Master of the World (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

Master of the World (1961)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Master of the World Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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 resonent 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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Animation, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Matheson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 23, 2011


Vincent Price
as Captain Robur
Charles Bronson
as John Strock
Henry Hull
as Prudent
Mary Webster
as Dorothy
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Master of the World

All Critics (2)

An entertaining tale that often plays like a "B" version of Disney's Verne adaptation 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Full Review… | February 20, 2016
Creative Loafing

Highly entertaining but ludicrous fantasy sci-fi film set in the 19th century.

Full Review… | October 18, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Master of the World


Not bad version of the Verne classic. The animation is laughable to modern eyes but it's professionally done for the time period. It is also expertly cast in the three most important roles with Charles Bronson all resolute decency and two boiled hams Henry Hull and Vincent Price livening things up with over the top performances.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


1961 is the right date for this movie, not 76, I don't know why it says that. Anyway, this is one of the worst movies Price was in, in my opinion. The story about the crazy giant zeppelin thing was taken from a Jules Verne novel, but it doesn't make a good movie, the special effects are bad and it's confusing and silly, it's just not good.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


There is something kind of wonderful about his dream.

A man with an appreciation for science, world peace, and the human race has developed an unorthodox flying machine that can destroy nations. Most countries approach the man in hopes of acquiring the flying machine and turning on other nations; what most people don't understand is that the man would like to use the machine to help with world peace, not start wars.

"When do you plan to release us?"
"When I'm ready."

William Witney, director of The Outcast, Shadows of Tombstone, Trail of Robin Hood, The Gay Ranchero, The Lone Ranger (1938), Dick Tracy Returns, and Adventures of Captain Marvel, delivers Master of the World. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and well written. I loved the characters and settings but the special effects were pretty cheesy. The cast delivery good performances and includes Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Henry Hull, and Vito Scotti.

"Should I have you executed?"

I have been wanting to see this for some time ever since I saw the previews on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) some years ago. I finally caught this on television again and I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed watching this picture (I had forgotten Charles Bronson was in this). This is not a perfect film, but it is entertaining and worth a viewing.

"I have no nationality."

Grade: C+/B-

Kevin Robbins

Master of the World Quotes

Strock: This is the world we're living in, not a drawing room, so don't speak to me about words of honor. We happen to be prisoners on the ship of a man who would willingly destroy the world in order to save it, Mr. Evans. The World! Reality! Now open your eyes and look at it hard. What should I have done? Proclaimed in ringing, gentlemanly tones that I would resist him to my last breath?
– Submitted by MIchael R (4 years ago)

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