The Colossus of New York (1958)

THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK (1958)
Article #166 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-29-2001
Posting date: 1-12-2002

When a noted scientist/humanitarian is hit by a truck and dies, his brain is saved and installed in the casing of a robot, so he can continue his research. However, he begins to lose his sense of humanity when this happens.

This movie has some truly intriguing ideas behind it, and the idea that a humanitarian would lose his sense of attachment to the human race if he resided in a non-human body would make for a great movie if it were handled well. Unfortunately, this movie is really clumsy in handling this idea, and its attempt to be a kiddy movie at the same time seriously undermines the whole affair. The scientists seem overly far-seeing at one moment, and utterly short-sighted the next; they consider the issue that he may lose his humanity, and then treat him without compassion and with some cruelty themselves, thereby making matters worse. They install in him a lever that will destroy him that he can’t reach, and also make him so powerful that he’s capable of massive destruction. Ultimately, this movie has some of the same problems as THE CATMAN OF PARIS; it doesn’t really hang together or make sense when you think about it.

SPOILER

The ending where he goes off to the United Nations and begins killing people, and then asks the little boy to turn him off is just plain unconvincing. This is one of those movies I’d like to see remade, simply to give someone an opportunity to explore the questions involved without fumbling the whole enterprise, as this movie does. Still, as an old fan of “The Wild, Wild West” (the TV show, not the movie), it is nice to see Ross Martin, even if it is only for the first few minutes of the movie.

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