In the brain and the brain alone lies the glory of man.
Jeremy and Henry Spensser are brothers. Their father William Spensser (Otto Kruger) is a noted brain surgeon. Jeremy (Ross Martin) is a brilliant humanitarian. On the eve of his winning the “International Peace Prize” he is killed when he is hit by a truck. He leaves behind a wife Anne (Mala Powers) and young son Billy (Charles Herbert). William Spensser is distraught at the loss of his son and upset that his son's gifts will be denied to the world. He conceives a plan to save Jeremy’s mind so he can still help mankind. He has saved his son’s brain and kept it on artificial life support. To fulfill his quest William needs the help of his other son Henry (John Baragrey). Henry is a specialist in automation. William wants Henry to create a robot body for Jeremy’s brain.
Henry creates a giant robot body for Jeremy. Because of his appearance they keep Jeremy a secret for a year continuing to work on humanitarian issues. But Jeremy begins to change from his normal calm, friendly demeanor. And he begins to gain new powers. He can hypnotize people and shoot lasers through his eyes. Cut off from human contact Jeremy’s mind starts to lose its humanity. When he realizes his brother is in love with his wife he kills him. Jeremy then destroys the work he had been doing with his father in the lab. He decides that the world is better off if people are destroyed. He goes on a rampage killing anyone he sees.
“The Colossus of New York” was released in 1958. It was directed by Eugene Lourie and produced by William Alland. The funeral sequence had to be reshot because Ross Martin fell asleep and his snoring drowned out the recorded dialogue. The make-up was done by Wally Westmore. It’s a small low budget film. The story isn’t deep or complex but for some reason I liked it.
The music score is a simple haunting piano composed by Van Cleave. Reminiscent of a silent movie score it is eerie but effective at giving the movie an other worldly feel. I’m not usually fond of a single instrument as a music score but in this case it works. And by accident too. There was musician strike going on at the time of the filming.
The Colossus costume was eight feet tall, weighed 160 pounds and was made from burlap, plastic, rubber and fine chicken wire. Inside, there were batteries, cables, air tanks and oxygen tubes. It took stuntman Ed Wolff (who was 7 foot tall) 40 minutes to climb in and out of his Colossus costume so a special rack was built where he could rest whilst still in costume in between shots.
The funeral sequence had to be reshot because actor Ross Martin, who was in the coffin, fell asleep and his snoring drowned out the recorded dialogue.