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Things to Come (1936)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 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.


(novel), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
John Cabal / Oswald Cabal
Edward Chapman ...
Pippa Passworthy / Raymond Passworthy
The Boss
Margaretta Scott ...
Roxana / Rowena (as Margueretta Scott)
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


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


H.G.Wells' "Things To Come" will astound the entire world! See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 September 1936 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Futura  »

Box Office


£300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite H.G. Wells's dislike of Fritz Lang and his landmark film, Metropolis (1927), and Wells's request that William Cameron Menzies avoid patterning his film after Metropolis, Menzies nonetheless drew a great deal of inspiration from the film. Menzies admitted that the lengthy montage depicting the transition of the war-torn nineteenth-century Everytown to the progressive and rational futuristic city, in particular, owed a huge debt to Metropolis. See more »


Predating CGI the 3D title credits had to be built so we could see them rotate slightly as seen in the H.G. Wells credit. The title was also built but is misspelled 'THINCS TO COME'. What? They couldn't reuse the G they showed seconds earlier? See more »


John Cabal: If we don't end war, war will end us.
See more »

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 »


Featured in A Century of Science Fiction (1996) See more »


The First Noel
Traditional 18th Century Cornish Christmas Carol
Arranged by Arthur Bliss
Heard during opening montage.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Future through the perspective of 1936.
10 May 2004 | by (Mansfield, CT USA) – See all my reviews

Things to Come is a look into the future from the perspective of the people of 1936. By today's standards and with hindsight, it seems a little corny but to the people of that time, the movie showed what could have been a real possibility. This sci-fi movie shows the horrors of war and the price of progress predicted by a film made in 1936 by eyes that were looking at a world on the brink of World War II. It's a movie that shows what they thought the world would be like if a major war broke out. One good reason for viewing this film is because it shows this perspective, and because it was one of the early serious attempts of a science fiction film that takes a look into the future. For those interested in the history of early sci-fi in the cinema, Things To Come is a must see.

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