The Three Worlds of Gulliver – 1960

the three worlds of Gulliver

If my memory serves me, Gulliver visited seven places during his four voyages. In Jonathan Swift’s original novel that is. with that said I must admit I was rather confused by the title – The Three Worlds of Gulliver. Which of these travels would be included? Well, as the cover tells us, the first voyage, to the land of Lilliput. Where very small people reside is included. This is the most famous story of course so it didn’t come as a surprise. Neither is it a surprise that the world of Brobdingnag which is quite the opposite of Lilliput.

In Brobdingnag lives the giants. Gulliver is just a few inches tall compared to them. Both these tales are of course very political in their essence. They were that in Swift’s original novel. This is of course just adaptions of the basic story. These two places is both the most famous of the travels and best suitable for the magic of Ray Harryhausen. You see, the most important part of The Three Worlds of Gulliver isn’t acting or storytelling. What plays the main part is Ray Harryhausens’ effects. This is very typical for him I think. He plays with the sizes of the characters and the illusion is great. Even by today standards it looks good.

THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER, Sherry Alberoni, Kerwin Mathews, June Thorburn, 1960

THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER, Kerwin Mathews, 1960.


Sure, there are predictable scenery. We realize immediately that a Giant Gulliver will show up behind a cliff in the background. This is to create a barrier between the background and foreground of course. Might be simple but effective and if it weren’t for Harryhausen it might not be that simple today. I can’t say that he invented the method but he sure had a great deal to with the development of it.

The acting isn’t very good neither is the storytelling. It’s more like loosely put-together skits. Well, maybe not skits but there are lots of humor in the film and I think that reflects the original novel too. Regardless of where Gulliver is he’s thrown into the political game. And if you think about it it has a very close connection to reality. Look at the world today how the political game is played and you might agree with me.

But the third world then? Well, I was confused too. It seems to me that the third world is his own. The world that you and I call reality. Where we’re all equal (in size) and where all the usual bull**it is going on. This story isn’t really told at all and I feel that the movie title is very misleading.

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Tommy Snöberg Söderberg

Autodidact film scholar and music-loving thinker who reads the occasional book.

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