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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>
Classic of the British science fiction genre with magnificent sets and top-drawer cast
The picture is a right adaptation of the novel titled ¨The shape of things to come¨ by H.G.Wells . A story of 100 years : a decades-long second world war leaves plague and anarchy . The film narrates like after a lengthly war among nations and continuing with plagues , rampages and starvation the world is destroyed . A country ruled by a tyrant (Ralph Richardson) fights against an airplanes confederation (leading Raymond Massey) . Then a rational state rebuilds civilization and tries space travel . As utilizing technology , wisemen and scientists try to rebuild the future world creating a peaceable society .
The motion picture is agreeable and very interesting though when the protagonists speak philosophical speeches is a little boring . Raymond Massey interprets two roles on different generations , at the future world plays a ruler , builder a sidereal rocket , in opposition to Sir Cedric Hardwicke who is facing the progress . The excellent main cast is completed with habitual actors of the British theater and with important cinematographic careers , thus : Ralph Richardson (Greystoke and four feathers) , Anne Todd (Paradine case) , Derrick De Mornay (Young and innocent) , Raymond Massey (Lincoln in Ilinois) and Sir Cedric Hardwicke (Ten commandments) . Cinematography is very good although in black and white and was realized by excellent cameraman George Perinal (Thief of Bagdad and Colonel Blimp).
Arthur Bliss music score is atmospheric and conducted by usual orchestra director of the classic British films : Muir Matheson . Production Design by Vincent Korda is fine as well as spectacular , he's considered to be the best British designer of that epoch . His brother Alexander Korda was the main English producer . The film was well directed by William Cameron Menzies who subsequent directed another Sci-Fi classic , Invaders from Mars . Rating: Good . Above average .
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