6.8/10
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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.

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
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
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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:

A hundred years ahead of its time. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

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)
 »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Image Entertainment DVD promises a 97 minute version "restored from the original 35mm masters." The version on the disc runs only 92 minutes, shorter than some VHS versions, but has better print quality than most previous releases. See more »

Goofs

During the bombing of Everytown, a man in a top hat follows several people across the hood of a car in an attempt to escape. There are footprints clearly all over the hood. A later scene shows more people using the same car, But this time the hood is clean. 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

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.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Is it this? Or That? The Universe? or Nothingness?"
17 February 2003 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

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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