Eyer and Harold J Stone. 90 minutes. Black and white.

In this well-written and well-made Children's SF film, a ten-year-old boy (Eyer) assembles a Robot from pieces brought back from the future by a time-traveller (see Time Travel), and ends up with Robby the Robot, who had won the hearts of audiences in Forbidden Planet (1956). Robby comes under the influence of a malign, fully aware supercomputer – probably the first such AI in movies – and somewhat irresponsibly makes the boy an Invisibility potion. More importantly, he helps the Computer – which is planning to conquer the world – by implanting electronic receivers in the brains of prominent men, but redeems himself at the end when he ignores the computer's command to kill the boy and instead destroys the computer. Viewers are left with the implicit moral that machines shaped like men are more trustworthy than machines shaped like Machines. [JB/PN]


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