Master of the World

Synopsis: The world in the late 19th century: A scientist and his team are held as "guests" of Robur on his airship, that he want to use to ensure peace on earth. Peace with all, even if he has to bombard military targets all over the world. Can the scientist stop him ?
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director(s): William Witney
Production: MGM
102 min

Since the beginning

of recorded time,

man has sought to

conquer the sky,

to touch the stars.

For centuries, men of

genius had sought to

emulate the majestic

flight of God's creatures.

Leonardo da Vinci dreamed of a flying

machine and said "There shall be wings."

Jules Verne wrote

of flying machines,

of radar, electronic communication,

television, and even rocket bombs.

The dreams of these men however

were not as strange as the

contraptions man devised in his

first efforts to conquer the sky.

This machine tried to beat

the air into submission.

This one tried to frighten

the sky into surrender.

Traffic problem?

Just fly over the guy

in front of you.

Like this.

This inventor had something.

Broken bones.

This man is in a hurry.

He's late for dinner.

But he'll eat standing up.

From all this groping, some flying

machines actually began to fly.

Some still did not.

Then with the Wright brothers first

successful conquest of the air

man truly became.

Master of the World.

I'm bored, you hear me, bored!

Worlds full of action...

revolution, exploration, war!

But do you and I have any part of it?

No, we don't!

- Agreed, agreed.

- We're living in a cemetery.

This is the most boring and monotonous

town in the entire United States.

Morgantown, Pennsylvania, a place

where nothing could possibly happen.

- Wha...what's that?

- An earthquake!

- In Pennsylvania?!

- Look, look, the mountain!

The mountain! It's erupting!

Run for your lives!

The whole town's blowing up!

Come near, ye nations, to hear;

And hearken, ye people...

let the earth hear, and

all that is therein.

For the indignation of the

Lord is upon all nations,

and His fury upon

all their armies.

He shall utterly destroy them!

Will you kindly be quiet!

This meeting of the London Balloon

Society will kindly come to order!

Mr. President!

Quiet, gentlemen!

Quiet, quiet, quiet! Quiet!

Mr. President!

The Chair recognizes Mr. Evans!

If I may continue?

You may continue, sir,

if you can conduct

yourself as a gentleman...

and not as a howling banshee!

I believe the point being made,

Mr. President, was the following:

In the matter regarding

at which end of the new

balloon the propeller

should be installed!

It should be installed

in the front!

Pardon me, miss.


Pardon me.

Would you point out

Mr. Prudent, please?

Oh, my father.

- Your father?

- Yes.

That's him.

The one with the gavel.

Thank you.

And the other gentlemen

is my fiance, Mr. Evans.

I cannot see, sir,

any evidence to support your

highly dubious contention

that the propeller should

be installed in the front.

How long's this go on?

Sometimes for 2 or 3 days.

Uncommon balderdash, sir.

Historical evidence has

shown conclusively...

that the most efficient propellers are

installed in the rear of the balloon.

In the rear?!

In the front, in the front!

Mr. Strock, I'm glad

to see you, sir.

My butler told me you were here.

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

Quite all right, sir.

Now, sir, what can I do for you?

Well, as I wrote in my letter, I work

for the department of the Interior.

Now they've ordered me to find out

what's inside the Great Erie.

You see, if the people of Morgantown

face some calamity of nature...

they must be informed of the

danger which threatens them, sir.

And do your geologist actually believe that

there's a volcano inside that mountain?

Why no, sir.

They regard it as highly improbable.

You see, the Appalachian system

is nowhere volcanic in origin.

But still, the violent trembling of

the earth and that roaring noise...

something caused them, sir.

And the voice, Mr. Strock,

volcanic action?

Couldn't say, miss.

And the alleged quotation from scriptures,

that's all very interesting, sir.

All very interesting!

But I fail to see how we

can be of any help to you.

It's been established that the

Great Erie is impossible to climb.

I come to you therefore with the hope of

acquiring the use of your new balloon.

So that the crater may be

inspected from the air, sir.

Of course, yes, yes, me.

Well, you see, after all,

I'm not the last word.

This is Mr. Evans, who

is my partner and the

co-sponsor of the

project and the flight.

My apologies, sir.

I approach you both then.

The United States government petitions

the use of your new balloon, sir.

I hardly see how we can risk

landing it in a mountain crater.

Shouldn't be necessary, sir.

By using a telescope, the

investigation can be made from aloft.

You know, while the balloon is

passing over the crater, sir.

That's all very well

and good, young sir,

we should be delighted to let

the government use our balloon...

except for the fact that there are certain

details that are stopping her completion.

- Such as, Mr. Prudent?

- Such as the location of the propeller.

Only an idiot would maintain that the

propeller should be in the front!

Father, father!

I'm sorry, my child.

- Sir, may I make a suggestion?

- Of course.

- Why not install a propeller in the rear?

- Never!

- Oh, yes!

- And one in front as well, sir.

I think that's a fine idea.

Of course, it's a splendid idea!

As a matter of fact, I

thought of that myself.

Mr. Evans and I will pilot the balloon,

and my daughter will accompany us.

Your daughter, sir?

Of course, of course, she

always goes with us.

There's no danger.

We're not going to

descend into the crater.

Here is to the success

of our venture.

Out with the ballast!

- First time aloft, Mr. Strock?

- Yes, sir.

Does the altitude bother you?

Not at all, I find it interesting.

- Where was this built, sir?

- In one of my factories.

Why, you're in

munitions, aren't you?

Yes, yes, and we manufacture

cannons, rifles, pistols,

powder, high explosives,

and the like.

For our government?

Primarily yes, but of

course we also sell to any

government who has the

money to pay for it.

Why, I notice the name of

Prudent on this knife.

- One of your products?

- Yes, that's one of our best sellers.

We ought to be getting

close by now.

See anything yet?

There it is!

Don't be alarmed, miss.

Wishful thinking, Mr. Strock?


What makes you

think I'm alarmed?

- Excuse me, father, may I?

- Why certainly, my dear.

Is he annoying you, Dorothy?

I think it's the

other way around.

See anything yet?

Well, there seems to be

something inside the...


Steer it away from the crater!

It's our only chance!

I can't. I can't!

Everybody down on the floor

and brace yourselves.

Oh, I'm sorry, Miss Prudent.

- Who is it?

- Strock.

What are we doing here?

I don't know, miss, I don't know

what either of us is doing here.

Or where "here" is even.

The crash!


Let me help you.

- Are you in pain, miss?

- My back is...



Propeller in the rear...

as always and don't argue with me!

I will not be... ow!

- Did you hurt yourself?

- Of course I hurt myself.



- Here, Father.

- Thank you, dear.

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Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the movie Somewhere In Time for which Matheson wrote the screenplay, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel". He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television film of the same name that year. Seven more of his novels or short stories have been adapted as major motion pictures — The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, Steel (filmed as Real Steel), and Button, Button. Lesser movies based on his work include two from his early noir novels — Cold Sweat, based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace (Icy Breasts), based on his novel Someone is Bleeding. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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