Leo Vincey, told by his dying uncle of a lost land visited 500 years ago by his ancestor, heads out with family friend Horace Holly to try to discover the land and its secret of immortality... See full summary »
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>
"Is it this? Or That? The Universe? or Nothingness?"
Powerful, yet creaky science fiction film from the 30's by the Korda clan. H. G. Wells's work is brought to the screen as a vision of what warfare will bring mankind in the century to follow. The film shows the destructive nature of war and how is will catapult us back to a state of barbarism, warlords, and another Black Death-like plague called the "wandering Sickness." However, because man clings to science, man will rise above all this and create a new, modern society free of warfare. The film has a lot of historical inaccuracies to its discredit NOW, yet much of what is preaches is plausible sometime, and much of it has some truth to it in some form. The theme that man can prevail and keep discovering/conquering new vistas is a laudable one. The film shows that progress and science are the things which advance us as a people. I thought of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged as I heard one of the characters say something to the effect that the scientists/inventors had formed their own civilization, free of corruption and violence. The pace of the film is somewhat tortoise-like at times, yet many scenes are very compelling. The set designs are outstanding in the futuristic world of 2036(where they valiantly try to put a rocket in space to make a preliminary orbit around the moon). Acting is good with Raymond Massey and Cedric Hardwicke giving good performances, but it is Ralph Richardson as a "Boss" who deserves the most praise for giving a powerful performance of a man with inherent human traits that stymie progress. A though-provoking film indeed!
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