MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,776 this week

Just Imagine (1930)

Passed  -  Comedy | Fantasy | Musical  -  23 November 1930 (USA)
5.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 361 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 12 critic

New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ...... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 28 Sep 2010
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Dec 2010
 
a list of 156 titles
created 14 Apr 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 24 Jun 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Just Imagine" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Just Imagine (1930)

Just Imagine (1930) on IMDb 5.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Just Imagine.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, Alan Mowbray
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger
Alraune (1930)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Richard Oswald
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Albert Bassermann, Harald Paulsen
Flash Gordon I (1936)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three earthlings visit the planet Mongo to thwart the evil schemes of Emperor Ming the Merciless.

Directors: Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels
King of Jazz (1930)
Animation | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in it's final number that the European popular music are the roots of American popular music... See full summary »

Directors: John Murray Anderson, Pál Fejös
Stars: Paul Whiteman, John Boles, Laura La Plante
Dynamite (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Abel Gance, Colette Darfeuil, Sylvie Gance
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A crazed scientist calling himself The Voice from the Sky broadcasts his voice all across the globe, and threatens to suspend all energy in the earth's atmosphere and turn day into night ... See full summary »

Director: Ben F. Wilson
Stars: Hal Taliaferro, Neva Gerber, Robert Walker
The Last Hour (1930)
Comedy | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  
Director: Walter Forde
Stars: Stewart Rome, Richard Cooper, Kathleen Vaughan
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman (Harding) tricks a playboy (Powell) into marrying her and then tries to make him legitimately fall in love with her.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Ann Harding, William Powell, Lucile Browne
Just Imagine (TV Movie 2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Ross Lovegrove, Ken Yeang
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
El Brendel ...
...
John Garrick ...
J-21
Marjorie White ...
D-6
...
RT-42
Hobart Bosworth ...
Z-4
Kenneth Thomson ...
MT-3
...
B-36
Ivan Linow ...
Loko / Boko
Joyzelle Joyner ...
Loo Loo / Boo Boo (as Joyzelle)
Wilfred Lucas ...
X-10
Edit

Storyline

New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ... well, you get the idea. Scientists revive a man struck by lightning in 1930; he is rechristened "Single O". He is befriended by J-21, who can't marry the girl of his dreams because he isn't "distinguished" enough -- until he is chosen for a 4-month expedition to Mars by a renegade scientist. The Mars J-21, his friend, and stowaway Single O visit is full of scantily clad women doing Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers and worshiping a fat middle-aged man. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mars | stowaway | pill | new york | baby | See more »

Taglines:

YOUTH AND LOVE 50 YEARS FROM NOW! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 November 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sensationer 1980  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Dance of Victory" by Ray Henderson, Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown was written for this movie, but not heard in the Fox Library print. Also, an elaborate background score was composed by the Fox music staff, but only Hugo Friedhofer's contribution remains on the release print. See more »

Quotes

Census Taker: Don't criticize this marriage law. It, like the Volstead Act, is a noble experiment!
See more »

Connections

Edited into Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The Romance of Elmer Stremingway
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
Performed by El Brendel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Back to the Future
23 May 2004 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

JUST IMAGINE (Fox, 1930), directed by David Butler, goes on record as being first science fiction motion picture of the sound era, in fact, the first science fiction musical, but like many Hollywood firsts, starts off cleverly with originality and potential, but in conclusion, a bitter disappointment. While the story and screenplay could have been lifted from legendary science fiction writers of Jules Verne or H.G. Welles, the credit for this futuristic comedy goes to songwriters B.G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson and Lew Brown, who have previously scored successfully the Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell musical, SUNNY SIDE UP (1929).

The opening minutes start off quite promisingly in documentary style with newsreel footage showing what New York City was like in the year 1880, calm and peaceful, with a pedestrian seen being given the right of way from a horse and buggie driver; then shifting fifty years later to 1930 showing the more modern New York City, more crowded with congestion of automobiles driving down Fifth Avenue at a faster pace with a lone pedestrian trying to cross the street in between the passing cars (so far, no different from the New York of today); concluding with, just imagine, as the title cards indicate, New York City fifty years into the future, 1980, where names are changed to numbers (practically true in that respect in today's society since identification to an individual's name can be traced through Social Security numbers), and means of transportation from buses and automobiles in 1930 replaced by space cars flying through the air, along with communication not by telephone but through a television transmitter (or picture phone). The central characters in this story are J-21 (John Garrick), an air pilot for a Transatlantic Airliner, and his best friend/ roommate, RT-42 (Frank Albertson). Jack, or better known as J-21, is deeply in love with LN-18 (Maureen O'Sullivan) while RT-42 finds comedic romance with a perky blonde named D-6 (Marjorie White). J-21's marriage to LN-18 has been ruled against by the Tribunal Judge (George Irving) in favor of MT-3 (Kenneth Thomson), a much wealthier and more distinguished rival, much to the disappointment of the young couple. Then there is Ole Petersen (El Brendel), who was struck by lightning in 1930 while playing a game of golf, found by a group of scientists who use him as a scientific experiment by reviving him with the use of machines after being dead for fifty years.

While much of the story is set in the year 1980, the movie fails to capture the essence of 1980 by looking very much like 1930, ranging from hairstyles, spoken dialogue and methods of singing and dancing, which is forgivable considering the writers didn't have any foresight to what was to be in 1980, yet could have stretched to the imagination of things to come, but who could have imagined in 1930 that by 1980 the world not only had gone through a second World War, has been introduced to a new craze of music called rock & roll or disco; entertainment through watching color television, traveling via jet airliners, as well as having man rocketing to and walking on the moon by 1969 (instead of Mars in 1980 as indicated here). Had this been a story that opened in the year 1980, leading the central characters through an invention such as a time tunnel finding them transferred to the year 1930, JUST IMAGINE would have succeeded by today's standards. However, movie goers of 1930 were more interested as well as amazed by the eye-view structure of 1980 than with 1930. As it now stands, JUST IMAGINE plays more like a bad 1950s science fiction fantasy spoof that simply falls apart with numerous song interludes and one production number, choreographed by Seymour Felix, set on the planet Mars.

The songs and production numbers presented in the order as they appear include: "There's Something About an Old-Fashioned Girl" (sung by John Garrick); "Mother Ought to Tell Their Daughters" (sung by Marjorie White); "I Am Only the Words, You Are Melody" (Sung by John Garrick); "I Am Only the Words, You are Melody" (sung by chorus); "The Drinking Song" (sung by John Garrick and male chorus); "Never Swat a Fly" (sung by Frank Albertson and Marjorie White); "Romance of Elmer Stremingway" (sung by El Brendel); "I Am Only the Words, You Are Melody" (recited by Maureen O'Sullivan); and "The Dance of Victory" (danced by aliens from Mars). Of the handful of songs, "There's Something About an Old-Fashioned Girl" ranks one of the more listen-able tunes in spite of its corny structure and John Garrick's style of singing while facing the camera and later envisioning his own idea of numerous old-fashioned girls of his dreams. Frank Albertson and Marjorie White bring life into the story with their peppy "Never Swat a Fly" number which comes off as both enjoyable and amusing. Supposedly deleted from the final print by the time it reached the theaters in New York City, the number has been restored, moving up the standard length from 102 to 109 minutes.

True, JUST IMAGINE does not hold up very well, considering its handful of out-of-date vaudeville routines and musical numbers combined, or the possibility of El Brendel's brand of humor lacking to stir up some chuckles, but this is an oddity worth viewing once mainly for its concept, a look into the future that for now, has past. So far, it has never been distributed on either video cassette of DVD. JUST IMAGINE can be seen and studied whenever shown on cable television's Fox Movie Channel. Seeing is believing, and JUST IMAGINE is something to see to be believed. It's not great, never was, never will be, but what a creative idea this was. It's certainly something that modern filmmakers could remake today, minus the musical numbers, to amend the errors made in 1930. Just imagine? (**)


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
JUST IMAGINE... debofthe80s
Waaay ahead of its time... ksf-2
Discuss Just Imagine (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?