The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960) starring Kerwyn Matthews, June Thorburn
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver deals with an English doctor, lost at sea, who lands on two strange islands. One populated by tiny people, the other by giants. Can he & his fiancee make it back home to England?
People tend to forget that Gulliver’s Travels was originally a story to make social commentaries. In the original book, Gulliver lands on three wonderful lands. Here’s, it’s only two. Which is a pity, since the third land is populated by speaking horses — living in a utopia. But, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver offers Ray Harryhausen an opportunity to do his wonderful special effects work.
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver begins in England. The kind but poor Dr. Gulliver is taking care of his patients, who can’t afford to pay him. He and his fiancée Elizabeth go to look at a house. A hovel. She doesn’t care, and would be happy with him anywhere. But he’s insistent on having enough money to buy a decent house for them. So he signs on a ship as ship’s doctor. And, she sneaks on board as well. And then …. Shipwreck!
Gulliver first lands on the unknown land of Lilliput. The people here are physically very small. And the rulers appear to be “small minded” as well. They want to go to war with a neighboring, tiny country. Why? Because they break open their eggs on the “wrong” end. Pettiness is a good word to describe them.
Emperor of Lilliput: Glorious victory over the wrong-end-of-the-egg scum!
After Gulliver prevents a bloody war, the king turns on him. And so Gulliver escapes in a boat that he’s built, to land on his next island.
Dr. Lemuel Gulliver: …you don’t need Reldresal or me to fight a war!
Emperor of Lilliput: Of course I don’t need a prime minister to fight a war! But I need one to blame in case we lose it.
In contrast, Brobdingnag is a land of physical giants. They’re not petty like the Lilliputians. But they are controlled by ignorance. When Dr. Gulliver treats the queen for an upset stomach, Prime Minister Makovan declares his science to secretly be witchcraft. Leading to a trial by combat. Of course, Gulliver’s defeating the King in chess doesn’t help matters. Although the King does marry Lemuel and Elizabeth earlier in the story. With young Glumdalclitch’s help, they escape back out to sea. And they end up …
Cast of characters
- Kerwin Mathews (7th Voyage of Sinbad) … Dr. Lemuel Gulliver
- Jo Morrow (13 Ghosts) … Gwendolyn. Reldresal’s love interest. They’re star-crossed lovers, each from one of the two countries at war.
- June Thorburn (Tom Thumb) … Elizabeth. Lemuel’s fiancee, who doesn’t want him to go on his voyage. But stows away on board ship anyway!
- Lee Patterson (Airplane II: The Sequel) … Reldresal. Befriended by Gulliver. He and Gwendolyn are trying to avert the Lilliputian war.
- Grégoire Aslan (King of Kings) … King Brob
- Basil Sydney (Salome) … Emperor of Lilliput
- Charles Lloyd Pack (Horror of Dracula) … Makovan. Jealous of Gulliver, he tries to prove the little man to be a witch.
- Martin Benson (A Shot in the Dark) … Flimnap
- Mary Ellis (Bella Donna) … Queen of Brobdingnag
- Marian Spencer (Corridors of Blood) … Empress of Lilliput
- Peter Bull (Dr. Dolittle)… Lord Bermogg
- Alec Mango (The Strange World of Planet X) … Minister of Lilliput
- Sherry Alberoni (Cyborg 2087, Superfriends) … Glumdalclitch. The kind peasant girl of the Brobdingnagians. She finds Gulliver & Elizabeth, and takes care of them, even in the palace.
Kerwin Mathews stars as Gulliver, the swashbuckling doctor who sets sail for fame and fortune in the fabled East Indies, but finds adventure, romance and danger instead in Brobdingnag and Lilliput, the infamous lands of the great and small. One of the most complicated films of its time, THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER is both an enchanting fantasy and a captivating visual treat. Because the storyline calls for scenes that juxtapose forty-foot giants with six-inch-tall people, special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen perfected a state-of-the-art trick photography process so innovative, they had to invent a new word for it: Superdynamation.