MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,461 this week

Things to Come (1936)

Not Rated  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  1936 (Austria)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,417 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 72 critic

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)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 07 Mar 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 18 Sep 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 11 Jan 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Things to Come" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Things to Come (1936)

Things to Come (1936) on IMDb 6.8/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Things to Come.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

Planet Earth is a devastated wasteland, and what's left of humanity has colonized the Moon in domed cities. Humanity's continued survival depends on an anti-radiation drug only available on... See full summary »

Director: George McCowan
Stars: Jack Palance, Carol Lynley, Barry Morse
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ordinary man suddenly finds that anything he says comes true. Or at least, almost anything!

Directors: Lothar Mendes, Alexander Korda
Stars: Roland Young, Ralph Richardson, Edward Chapman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.

Director: William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Jimmy Hunt
Adventure | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen
Blue Steel (1934)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

U.S. marshal John Carruthers observes a robbery and Sheriff Jake thinks he may be the culprit. Meanwhile the town's leading citizen is planning to rob everybody blind.

Director: Robert N. Bradbury
Stars: John Wayne, Eleanor Hunt, George 'Gabby' Hayes
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The film adaptation of the H.G.Wells story told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humanity has divided into two hostile species.

Director: George Pal
Stars: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux
Dick Tracy (1945)
Action | Mystery | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Dick is faced with a series of brutal murders in which the victims, all from different social and economic backgrounds, are viciously slashed to pieces. Suspects abound but Tracy, getting a... See full summary »

Director: William Berke
Stars: Morgan Conway, Anne Jeffreys, Mike Mazurki
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

During the latter days of WW2 an American Lieutenant (Berry), accidentally falls out of an airplane that he was on and falls into German territory. He is taken in by a Baroness (Gabor). She... See full summary »

Director: Gene Nelson
Stars: Ken Berry, Eva Gabor, Werner Klemperer
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Derek Todd
Stars: Jim Curtis, Barbara Fisk, Neil Fletcher
Edit

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
Derrick De Marney ...
Richard Gordon (as Derrick de Marney)
Ann Todd ...
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
Edit

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:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1936 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Futura  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It was reported that H.G. Wells, the author of the novel the film is based on, actually began directing the film, but his inexperience resulted in director William Cameron Menzies taking over. 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

Roxana: I don't suppose any man has ever understood any woman since the beginning of things. You don't understand our imaginations.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Smiley Face (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
(uncredited)
Traditional 18th Century Cornish Christmas Carol
Heard during opening montage.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Wings over the World!"
30 January 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I must admit a slight disappointment with this film; I had read a lot about how spectacular it was, yet the actual futuristic sequences, the Age of Science, take up a very small amount of the film. The sets and are excellent when we get to them, and there are some startling images, but this final sequence is lacking in too many other regards...

Much the best drama of the piece is in the mid-section, and then it plays as melodrama, arising from the 'high concept' science-fiction nature of it all, and insufficiently robust dialogue. There is far more human life in this part though, with the great Ralph Richardson sailing gloriously over-the-top as the small dictator, the "Boss" of the Everytown. I loved Richardson's mannerisms and curt delivery of lines, dismissing the presence and ideas of Raymond Massey's aloof, confident visitor. This Boss is a posturing, convincingly deluded figure, unable to realise the small-fry nature of his kingdom... It's not a great role, yet Richardson makes a lot of it.

Everytown itself is presumably meant to be England, or at least an English town fairly representative of England. Interesting was the complete avoidance of any religious side to things; the 'things to come' seem to revolve around a conflict between warlike barbarism and a a faith in science that seems to have little ultimate goal, but to just go on and on. There is a belated attempt to raise some arguments and tensions in the last section, concerning more personal 'life', yet one is left quite unsatisfied. The film hasn't got much interest in subtle complexities; it goes for barnstorming spectacle and unsubtle, blunt moralism, every time. And, of course, recall the hedged-bet finale: Raymond Massey waxing lyrical about how uncertain things are!

Concerning the question of the film being a prediction: I must say it's not at all bad as such, considering that one obviously allows that it is impossible to gets the details of life anything like right. The grander conceptions have something to them; a war in 1940, well that was perhaps predictable... Lasting nearly 30 years, mind!? A nuclear bomb - the "super gun" or some such contraption - in 2036... A technocratic socialist "we don't believe in independent nation states"-type government, in Britain, after 1970... Hmmm, sadly nowhere near on that one, chaps! ;-) No real politics are gone into here which is a shame; all that surfaces is a very laudable anti-war sentiment. Generally, it is assumed that dictatorship - whether boneheaded-luddite-fascist, as under the Boss, or all-hands-to-the-pump scientific socialism - will *be the deal*, and these implications are not broached... While we must remember that in 1936, there was no knowledge at all of how Nazism and Communism would turn out - or even how they were turning out - the lack of consideration of this seems meek beside the scope of the filmmakers' vision on other matters.

Much of the earlier stuff should - and could - have been cut in my opinion; only the briefest stuff from '1940' would have been necessary, yet this segment tends to get rather ponderous, and it is ages before we get to the Richardson-Massey parts. I would have liked to have seen more done with Margareta Scott; who is just a trifle sceptical, cutting a flashing-eyed Mediterranean figure to negligible purpose. The character is not explored, or frankly explained or exploited, except for one scene which I shall not spoil, and her relationship with the Boss isn't explored; but then this was the 1930s, and there was such a thing as widespread institutional censorship back then. Edward Chapman is mildly amusing in his two roles; more so in the first as a hapless chap, praying for war, only to be bluntly put down by another Massey character. Massey himself helps things a lot, playing his parts with a mixture of restraint and sombre gusto, contrasting well with a largely diffident cast, save for Richardson, and Scott and Chapman, slightly.

I would say that "Things to Come" is undoubtedly a very extraordinary film to have been made in Britain in 1936; one of the few serious British science fiction films to date, indeed! Its set (piece) design and harnessing of resources are ravenous, marvellous.

Yet, the script is ultimately over-earnest and, at times, all over the place. The direction is prone to a flatness, though it does step up a scenic gear or two upon occasion. The cinematographer and Mr Richardson really do salvage things however; respectively creating an awed sense of wonder at technology, and an engaging, jerky performance that consistently beguiles. Such a shame there is so little substance or real filmic conception to the whole thing; Powell and Pressburger would have been the perfect directors to take on such a task as this - they are without peer among British directors as daring visual storytellers, great helmsmen of characters and dealers in dialogue of the first rate.

"Things to Come", as it stands, is an intriguing oddity, well worth perusing, yet far short of a "Metropolis"... 'Tis much as "silly", in Wells' words, as that Lang film, yet with nothing like the astonishing force of it.


32 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Things To Come with 20 minutes of never before seen footage ian-powell-2
BFI Restoration XB-1
How did the war start? g-of-warks2
I'm Reading The Book LouAbbott
Terry-Thomas as EXTRA! skasporty60
Scene between enemy pilots - who was the biplane pilot ? spirofantasio
Discuss Things to Come (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?