Famous Movie Robots - Illustrated History of Film Robots


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  • round-bodied Tik-Tok

  • mechanical men (also known as automatons).

  • The Mechanical Statue and the Ingenious Servant (1907)

  • In the slapstick comedic story

  • The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908)

  • Early depictions of "mechanical men" included these short films (often comedies and usually one-reel) - sometimes reflecting the encroachment of machinery and the increasing fear of industrialization:

  • The Rubber Man (1909), from the Lubin Company, about a mechanical creation that ran amok through a town and village before being short-circuited by being doused in a water trough

  • A Mechanical Husband (1910, UK), about a girl who objected to her father's choice of a man and fell in love with an automaton

  • The Electric Leg (1912, UK), about the invention of a primitive prosthetic or electric leg for disabled individuals by Professor Bound, but for one amputee, the artificial leg had a mind of its own; he lost control of it and it took a man into a girls' dormitory

  • The Automatic House (1915), from Empress, about an automatic maid in a "automatic house" The Mechanical Man (1915), from Universal, about a "mechanical man" (Walter Frederick Trevallion, as Phroso)

  • Homunculus (1916, Ger.)

  • The Automatic Motorist (1911, UK), a comedic fantasy take-off of Georges Melies' A Trip to the Moon (1902), and a mix of live-action and stop-motion animation, in which a mechanical chauffeur drove a newly-wed couple on a honeymoon trip to Saturn

  • Paul Wegener

  • Der Golem (1914, Ger.) (aka The Monster of Fate) Der Golem Und Die Tanzerin (1917, Ger.) (aka The Golem and the Dancer) - notably the first horror film sequel Der Golem (1920, Ger.) (aka The Golem: or How He Came Into the World), with Karl Freund as cinematographer

  • themes of a creator losing control of his creation

  • The Master Mystery (1919 or 1920)

  • huge, mechanical, evil robot named Q or The Automaton (Floyd Buckley), the cartel's protective robot-servant. The criminal mastermind had a goofy-looking face and a barrel-shaped pelvis. Houdini exposed the robot as a human in disguise. This film had one of the earliest (if not the first) on-screen theatrical representation of a traditional robot.

  • featured a giant, super-powered, 9-10 foot-tall, colossal evil "mechanical" robot, designed to commit robberies and create mayhem.

  • programmed and remotely-controlled by evil villainess adventuress Mado

  • lumbering robot had headlights for eyes, and had the capability of running at high speed. The film's finale featured a climactic battle at a masked ball in the Opera House between the first monstrous robot and a second mechanical robot, specifically created (with similar specifications) to destroy the first one.

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