Master of the World (1934 film)

The Master of the World (German: Der Herr der Welt) is a German science fiction movie made in 1934 (released in the US in 1935). Its themes are the ethical replacement of human labor by robots, and the threat to humanity by robots used as war machines. It was directed by Harry Piel and made by Ariel production.[1]

Master of the World
Directed byHarry Piel
Written byGeorg Mühlen-Schulte
StarringWalter Janssen
Sybille Schmitz
Aribert Waescher
Willi Schur
Music byFritz Wenneis
CinematographyEwald Daub
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
CountryNazi Germany


Wolf, as the half-crazy assistant to Dr. Heller, an inventor of robots, murders his master and attempts to take over the world with his death-ray equipped robots. He then proceeds to borrow industrial robots all over the world for high fees. "Baumann", a mining engineer and friend of Dr. Heller, then visits Wolf in his entrenched laboratory of Heller's company and learns about his plan. Having witnessed the despair of his co-workers who lost their jobs due to being replaced by robots he explains to Wolf that the people will revolt when they lose their jobs en masse. Wolf, however, wants to crush down any revolts using his war machines and reach for world domination. He is then prevented from attaining this goal by Baumann and Dr. Heller's widow, as he gets killed by his own invention.[1]

In the happy end of the movie, Baumann realizes Dr. Heller's vision in which robots improve the lives of everyone and are used to do "dangerous, unhealthy and intellectually suffocating" jobs. The workers replaced by the robots don't lose their jobs but are instead employed in other areas – such as for the maintenance of the robots. Preserving workers' jobs also becomes a condition for the customers of the company's robots and thus humans are freed for a more worthy and humane life.



  1. Master of the World (1935) (Movie review in the New York Times. Accessed 2008-02-07.)
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