6.7/10
5,311
102 user 76 critic

Things to Come (1936)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sci-Fi, War | 14 September 1936 (UK)
The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Cabal / Oswald Cabal
Edward Chapman ...
Pippa Passworthy / Raymond Passworthy
...
The Boss
Margaretta Scott ...
Roxana / Rowena (as Margueretta Scott)
...
Theotocopulos
Maurice Braddell ...
Dr. Harding
Sophie Stewart ...
Mrs. Cabal
...
Richard Gordon (as Derrick de Marney)
...
Mary Gordon
Pearl Argyle ...
Catherine Cabal
Kenneth Villiers ...
Maurice Passworthy
Ivan Brandt ...
Morden Mitani
Anne McLaren ...
The Child
Patricia Hilliard ...
Janet Gordon
Charles Carson ...
Great Grandfather
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Storyline

A global war begins in 1940. This war drags out over many decades until most of the people still alive (mostly those born after the war started) do not even know who started it or why. Nothing is being manufactured at all any more and society has broken down into primitive localized communities. In 1966 a great plague wipes out most of what people are left but small numbers still survive. One day a strange aircraft lands at one of these communities and its pilot tells of an organization which is rebuilding civilization and slowly moving across the world re-civilizing these groups of survivors. Great reconstruction takes place over the next few decades and society is once again great and strong. The world's population is now living in underground cities. In the year 2035, on the eve of man's first flight to the moon, a popular uprising against progress (which some people claim has caused the wars of the past) gains support and becomes violent. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The future is here! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1936 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Futura  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS) | (premiere cut) | (original) | (cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of film critics in the United States criticized H.G. Wells's screen adaptation of his book for its failure to adequately address class struggle. The complaint rang with a tone of irony for Wells, whose book had been criticized by literary critics for containing too much of the author's analysis of class struggle and his socialist-leaning political beliefs. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, we hear the helicopter's rotor slowing almost to a stop while it's still descending at constant speed. See more »

Quotes

Oswald Cabal: There! There they go. That faint beam of light.
Raymond Passworthy: I feel that what we've done is monstrous.
Oswald Cabal: What they've done is magnificent.
Raymond Passworthy: Will they come back?
Oswald Cabal: Yes, and go again and again, until a landing is made and the moon is conquered. This is only a beginning.
Raymond Passworthy: And if they don't come back? My son and your daughter. What of that, Cabal?
Oswald Cabal: Then presently, others will go.
Raymond Passworthy: Oh, God, is there never to be any age of happiness? Is there never to be any rest?
Oswald Cabal: Rest enough for the individual man. Too much and too soon...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, as the title is revealed, the shadow over the letters is removed as if the clouds in the background are blowing past it. See more »

Connections

Version of The Shape of Things to Come (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
(uncredited)
Traditional 18th Century Cornish Christmas Carol
Arranged by Arthur Bliss
Heard during opening montage.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Art Deco Science Fiction
4 May 2004 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

There are some film classics that we have almost lost. I don't mean the might-have-beens, like Laughton's "I Claudius," but films that were released and quite successful and are now in grave need of rescue. The hallmark of such films is the terrible quality of the available prints because the master negative is lost. "My Man Godfrey" and "Nothing Sacred" come to mind. And, of course, "Things to Come".

If the abstractions of the art deco aesthetic could be reified into a story, "Things to Come" might be the result. If the Chrysler Building really were a rocket ship and could fly past the moon and stars and comets of art deco friezes...if we could look into those naive mindsets, whose visions of man's destiny were being energized by the discoveries of relativity, atomic energy and deep space...we might indeed embrace the images of "Things to Come".

Some of the scenes may strike us a corny - as might those of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" - but they are no cornier in their context than those in "2001, a Space Odyssey" or, for that matter, "Starship Troopers". Here is an honest attempt to project the world into the future, not some silly cowboys-in-space flick.

"Things to Come" makes only a couple of demands: first, that we ditch our smug sophistication and presentist prejudices; second, that we have the discipline to see past the print quality. It may take repeated viewings, as it did with me, but in the end you will be rewarded by a unique odyssey, not into our future but into the future of history.


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